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The new Fotografiska For Life exhibition Fading Stories – pass them on exhibited at Fotografiska Stockholm uses an app to display 15 portraits of Holocaust survivors, interviewed and photographed by photographer Sanna Sjöswärd. The exhibition is a collaboration with the photographer Sanna Sjöswärd and Raoul Wallenberg Academy and will also comprise teaching material for schools to share these stories with current and future students.
“Already as a small child – I lived in orphanages until I was four years old – I had a dream to put the spotlight on injustice. Influencing people with powerful stories and experiences from the past to the present gives us not only insight into the lives of the last survivors of the Holocaust, but also an inner compass to offer direction in creating a better society for our fellow humans and for ourselves. I’ve always found it important to consider how we treat each other and to dare to stand up if you see someone being treated badly,” says Sanna Sjöswärd.
Seven portraits of Holocaust survivors taken by Sanna Sjöswärd was displayed during Almedalen Week 30 June 1–July 7 at S:t Hansgatan 24. This to highlight the need to ensure that survivors’ stories continue to be passed on once they themselves no longer can. The exhibition gained a lot of attention. The neo nazist group NMR tried to block the entrance and went into the exhibition hall with the seven old survivors of the Holocaust screaming “history-liers”. Hundreds of visitors and thousands followers in social media very active show their support and wish to share the democratic values with us and pass the survivors stories on.
Today, increasing polarisation in which different groups are pitched against each other means there is a desperate need for compassion and moral courage in the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg. Accordingly, the exhibition will open at Fotografiska on 27 August, Raoul Wallenberg’s Day the national day for equal rights, and civil courage.
“Fotografiska For Life exhibitions highlight important social issues and it’s frightening that we are once again living in an era where the idea of universal equality is being challenged and a greyscale of alternative histories are emerging. Fading Stories - pass them on makes it very apparent just how important moral courage and compassion are to all of us,” says Per Broman, founder and General Manager of Fotografiska Stockholm.
The material draws inspiration from Raoul Wallenberg’s protective passports throughout, employing a similar font. Raoul used his protective passports to save tens of thousands of people from Nazi purges. All the portraits and collected stories will also be exhibited in conjunction with the Holocaust Conference in Malmö, Sweden, in 2020.
“Acting against injustice is as important now as it was then. Raoul Wallenberg Academy prepares young people to act with moral courage in the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg for a more compassionate society. With Raoul Wallenberg’s actions and leadership as inspiration, each year we empower tens of thousands of young people with the courage to stand up for human rights and to lay the foundation for a resilient democracy,” says Johanna Westien, acting secretary-general of Raoul Wallenberg Academy.
In the exhibition material, survivors talk of their memories of the Holocaust. Some of them have hardly ever shared their stories before, while others went public with their horrific experiences several years ago – in order to share their knowledge and the insight that we must all help to ensure that history is not repeated. Among other things, they use their life experience to answer the following questions: What message would you offer the youth of today? How do you think we can act today to prevent hate?
Answers that inspire both reflection and the will to act…
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