Visualising the past through graphic novels. Prompting local involvement for Holocaust remembrance in Romania

The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania (INSHR-EW)

Content /Topic:

A national survey condoned in 2021 in Romania shows that 65% of the respondents still externalize responsibility toward Germany, as the main perpetrator of the Holocaust in Romania. It is both a lack of knowledge and a matter of thinking what is particular in general terms. To circumvent this problematic approach, our project proposes a local perspective materialized in two objectives:

1. To frame Holocaust memory by emphasizing local specificities and boost local awareness.

2. To construct tools that will make visible the diversity of Holocaust victims.

Our aim is to take the story of the Holocaust in Romania to a micro-historical level, to particularize victimhood and to pinpoint the diversity of actors participating to the Holocaust (Jewish and Roma victims, local civilians, representatives of the state). Considering all these narratives equally relevant, the project follows a multiperspectivity approach by given voice to stories of Roma and Jewish men and women, from different regions of Romania,  but also to local civilians or representatives of the state recuperated as perpetrators, silent bystanders or active upstanders.

Therefore, we propose a set of ten outdoor exhibitions that will tell the story of the Jews and Roma from ten cities/counties. The localities were selected to cover the multiple facets of the Holocaust under Romanian authority, being primarily interested by places where there are few or no local recollections regarding Holocaust. Each exhibition will have eight panels, six covered by the project team and two by high school students from each city.

Each exhibition is exhibited for two months in the downtown of each selected city.

Target groups: High school teachers, high scholl students, the general public from the ten selected cities and Bucharest.

Method / Format: Ten local graphic novel exhibitions, one national graphic novel exhibition, one published graphic novel album.

Language(s) of the project: Romanian.

The project is funded by the European Union within the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV).

Visualising the past through graphic novels © INSHR-EW

Visualising the past through graphic novels © INSHR-EW