Institute News

IWitness Partnership with Memory Project Productions Connects Art and Testimony

Israel Dubner, left, and his brother YulekUSC Shoah Foundation has partnered with The Memory Project Productions to debut a new IWitness activity and incorporate testimony into the organization’s curriculum.

The Memory Project Productions offers a free curriculum that gives students a historical perspective of the Holocaust, and also enables them—as artists, storytellers, and creators—to connect to their own family histories, of memory, of loss, and of the transformational power of the creative process.

Students watch short videos, write, learn interview techniques and draw portraits of Holocaust survivors with pastels, working from historical photographs provided in the curriculum.

The Memory Project partnered with USC Shoah Foundation on the new IWitness activity Resilience Through Art – The Memory Project, which debuted on Day 90 of IWitness’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program.

In the activity, students learn the story of a young boy named Kalman, who did not survive the Holocaust but who inspired his future niece, artist Roz Jacobs, to paint his portrait based on a single photograph and her mother’s memories of him. Students then watch the testimony of Israel Dubner, who shows photographs and talks about his own brother Yulek who died in the Holocaust.

At the end of the activity, students draw a portrait of Yulek based on one of six photographs of him, and reflect on the impact of art as a form of remembrance.

In addition to this IWitness activity, The Memory Project Productions will include additional materials from the USC Shoah Foundation’s testimonies in its curriculum, Testimony images and clips may also be incorporated into The Memory Project Productions’ public exhibitions and art workshops.

“We are thrilled to work with the USC Shoah Foundation and their extensive archive and wonderful education staff.  We see so many opportunities to develop activities and reach new audiences by combining testimony and art,” said Laurie Weisman, executive director of The Memory Project Productions.

More IWitness activities are also in the works, which will be accessible on IWitness and The Memory Project’s website. Some of these activities will be in Hungarian and Polish, two countries where The Memory Project is active. You can access The Memory Project Productions’ free curriculum materials at memoryprojectproductions.com