“Young People Remember the Shoah” – competition and travelling exhibiton
UCEI – Ministry of Education
The National competition “Young People Remember the Shoah” – born in 2001 and reaching for the academic year 2023-2024 its XXII edition – is an educational tool addressed to the students of all school levels in order to promote studies and analysis of this dark page which marked European history of the 20th century.
Every year, pupils and students – according to their age and emotional development – are invited to, study, research, deepen and reflects on different historical, social and human issues and aspects of the Holocaust and the discrimination of the Jewish citizens, based on the year topic chosen by a committee of historians, educator and experts. The students’ restitution consist in many innovative works with different techniques that often wander the committee for their deepness and creativity in tackling such difficult topics. The winners of the competition are awarded by the Minister of Education, the President of the UCEI and by the President of the Italian Republic who receive them during the celebration for the “Remembrance Day”.
The travelling exhibition “Young People Remember the Shoah” was born with the idea of acknowledging the tireless work carried on by students and teachers all over Italy and showing and promoting the results of one of the best practice about teaching the Shoah – the National competition after which it takes its name- led by the Ministry of Education together with UCEI.
The exhibition has brought in a variety of Italian cities a selection of the best works received among the competion’s years that includes not only winners and honorable mentioned and reveals how such a delicate and complex issue can be developed through so many different techniques of expression: graphic and painting works, classroom walls, handmade drawings, installations, albums of different kinds and measures, theatre performance, songs, DVD videos, chats and remarkable pieces of historical and documentary research (sometimes supported by unpublished materials) realized by many institutes over the years and often linked to the history of their own local area. This heterogeneity testifies not only an in-depth analysis of the theme, but also a full participation, fantasy and imagination.
Among the themes developed through the works, visitors appreciate collections of testimonies, destruction of the social issue due to the Racial Laws of 1938, stories of salvation, the return and necessity of Memory transmission concerning what happened and current events happening worldwide concerning new forms of racism and discrimination.
The vitality, ardour and empathy expressed by these works – along with the analysis preceding their creation – are indicators of a shared and living Memory, made concrete and updated by these “young” narrative voices. In the last few years, students have showed a particular interest in what is currently happening in Europe and worldwide, where the massive increasing of immigration flows produces new forms of intolerance toward the “different”. Despite the due distinctions, the analogies observed by students between old and new acts of discrimination show how the study of the tragic event of Shoah plays a crucial role in raising the awareness of the new generations; remembering terrible memories can therefore foster a significant light of hope.
The exhibition welcomes thousands of students from all over the region where it takes place who are guided by other students between 16 and 18 years old, formed to walk around the space and through the topics the visitors.
The works exposed are also a great opportunity for teachers to get inspired by their colleagues and find new relevant ways to teach a challenging topic such as the Holocaust.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the sanitary restrictions, a digital version of the exhibition was created to reach students and teachers in their own schools all over the country
Italian students and teachers from any level, but also the general public.
Method / Format: Contest, exhibition and digital exhibition.
Language(s) of the project: Italian.