Raluca Neamu

Bagajele abandonului

On 24 February, I was out with my dog in our quiet neighbourhood in Brussels, after a day when I couldn’t tear myself away from the TV, when I went through the biggest emotions of the whole year: anger, pity, helplessness, horror, numbness, unreality. When I went out for my evening walk, I felt unbearably guilty about the quiet of the streets, the peace of the place, the unbeatable foresight of the moment and the local geography.

The only conceivable danger was just the threatening shadow of the trees on the ground, while there, thousands of kilometres away, was hell on earth. Which was just beginning, which is far from over, which showed what I see in the collection of the history museum where I work: mass graves, endless murder and losses on all fronts.

My world view has totally changed since then, my only way to cope with the grim news throughout the year has been to do something for or about the people affected, be they refugees or simply Ukrainians, and to feed myself daily with news about those who have done and are doing significantly more to help them.

It’s already tomorrow since I started this message, that’s how hard it is to still find words to talk about the war after an endless year!

Last Day of Peace, First Night of War is an interactive digital installation, part of the Museum of Abandonment, a digital wall of images showing the last days of peace collected from mobile phones.