I REALISE the imagery for my show – swastika flags and me in a blonde wig looking at them askance – is provocative. It’s meant to be.
It’s hard to get attention on the Royal Mile when you’re not an 18-year-old scantily clad in raw meat swallowing swords while juggling gerbils and bowling balls. The intention is to co-opt this symbol of evil to attract attention to a show about the perils of fascism and its legacy. (My father is a Jewish Holocaust survivor, my mother was in the Hitler Youth. Yes, all true. Who would make something like that up?)
I had no trouble getting my homemade Nazi flag through customs at Heathrow, but three printers refused to print my flyers here. (My print broker is now kindly printing and trimming them on their own local presses.)
Now why do people shy away from me when I try to hand out my flyers? And why does a flyer with a penis attract more curiosity than a flyer with a swastika? Not to mention a flyer about the Trojan war or Macbeth?
The worst is indifference. One older local gentleman dismissed my flyer, my show – and thus the accident of my birth – saying, “All those Nazis are in boxes now anyway, aren’t they?”
Sure, they are. But the fascist mentality lives on in Syria, Rwanda, Bosnia. When the wars are over, the traumatised families that survived them will still be here muddling through.
And we have a unique perspective on the sources of violence and cruelty that will always be worth sharing – whatever the war and whenever the time.
• Annette Roman: Hitler’s L’il Abomination, theSpace @ Jury’s Inn, 7:05pm, until 25 August.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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