Department of History

AHRC-funded project explores photography and the Holocaust

‘Photography, the Holocaust, and the Visualisation of Difficult Memories’ is an AHRC-funded cultural engagement project between the University of Nottingham and the National Holocaust Centre and Museum.

Photography is a medium employed extensively in Holocaust education and remembrance, drawing viewers into these events in powerful and often intensely moving ways. Yet what appear at first glance as neutral historical documents, conveying an ‘authentic’ glimpse of this difficult past, are overwhelmingly ‘perpetrator photographs’. Thousands of Nazi propaganda photographers and other implicated individuals created a photographic record of how they wanted later generations to remember this history. Photographs by victims of the regime, by contrast, are exceedingly rare. This raises difficult questions about how we view such images, display them in museums, and use them in educating the public about the Holocaust.

This project aims to enhance public awareness of the opportunities and pitfalls in visualising lessons from history generally and from the Holocaust in particular. The funded outcomes have been designed to enable visitors to the National Holocaust Centre, teachers who use the Centre’s educational materials, and the wider community of Nottingham to engage critically with the medium of photography, not just from this historical period, but as an integral part of political communication and mobilisation in the contemporary world.

At a workshop to be held at Bromley House Library, Nottingham on 9 April 2016, members of the public will be invited to record their reactions to several photographs from the Holocaust Centre’s main exhibition, and will hear explanatory talks by Maiken Umbach and Victoria Stiles. The project will also produce a related series of short videos and worksheets, which will be incorporated into the Holocaust Centre’s learning programmes, and will be presented to the public at a second workshop at the Holocaust Centre on 29 May 2016.

For further information about the project please email Maiken Umbach.

Posted on Thursday 24th March 2016

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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