I've been trying to get ahead with my research by booking a librarian to guide me through the myriad of sources available at the Auckland Central City, however, my appointments have been rescheduled a few times for several reasons. I should be able to finally do this in the weekend. My next step is to look through the primary and secondary sources that I can find to grasp a better understanding of the lives of these Marie Marvingt and Ettie Rout and the difficulties they faced as brave women 100 years ago. I know I am somewhat behind in my research but I will do everything I can to catch myself up in time for the big trip, despite the forthcoming torrent of internals.
Meanwhile, I have been reading this beautiful book called Learning to Love You More by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher, a collection of items from their website of the same name, where readers are given assignments to do with the final creative product submitted on the website. One of the assignments is ‘Interview someone who has experienced war’. These intimate recollections of war life reveal the more human and painful aspects of war which are often left unspoken. No matter where the shots are fired, no matter where the blood is spilt, the residual suffering is universal. When we think about war, it is easy to forget that these are not just countries fighting against one another, but men and women, with individual stories and families and aspirations. Thus, these stories have really opened my eyes to the tragic nature of war, an experience that I will hopefully never have to witness for myself. In one of the pieces, in which the interviewee describes her experiences during the Biafran/Nigerian War, she says that “the women of the families of all the men in hiding would take them food and hide it for them in certain spots”. I think this is highly relevant to my inquiry as it demonstrates how the role of women in war is essential to the welfare of soldiers.
Tomorrow marks exactly a month until we depart for France. This year couldn’t have gone by sooner, and I can only hope that time will slow right down for those two sure-to-be-dazzling weeks, so I can fully savour each and every moment. As well as research for my inquiry, over the next month I will continue reading about the places that we are visiting in France, so as to be able to fully appreciate the sheer amount of art and history and culture that will surely render me speechless. So far I have been reading about Montmartre and the countless number of – now widely-celebrated – artists that once occupied that area. To be standing where Van Gogh and Picasso once cultivated their artistic genius will certainly be a surreal experience.