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Böhmische Dörfer

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This e-poem describes a historical event during the winter of 1945 in which German families who lived in Brno were forcibly evacuated and marched 40 miles to the Austrian border, resulting in many deaths. A descendant of survivors from that march, Saemmer draws on those experiences and through her poem evokes the difficulty of grasping and reconstructing this traumatic portion of family history by writing, positioning, and mapping a way through a spatially arranged text using a presentation software called Prezi. Prezi is a spatial presentation tool, which allows for placement, scaling, and visual navigation of textual and other objects on an “infinite” canvas. Saemmer uses it to place a textual layer over a video of a march in Winter with thunder-like sounds of war in the background. The arranged texts can be explored as the reader desires, but to better appreciate Saemmer’s vision use the autoplay function on full screen.

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Eric Dean Rasmussen