Testimony has always posed challenges for educators: for example, whether to treat it as historical source or personal memory; how testimony transform over time; the trauma-literacy of recipients and the well-being of testimony-givers. Nevertheless, digital technologies introduce further complications, especially concerning access, provenance, ownership, and agency.
As part of the “Digital Holocaust Memory: Hyperconnective Archives and Museums of the Future” research project, a team led by the University of Sussex and University of Bern have run a series of co-creation workshops focused on six core themes. The aim of these workshops has been to adopt a fast approach to research recognising that we need to be more reactive to changing digital environments. The workshops have been based on a model of global, trans-sector and transdisciplinary participation. The question driving the research has been: what happens when we bring together a wide range of experts and stakeholders (quickly) – what can we produce?
In this lecture, Dr Walden will present the initial outcome of the two workshops on the theme ‘digitally recording, recirculating and remixing testimony’ which brought together scholars, archivists, Holocaust educators, artists and filmmakers from the UK, USA, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Israel, including colleagues who have been involved in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony project. The presentation will introduce the broader project and its methodology, before focusing on the recommendations designed to support the global Holocaust education, museum, and archive sectors for the future. In the spirit of participation that has informed this project from its beginnings, discussion, debate, ideas, actions, and suggestions for memory activism are deeply encouraged from attendees during the session.
Dr. Victoria Grace Walden is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning Enhancement in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities and Sussex Weidenfeld Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. She has published widely on the topics of digital and mediated Holocaust memory, the digital and memorial museums, and media education and digital technologies. She is author of the monograph Cinematic Intermedialities and Contemporary Holocaust Memory (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), editor of Digital Holocaust Memory, Education and Research (Palgrave Macmillan 2021), a recent special edition of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History on digital Holocaust memory and education before and after Covid (2021) and the forthcoming open access e-book The Memorial Museum in the Digital Age (2022). She has worked as digital coordinator for the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), and has been an academic advisor to the UN/UNESCO, Claims Conference, and the Imperial War Museums. She is also editor-in-chief of the award-winning research platform www.digitalholocaustmemory.com and Primary Investigator on the project ‘Digital Holocaust Memory: Hyperconnective Archives and Museums of the Future’ funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and the University of Sussex.