Shoah på Torget is a public manifestation complimentary to the international conference In Memory of Raoul Wallenberg: The Transformation of Memory – Jewish Perspectives at Berns. The installation revolves around the screening of Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah. The Film is 9,5 hours long and its screening is spread throughout two days, then the process repeats itself. The idea is to create an aesthetic statement by placing Shoah (Holocaust) in the public space, openly, where it belongs. The film itself is a non-dramatic, non-action account of testimonies – given by victims, passive perpetrators or active perpetrators – to the machinery of death. The film is also an account to the fact that the well organized annihilation of Europe’s Jews could not have happened had it not be for the active help or (to put it mildly) turning backs of local civilians, compatriots of the Jews in their respective counties.
Ultimately, at all times, one anonymous person will be sitting on the bench placed in front of the screen. That person represents the one voice, the one pair of eyes, the witness bearer – thus, symbolically connecting the installation to the person who did make a difference – Raoul Wallenberg. The installation is not the actual screening – it is an experiment. How many of the by-passers stop by, raise their heads, stay a few minutes? And how many people in reality stop their rush through life and pay attention to injustice, to expressions of racism, xenophobia and antisemitism? And out of those who make a stop – how many resort to action?
Shoah på Torget is meant as a symbolic penetration of the public space just as xenophobia and antisemitism quietly penetrate our surroundings until well entangled with us. The fact that you are reading this text makes you an integral part of this Installation.
Shoah på Torget visades på Raoul Wallenberg Torg 28-30 Oktober 2012.
Initiativ: Lizzie Oved Scheja, Föreningen för judisk kultur i Sverige.
Idé: Lizzie Oved Scheja, Tomas Franck och Kenneth Björk
Design: Tomas Franck, Swedlite
Poster design: Cecilia Undemark Péterfy