KOLDO MITXELENA KULTURUNEA hosts SEEING AUSCHWITZ photography exhibition
Seeing Auschwitz exhibition open until July 3 at KOLDO MITXELENA Kulturunea (KMK). The exhibition invites us to reflect on the true dimension of the horrors committed by Nazi Germany through a thorough analysis of the small photographic evidence that has survived to this day.
The exhibition, has been produced by the Department of Culture of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and created by Musealia, in collaboration with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, in association with the United Nations and UNESCO and with the participation of Centro Sefarad-Israel.
Musealia has worked together with a team of experts led by the British Paul Salmons, Chief Curator of the exhibition, internationally recognized as one of the most important specialists in education of the Holocaust.
Throughout more than 500 m2, Seeing Auschwitz presents portraits of victims and perpetrators, as well as snapshots of the extermination process. This handful of surviving photographs has created our collective image of the camp but, at the same time, propose a challenge to the visitor.
Through its 5 exhibition spaces, the visitors are provided with the tools that allow them to critically analyze what each image truly reveals, not only about the place and time, but also about those who took them, the people portrayed, and even of ourselves as audience.
“Memory, individual and collective, is usually constructed, to a large extent, by images. The Seeing Auschwitz exhibition is an invitation to critically analyze the sources with which the history of this place has been anchored in the collective imagination” stated Luis Ferreiro, CEO of Musealia. “To be able to show this project at the KMK is of special significance for us. Every exhibition is a conversation with the visitor, and being able to do this at our hometown, with our fellow citizens, is a unique opportunity which we are very grateful for” he concluded.
The exhibition has been created by Musealia, together with a team of experts led by the British Paul Salmons, internationally recognized as one of the greatest specialists in education and the Holocaust of today.
In the words of Salmons: “Seeing Auschwitz explores how different photographs present radically different perspectives of the same time and place. The pitiless lens of the perpetrator is juxtaposed with images created by the victims themselves; photographs of the SS relaxing a short distance from the largest killing centre on earth are displayed alongside pre-war photos of the people they murdered. From these fragments, a fuller picture and a deeper understanding of the meaning of Auschwitz begins to emerge.”
Seeing Auschwitz includes also testimonies of survivors in an audiovisual format, in addition to detailed information on the Basque deportees during the Holocaust and the personal story of a Real Sociedad fan deported to Auschwitz. Likewise, other contemporary forms of violence are portrayed as a prelude to the expanded program that will take place in parallel to the exhibition from February to July 2021.
Musealia is a Spanish company dedicated to create high-quality exhibitions for museums and institutions around the world. With more than 20 years of experience, their exhibitions are characterized by their emotional touch and their narrative and informative character. Nearly five million people have visited one of their creations in the more than 40 museums and institutions with which Musealia has worked so far.
About the Auschwitz – Birkenau state museum
Poland has been working since 1947 to preserve the area and the remains of the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp, making it accessible through the creation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, located in Oświęcim, and its exhibitions. Thanks to his work at the Museum-Memorial, the more than 1,100,000 people who were murdered at Auschwitz and those who survived the genocide today have a voice in history. In the past years all its visitor records were beaten, exceeding 2.3 million visits.
about the partnership with ONU / UNESCO
The United Nations organization is made up of 193 member states, committed to maintain international peace and security, fostering friendly relations among nations, and promoting social progress, improving the standard of living and human rights. Through its Holocaust Outreach Program, in 2018, together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Musealia was commissioned to create Seeing Auschwitz. Opened, for the first time, at its headquarters in New York (UN) and Paris (UNESCO), the exhibition was conceived as a key tool in its dissemination mission, which aims to prevent acts of genocide in the future by reminding the world of the lessons learned from the Holocaust. This goal is also included in their Agenda for Education 2030.