“Graphic novels illuminate vivid memories of the Holocaust” – UVic News

A UVic-based, international project that connects accomplished graphic artists with Holocaust survivors to transform their vivid stories into compelling visual narratives released excerpts last month from a forthcoming collection of graphic novels in time for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, in honour of those whose stories have not or cannot be told.

With partners on three continents, the Narrative Art and Visual Storytelling in Holocaust and Human Rights Education project teaches a global audience about racism, antisemitism, human rights and social justice while illuminating one of the darkest times in human history.

Filling in the blanks

Since 2019, artists Gilad Seliktar (Jerusalem, Israel), Miriam Libicki (Vancouver, Canada) and Barbara Yelin (Munich, Germany) have worked closely with survivors Nico and Rolf Kamp (Amsterdam, Holland), David Schaffer (Vancouver, Canada) and Emmie Arbel (Kiryat Tiv’on, Israel) plus a team of researchers, students and community partners to co-create graphic narratives based on the personal experiences of each survivor before, during and after the Holocaust.

“Sharing the stories of survivors is particularly important in these divided times. Again we are seeing a rise in antisemitism, ardent nationalism, and threats to democracy in Europe and North America. Understanding where this led us in the past is crucial to preventing history from repeating itself in the future.”
Charlotte Schallié, Holocaust historian and chair of UVic’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, who leads the initiative

Storyboard. Graphic artist Barbara Yelin of Gemany and Holocaust survivor Emmie Arbel of Israel for Emmie’s story, But I Live (Photo credit: Barbara Yelin).

Through their illustrations, the artists are able to depict memories of situations for which there are few, if any, forms of visual record.

To fill in any blanks and ensure a high degree of accuracy, the artists collaborate with the project’s researchers and historians to compare the survivors’ recollections with the testimonies of other survivors and verify certain details through existing historical records. The artists then translate these memories into a narrative form, sketch out rough storyboards, and bring them back to the survivors for approval.

Full article and illustrations continue on the website: https://www.uvic.ca/news/topics/2021+holocaust-graphic-novel+news