top of page

Bride/Widow of War

Tuskulenu Memorial Park
Vilnius, Lithuania

This installation, The Bride/Widow of War, expresses my connection to the victims of war, any war, all wars. My focus is on the brutalized families, especially the women, who are left behind after all the warring men are dead. The Bride is a large imposing figure fourteen feet tall, represented by her silk veil. She is young and strong, lifeʼs continuation being her responsibility. The Widow, the hollow behind the veil, is an empty vessel holding only memories of a life that has passed. The figure is made of fabrics printed with photographs of dead men, portraits taken after execution. As historical documents, the printed images are of a very specific time and place, yet represent the universality of warʼs pain and loss. These photographs, which came into my possession during the fall of the Soviet Union, are from the files of the former KGB offices in Vilnius, Lithuania. They are a record and proof of the events that followed the Soviet occupation and genocide of the Lithuanian people after 1944. The subjects, young resistance fighters, were systematically executed and then photographed by the Soviet soldiers as trophies of a barbaric power. I was a child survivor of that era, raised by brides and widows, hoping now to give voice to other survivors, the millions who are today veiling this planet in sorrow. Currently the Bride/Widow has found a home at the Tuskulenu Memorial Park in Vilnius, Lithuania, in an underground mausoleum along with the remains of 700 executed victims

Photography by B. Handzel

Return to

bottom of page