Around August of 2012 I came across a haunting image on Pinterest. I had been researching scars, brands, tattoos, etc. when this visual jumped out at me:
I was arrested by the horrific way in which the branding occurred (via American dropped atomic bombs), but I was conversely drawn to the patterned markings. Intellectually, I was fascinated with the idea of physical markings of trauma and the paradox of our spiritual/psychological markings of trauma (including PTSD, which I suffer from), etc. As always, my mind raced with the questions: "How do you heal from that"? "Why do some heal and others succumb to depression/suicide"?
As is normal for my process, I started gathering all the authentic research material I could find, purchasing from ebay and Amazon and haunting the used bookstores for literature, military reports, doctor's records, eye witness accounts, and authentic images. I learned much more about the creation of the atomic bombs, the experimental way in which they were used, the wrongness of the Americans in hiding the after effects of the bombings and their completely lack of treatment for the victims. The went and, literally, RECORDED the aftermath in notes and images . . . but did not at any time TREAT the victims in their 'hospital'. I am deeply ashamed of this portion of American history and believe that we were misled by a President who refused the recommendations of his advisors (only one supported the dropping of the bombs), as well as the propaganda that vilified every Japanese citizen and not the appropriate politicos.
Part of my research delved into the designs of war era kimono fabric, topography, location of injury, and remnants left behind, sometimes just a mere shadow on a stone step - that marks the spot, a BRANDING, of the human life that was lost.
In what ways have you become BRANDED or MARKED? This would include labels, discrimination, and other forms of oppression. Is it physical and/or psychological?