Holocaust Commemorations: Between the Digital and the Historical Site – Online Discussion

 Thursday September 17th 10.30am-noon (BST, UTC +1)

*feature image from Neuengamme on Twitter: @GedenkstaetteNG

The first major commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the last Nazi concentration camps was held at Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 2020. The in-person format of this event was however not to be repeated at other sites, where events had been planned for what became the lockdown period.

In this web discussion, colleagues from several concentration and death camp sites will discuss the relationship between digital technologies and sites of atrocity in relation to commemoration events. The discussion will explore strategies quickly adopted due to the Covid-19 Pandemic but will also more broadly reflect on the role of the digital for organisations that manage memory sites which are frequented for commemorative events and mourning.

  • To what extent can social media encourage new audiences to sites of atrocity?
  • What are the advantages and challenges of social media?
  • Does digital technology augment or diminish the embodied experience of visiting such memory sites?
  • What changes when commemoration events go online in comparison to the experience of hosting them on site?
  • Just the digital have a role in commemorations in the future when they return on site?

What can we learn from the sudden switch to remote, digital engagement-only during the pandemic, for the future of digital integration into (and beyond) sites of atrocity?

Sign up for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holocaust-commemorations-between-the-digital-and-the-historical-site-tickets-119992110633

You can share questions for our speakers before the event by sending them to @Holocaust_Digi on Twitter using the hashtag #DigiCommemoration. You are also welcome to share questions via the chat function in Zoom during the event, or ask your question during the session’s Q&A,

Speakers

Stephanie Billib has handled press and public relations for the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation since 2009. She has managed the Memorial’s “Digital Strategy” project since 2014, and she represents the Memorial in the research project known as “Visual History of the Holocaust” in the context of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. In connection with digital strategies, she is working with the SPECS research group in Barcelona to develop database-driven applications for visitor guidance, including a tablet application and a spatial application. Her research areas are Hungarian prisoners in Bergen-Belsen and connecting digital media and communication.

Dr. Iris Groschek studied art and history in Hamburg and Prague. She worked many years as an archivist. In 2009, she became head of the education department of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. Since 2016, she has been responsible for public relations and online communication of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, since 2020 for the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres Commemorating the Victims of Nazi Crimes.

Pawel Sawicki works as a press officer of the Auschwitz Memorial. He coordinates the social media activity and is the Editor-in-chief of the Auschwitz Memorial online monthly magazine Memoria. A guide. He has over 15 years of experience in journalism, mainly in radio as well as video editing & writing and photography. Author of the album Auschwitz-Birkenau. The place where you are standing…

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