This artwork represents a few significant aspects of Elise's life story. Born in Indonesia and orphaned at age three, Elise Officer was raised in a convent. During WWII she and her young son were taken prisoners of war by the Japanese and forced to share a six by eight foot cell with two other adults and three other children where she tried to shelter her son from seeing the daily, sadistic torture of other prisoners. Immediately following WWII, Elise was separated from her son when she was taken hostage during the Indonesian Civil War. She escaped and was reunited with her son and they later immigrated to the United States.
This story helps represent the third dimension of the memory cube -- that of content versus process. The continuum ranges from a focus on the final product and detail of the story versus a focus on the experience and process of telling the story. Elise wanted the content to be detailed and accurate for future generations. However, the process of telling such a traumatic story requires that those listening and helping be extremely sensitive to the emotional reaction and needs of the storyteller.