by Nicole Nordstrom, Joyce Chang, and Kitty Hu
Exploring Living Testimony of 'Home' for Holocaust Survivors Living in Los Angeles
The inspiration for this project came during a trip to Yad Vashem this January. As I (Nicole) walked through the Children’s Memorial and witnessed one million lights representing the children who died in the Holocaust, I was deeply moved to meet those children who survived and lived in my neighborhood of Los Angeles. A few weeks later, I met Jacob Bresler, a 90-year-old Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who sat in on my German History class. Spurred by desire to bear witness to his testimony, I sat down with Jacob twice a week for 2 months to learn the details of his Holocaust experience. At first, I was so uneasy around him, I was so afraid of asking the hard questions. But time and time again, Jacob would tell me, “I live to tell; I live so that your generation will remember after I am gone.” My kinship with Jacob has created a deep personal connection to the Holocaust and the individuals that bear these narratives. Combining our passions for storytelling, videography, photography, and Holocaust Education, Kitty Hu, Joyce Chang, and I have crafted a project to honor these survivors and personalize Holocaust testimony to a Jewish and non-Jewish audience at UCLA.
Over the past two months we have interviewed and photographed seven Holocaust survivors from the Cafe Europa and UCLA Bearing Witness Community. Each interview has explored questions relating to home life before, during and after the war. We ask survivors to walk us through their childhood home and describe the sensations and significant people who defined this place. We explore life in the concentration camps by asking questions about what temporary homes they had during this time. Lastly, we invite survivors to tell us about the chapters of their lives that came after the war. We ask about how each individual has built a home in Los Angeles and what is their greatest sense of pride and joy to date. Ultimately, this interview footage will be projected alongside the printed photographs in the Gindy Gallery at UCLA Hillel.
We are honored that the esteemed artist Joshua Abarbanel has agreed to jury the Student Fine Art Show.
Hillel at UCLA will be having the Student Fine Art show opening in the Spring quarter of 2018. We invite all undergraduate students to participate in the contest and share their beautiful ideas and artistic work with Hillel and the public. We want students to have the liberty to create anything possible with their imagination so submissions can be anything. In previous years, we received paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, even collages, and strange and exotic pieces of work, and many more so we encourage students to get creative and get motivated! We will be giving out prizes to the winning students.
An Art Exhibit on Mental Illness
curated by Tami Chalom
Click here for full exhibit.