Hannah Verlin
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What Began, What Remains
In April 2015 I traveled to 3 countries (Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland) and 17 cities, seeing 6 ossuaries, a monastery of embalmed monks, over 16 bejeweled skeletons of pseudo saints, a chapel ornamented intricately with bones, and innumerable relics, representing over 120,000 individuals in all.

These skeletal remains quite literally bear the scars of history. Looking carefully though I found similar scars all around me: in the absence of peoples and cultures displaced or extinguished; in the buildings razed and rebuilt as though nothing had changed; in the simmering news of the Greeks and Germans squaring off over debt with talk of reparations for WWII. How deep go the wounds? To Napoleon? To the Roman Empire? I feasted on the past. I thought about the present. From these thoughts and experiences comes What Began, What Remains.

Photography by Bill Kipp