Linda Ellia, a painter and photographer from Paris, was confronted with the French translation of Hitler’s book «Mon Combat». She was shocked at first. Then she started to tear out pages, to paint and write on them, or to tear off extracts in order to express her fury in protest. She intended to finish with that book and to destroy it up to the last page, but she thought about other people and forced herself to stop. She had the idea of sharing this experience with others and going down the same path with them in order to confront death. She distributed the pages to various people, friends and unknown passers-by from different places. She asked them to react to the text in whichever way and then to return it to her. Her aim was to cover that horrible thing with something else. She stated:

 

«In our days peoples still experience the same injustices in the world. How could one individual impose his cruelty and execute so many innocent people?»

 

The post returned the materials to Linda Ellia, transformed with pictures, cartoons, slogans, omissions, impressive comments and such a diversity of ideas one could not dream of. The results were displayed in a thrilling exhibition in Geneva which was as inspiring as her book: «Notre Combat», published in 2007.

 

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Exhibition Linda Ellia at Theater Forum Meyrin, Jan/Feb. 2009
Photo Thierry Ruffieux

 

The last words of her preface read as follows:

 

…« This battle is not an isolated act; I plan to continue the action by the means of an association which shall encourage artists who strive to defend a cause. This addresses all disciplines of art. One laureate will be elected every year. The objective of this award is to help committed artists realize their projects.»