Cultiver la mémoire > German Garden of Peace, 2018
Built on a ridge on the Chemin des Dames, the village of Vieux Craonne was completely destroyed during the First World War. Today, a seven hectare arboretum grows down the valley that was once devastated by battles and bombs. In the midst of the trees, the German landscaper Thilo Folkerts has outlined three circles with a metal ring, each of them highlighting the bumpy topography of the site. Inside the ring, thousands of bulbs will be planted every year, by locals and by visitors. The intervention by Thilo Folkerts is based on a simple idea, that of the battlefield, where the land is not worked by the plough, but by the violence of war. By reversing this and adding a planting process to the site instead of just a shape, Thilo Folkerts’ project is participating in the work of memory. To re-awaken the memory of Old Craonne, every visitor will be involved and each visitor will be invited to plant a bulb in the traumatised soil. With different flowers, the three gardens will bloom at different times of the season, lighting up the undergrowth with pristine white snowdrops or bright purple crocuses.