For nineteen years Vanier College has organized an annual symposium aimed at educating students about the Holocaust and genocide as well as sensitizing young people to the dangers of racism, bigotry, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.
A week of speakers and activities
This year’s theme of “Creativity and the Holocaust” will explore creativity in poetry, painting, music, sculpture, or theatre that is derived from the experiences of Holocaust and genocide survivors. The week-long event that runs from April 16 to 20, features art exhibitions, films, and guest speakers including many Holocaust survivors who will recount their own experiences.
Art, censorship and access on the Web
Susan Bisonnette, a Librarian at Vanier, will launch the Symposium on Monday April 16, with her presentation: “Artists, Creativity and the Holocaust.” After writing her thesis on Italian art and fascism, Susan Bisonnette’s interests expanded to include censorship, art, and access to reliable information on the World Wide Web.
Also on Monday and a various times throughout the week, Sebastian Knotz, an 18-year-old Austrian Gedenkdiener will present a multi-media educational program, Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future, which looks at the Shoah as well as the Armenian and Rwandan genocides to address the threat created by ignorance, indifference, discrimination, racism, and moral cowardice.
Other speakers include Eva Kuper who was born at the start of WW II in Poland and survived the war thanks to luck and the courage of several individuals. Eva will present the film “Hidden Children, Unknown Heroes” (2009). Among several Holocaust survivors who will speak during the week is Paul Herczeg, who will make a presentation, entitled “Lessons from a Graduate of Auschwitz and Dachau”.
Ron Headland art exhibition Holocaust Impressions 1993-1995
In keeping with the Symposium’s theme of “Creativity and the Holocaust”, an exhibition of paintings Holocaust Impressions, 1993-1995, by retired Vanier teacher, Ronald Headland, will take place in the Carrefour and the Library, from April 16-20. The exhibition covers a period of the artist’s work that was deeply influenced by his research on the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, April 18 a Commemoration Ceremony will take place from 12:30 to 1:15 pm with a Candle-lighting ceremony, tributes to retired Vanier teacher Neil Caplan and the late Peter Kleinmann, and contributions from guests, staff and students.
The poster of this year’s event was designed by Communications: Art, Media and Theatre student Lauren Toutikian who won a College-wide contest.
Check the Symposium schedule for details of activities and a complete list of events.