EHRI Seminar in Greece on Holocaust Photography

EHRI Seminar Greece Readings of the Visual
Thursday, 6 December, 2018

The Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens, 18-19 October 2018

EHRI Seminar Readings of the Visual. Holocaust Photography and Education in the Digital Era

Οn 18-19 October 2018, the Jewish Museum of Greece and EHRI organized an international workshop on “Readings of the Visual. Holocaust Photography and Education in the Digital Era” at the Netherlands Institute at Athens. Over the last decades, the visual has become a vital part of education as well as an important topic in academic discussions. The workshop “Readings of the Visual” aimed at rethinking the role of Holocaust photography in the educational process taking under consideration the demands of the digital era. In a time when various photographs are disseminated through several channels (tv, social media etc.), how do we make use of photographs in a meaningful and reflective way? What can we learn from the new digital practices? The workshop combined theoretical debates along with considerations of the educational experience and suggested new ways of making the most of Holocaust photography in the educational process. Speakers of various professional backgrounds, including historians, archivists, museum curators, photography specialists and other relevant researchers presented their work.

The session topics included:

  • Holocaust photography as an educational tool: Where does photography fit into Holocaust education? How do we train young students to read Holocaust photography? How do we avoid the trap of sensationalism?
  • Terminology, methodology and ethics: Defining basic concepts; What do we mean by the term Holocaust photography? What are the limits? Photography of terror: uses and misuses.
  • Images and the archives: How do we manage large Holocaust photograph collections? How do we highlight smaller entities of Holocaust photographs when they belong in non-Holocaust related archives? What is the role of an archive in the dissemination of pictures (royalties, credits etc.)?
  • Deciphering the Shoah and its aftermath, one photograph at a time: We invited researchers who work with photography to reveal the  unique stories that lie within each photograph. Do we question photographs or do we try to understand them?
  • Digital humanities: New applications, new ways of dissemination. What are the lessons drawn from the new media? How do museums benefit from these applications, especially regarding their educational programs?

The workshop concluded with a roundtable of invited distinguished scholars discussing the topic Photography of terror: uses and misuses”. 

Seminar Poster by the Jewish Museum of Greece