크리스티네 게데온 Christine Gedeon

크리스티네 게데온 Family History
Digital print on paper (1/10) / 120×68(cm) / 2014
Taking recent email exchanges between a relative of mine (whom I never met) and I, this shows the initial stage of a project I had proposed to have him contribute to. I was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1973, and emigrated to the U.S. with my family in 1976. Places that have affected my family history are being lost as the war in Syria has continued the past three years. There are also some unanswered questions, foremost regarding the abduction of my uncle Michel in the Seven Pools Square in Damascus in 1978, where he was then imprisoned by the Syrian regime. He was never found and very little truth came out regarding the reasons why he was imprisoned. He was suspected of being a communist by the regime, or perhaps was even framed by an employee after an argument in the Syrian Embassy in France where he was living at the time, studying to be a doctor. He had only gone back to Syria to get his doctor’s license to begin his practice.I had approached this relative through email, if I could begin interviewing him by asking him various questions about our family history, beginning with the abduction of my uncle. I asked that he would speak and record the answers, and send them back to me. I would then use these recordings along with other relatives’ responses to the same questions that would then correspond to various places on the map showing blown up aerial views of these areas in Syria. Some questions would be more neutral than others, but I wanted to begin with the more compelling stories. As he agreed to participate at first, until I discussed the details of the project, and to begin with my Uncle’s abduction, which is still a poignant subject for my family, he then chose not to participate, which also raises some questions. Although he gave me his reasons why, he didn’t realize his participation came through responding to my questions through email, which at the same time is helping piece together the mystery of my uncle’s abduction.