Creativity in Captivity

Dahlan Foah and Honora Foah with Dr Francesco Lotoro

How is it possible to retain our humanity in the worst of circumstances? When everything is taken, what remains that allows us to survive not only, or not even, in body, but in spirit?  What is it, in the power of creation, that activates what is most meaningful inside ourselves?

These are the questions that inspired conductor Dahlan Foah and Honora Foah of Imagination Institute to partner with Italian concert pianist, composer and musicologist, Dr. Francesco Lotoro, to launch Creativity in Captivity.

A year long series of concerts and events, Creation in Captivity will also support the work Lotoro has been doing over the last 22 years to copy, record and preserve music written by prisoners interned in WWII concentration camps.

It is said that the Devil asked God for a free hand to do what he liked with the world and God gave him the 20th century. The result was two huge world wars and a level of violence and killing that is unimaginable in its scope and horror. The greatest depth in this horror were the Nazi concentration camps. The images of huge incinerating ovens, of lines of emaciated innocent people, of piles of bones, are so dark and evil it’s hard to contemplate them.

It’s hard to imagine how, under such appalling circumstances, the human spirit finds enough energy and courage to create, to bring something new into such a brutal world. But somehow people did find the courage to do so. The purpose of “Creativity in Captivity” is to celebrate this courage and its musical expression.

Dr. Lotoro explained: “ If we think of it, no one can control the creative energy of mankind. In fact, the creativity of mankind multiplies the more difficult, the more restrictive, the more limited the situation. It was generally a sentiment of many of those who knew they would not survive to leave a testament, they had nothing. They couldn’t leave their house, their belongings. They had nothing. . . . So people who were maybe even resigned to an atrocious death, had all the more reason to create artisticall. . . . The process of creating music was something close to the heart, a testament of the heart.”

Mythic Imagination has partnered with Dr. Lotoro to insure the permanence of the archive and help to continue his research and recording, as well as bringing the works to America and creating performances.  Creativity in Captivity is presenting events, exhibitions, conversations, podcasts and films exploring the power of creation to activate what is most meaningful in situations of captivity. Dahlan and Honora Foah conceived of, produced and directed the concert. Dahlan is the president of Visioneering® International Inc. and Honora is the president of Mythic Imagination Institute.

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