The Sound of Dying
A new art series informed by the book, The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian.
“Approaching from down the street is a staggering column of old women…..These women are completely naked, bare from their feet to the long drapes of matted black hair. And it is the hair, long and straight though filthy and impossibly tangled, that causes her to understand that these women are white-at least they were once- and they are in fact, not old at all…All are beyond modesty, beyond caring. Their skin has been seared black by the sun or stained by the soil in which they have slept or, in some cases by great yawning scabs and wounds that are open and festering ……The women look like dying animals as they lurch forward, some holding onto the walls of the stone houses to remain erect. She has never in her life seen people so thin and wonders how in the name of god their bony legs can support them. Their breasts are lost to their ribs. The bones of their hips protrude like baskets. Herding the women forward through the town are half a dozen young men…They strike the women when they move slowly or clumsily. They yank them back to their feet by their hair when they collapse……she looks away whenever one of the skeletons meets her eye…..Why did the Turks take their clothes?....They don’t usually unless they are planning to kill them….Degrade the survivors perhaps.”