The 26th April 2017 marks the 80th year from the bombing of the town of Guernica. To mark this day I asked people involved in remakings of Picasso’s Guernica: What does Guernica mean to you now? Here is Jenny Engledow’s reply:
Remaking Picasso’s Guernica as a protest banner
One of the first things I feel about having been part of the Remaking of Picasso’s Guernica is proud, proud to have been part of making such a lovely piece of work; proud to have worked with such good people in the collective; proud to have been part of the 2 years of public sewings and proud to help carry this piece that conveys such instant recognition.
Many people relate the meaning of the tragedy of Guernica to whatever the cause of its presence at the time of their seeing the banner, they make the connection. For me it continues to hold the same sad meaning of people being killed or wounded, homes shattered and lives ruined, of fear and homelessness and refugees, and racism and nimbyism [not in my back yard] and walls to keep people out or in and attacks and traffickers like leeches sucking the life from people who have no power to stop them. It still brings these things to mind when I stop to think.
I have not worked on a banner collectively before and found it a very valuable experience, as working through to solutions with 12 of us was quite complex and required a lot of listening and studying other people’s thoughts and ideas.
Since working on the Guernica banner I have become involved with a new group beginning to establish itself and work together. It was prompted by a woman who saw the Guernica banner and wanted to join with others to make political banners, and so we have met and worked out what we would like to make, early stages yet, and we hope to have public sewings.
Sadly I see the need to keep taking the banner to demonstrations to try to counteract the increasingly ugly human behaviour in this unstable world. The look of horror on the face of the woman on the banner retains her power for me and I identify with her in still being shocked by the inhumanity some people display.
Guernica Remakings Videos
In the first of three research videos on Remaking Picasso’s Guernica a banner the makers discuss the importance of Picasso’s Guernica in the 21st century and what motivated them to remake it through a series of public sewings. How it functions as a work of art, an act of protest and a gathering point are described. The banner when on display in galleries and at demonstrations is a constant reminder of the causes of the current humanitarian crisis, a visual depiction of the suffering people are escaping in the hope of finding refuge.