Reneé Renard – A way like a hundred lives
“A way like a hundred lives” is the story of my French-German family from Lorraine and the Black Forest of the XVIIIth century. Century. The decision to explore our family history finally gave me the courage to open the small old wooden box in which my grandmother kept the few remaining photos, documents and letters. I was overwhelmed by the late realization of what really meant “separation”, “homesickness”, “uprooting” – the deportation of the grandparents to Russia, of the great-grandparents to Bărăgan, of the father to the Danube Canal – the split existence that the HISTORY had forced upon their lives. I also recognized just as profoundly that one can “return home”, even if there is no house left; that the power of faith and the survival of the spirit save one, even if history apparently does not give one a chance. I knew almost nothing about my grandfather Renard Ioan Nicolae. I only had a photo and a court decision that declared his death on January 24, 1946 in labor camp no. 1651 in Ufalo/Russia.
One morning, when I was working on my project, I thought of him again. That, although he was of French descent, he was probably put on the list of 68,000 persons of German origin who were deported to Russia in January 1945 due to a mistake. And that he was probably killed by hunger, cold and exhaustion. Suddenly, in the midst of my thoughts, a bird struck the window with full force. I had never experienced this before, and I wonder if it was really true that birds were the messengers of heaven. That same evening I received information about my grandfather completely unexpectedly and unexpectedly: photos from his childhood, memories from a time long gone… and the news that he had committed suicide in the camp out of sheer desperation.
The exhibition has already been presented in the Czech Republic and Germany as part of the Schöberlinie project.
Studies: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (1992); postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Economics (2003); licentiate in multimedia design (2008) and master’s degree in advertising and book graphics (2010) at the Faculty of Art and Design Timișoara/ Romania.
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