Date: This Dancerie: Paris, 1938 will be installed on Isle de La Cite as an OFF event in Paris’s annual dusk to dawn arts fesival, Nuit Blanche on October 7.
In the autumn of 1938, 12,000 of the Polish Jews living in Germany were expelled from the territory and deposited at the Polish border. Poland refused them entry.
In early November, a German Nazi diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, was assassinated by a young German Jewish student of Polish descent, Herschel Grynszpan who stated that his actions were in retribution for Jewish persecution. As a consequence, the German government declared its indignation calling this murder an “act of war” perpetrated by the “Jewish world community” and the Nazis subsequently trigger a pogrom in Germany known as “Kristallnacht, ” implementing acts of extreme violence in which more than 400 synagogues and 7,000 Jewish businesses were looted and burned, many Jews were murdered and others transported to concentration camps.
While it is undeniable that Grynszpan murdered vom Rath and there was a direct relationship between that action and the persecution of German Jews, it is remains unclear whether this was, in fact, what today would be thought of as actions of a politically radicalized lone wolf or an operative in an anti-Nazi conspiracy, or the culmination of a more intimate and complex interpersonal relationship. From the day of the shooting, claims ranging from total denial of any connection between the two men to sexual abuse of the younger man by vom Rath have been advanced. This Dancerie: 1938 presumes and explores possible permutations of dynamics in an intimate same-sex relationship.
“This Dancerie: Paris, 1938” Film
“This Dancerie: Paris, 1938” is the first film produced as part of a vast project entitled: This Dancerie .
This Dancerie is a multi-site, multi-platform, multi-media exploration of a city, Paris, considered as a venue where the queer century develops : the “queer identity” lived freely in the society of that era.
This transmedia project explores how gay men have publicly expressed their behaviors and desires, and this in a context of prohibition, in public arenas, of any manifestation of queer nature. (See https://thisdancerie.com/).
The film “This Dancerie: Paris, 1938” explores a ( suspected ) homosexual relationship and the assassination of a German Nazi by a Polish Jew in Paris in 1938, considered by some to be the trigger for the beginning of the Holocaust.
The screening of the film on rue des Ursins, Paris:
We propose the projection of the short film Paris, 1938 on a wall of rue des Ursins, Isle de la Cité, where “This Dancerie: Paris 1938” was shot. The projection in this street makes it possible to watch the film from the pavement of the Quai aux Fleurs.
The projection of this film will be activated via a motion detection sensors triggered by the passage of pedestrians on the platform.
Placards will be displayed on the pedestrian crossing wall with information and a QR code to the project’s website. Below you will find pictures of the proposed installation.
We would like to point out that this place was chosen for the filming of the film and its future screening given, and from our historical research on the subject, that this area would be the meeting place for gay men in 1938 and A place where the Nazis resembled the people they predestined to be deported to concentration camps.
Partnership and Support
The film “This Dancerie: Paris 1938” was produced with the support of Parsons School of Design, a department of The New School University and the project This Dancerie was funded by the Jérôme Foundation in the category “Travel and Film Studies and Of the video “. Tax sponsorship for the United States is provided by Fractured Atlas.
Tony Whitfield is an Associate Professor at The New School University, where he has held academic leadership positions since 1993. He is an artist, photographer, filmmaker and illustrator.
Proposed Installation on rue des Ursins on Isle de la Cite.