1914-1918/ We are still a WAKE


#yoorsnovember #wake #comingworldrememberme #klei #boetseren

Today we commemorate Truce, the end of World War I.
My region of South-West Flanders and the Westhoek ensures that the memory of “the Great War” is always present.
The landscape is dotted with graves and monuments of Allied soldiers from all over the world as well as German soldiers.
Often unknown soldiers whose tombstone bears the inscription “Known unto God”.
8.5 million people (mainly military) died during the World War, with chemical warfare being used for the first time.
On Belgian soil during these four horrific years a total of 600 000 deaths (both military and civilians) were killed.
To honor these victims, artist Koen Vanmechelen devised the project “Coming World Remember Me”.
The aim of this project was to during the period 2014-2018 (following the commemoration of 100 years of World War I)
600 000 figurines to be modeled in baked clay.
A project with the necessary symbolism.
Every statue represents one victim from that period.
It's a bent figure with a personalized spine.
They represent both the need for reflection and the resilience of humanity.
180 000 volunteers (Belgians, but also foreigners and descendants of soldiers killed there) each sculpted 1 figurine in specially equipped work workshops, in which the symbolism of World War I was of course never far away.
We, with the whole family (see picture) were only a few of these many volunteers who helped with the modeling and when all 600 000 were sculpted with the final display.
The display lasted 100 days and took place on a site in the Provincial Domain "De Palingbeek” - the Neermandsland- the zone between German and Allied lines in the First World War.
More symbolism... all the figurines come from a primal egg, the birth of the new man.
These figurines are, as it were, symbolically spit out in the form of Pangea, the primal continent.
Anyone who wanted to be Peter or meter of a statue was given a name tag (which soldiers wore around their neck) with the name of a soldier from WWI.
A total of 200 000 volunteers participated in this project.
Half of the proceeds from this project went to charities Eastern Congo and Northern Uganda.

We with the family helped with the sculpture and display of the figurines.
After 11 November 2018 everyone was allowed to pick up one statue and the site was dismantled again.
Here at home there are 3 statuettes on the closet, as a reminder, a vigil to reflect permanently and to think about peace in and for this world.