Crystal Ball Genocide


Crystal Ball Genocide, The Unfinished Sinti and Roma Memorial, Berlin.

Delaine Le Bas performed at The Unfinished Sinti and Roma Memorial, near Berlin’s Reichstag, on 27 January, 2012: Holocaust Memorial Day.

She performed in the corner of the Tiergarten, which was simply blocked off. The barriers hid a small construction site under the trees, which then looked like the building blocks of a project that would never be completed.

The artist, in a shamanic dress decorated with white hands, revolved a steel ball in her hands and walked around a circular pool, which was part of the unfinished monument. That was her way of turning time backwards and forwards to resolve the conflicts and arguments that feel so futile in the face of what the monument is suppose to represent.

In Le Bas’ performance the memorial was a symbol of the “forgotten holocaust” that still haunts the artist’s community. The circle represented the idea of completion for a piece of history that finally needs recognition. The German government had decided to erect a national memorial to the murdered European Sinti and Roma who were persecuted as “Gypsies” as early as 1992. The German government commissioned the artist Dani Karavan to construct the monument and it was originally supposed to be completed in 2009. It was finally inaugurated in late October 2012, several months after Le Bas’ intervention.