Braided and Unbraided Memories: The Journey of Helena Broder During the Holocaust
Wednesday March 22nd, 2023, 4:00pm
Baker Nord Center for the Humanities (206 Clark).
In Braided Memories: An Exhibition of Poetry, Image, and Sound, Chilean Jewish poet and author, Marjorie Agosín, and Chilean Jewish photographer, Samuel Shats bear witness as artists to the striking realities of refugees both past and present, real and imagined. They capture a universal truth of human struggles to find a home in arresting depictions of just a few who have faced such challenges. Agosín’s poems hover between Austria and Chile, shifting from the past of the Holocaust to the present in dizzying transitions forming narrative braids. Shats’s photography forms a dialogue with these migratory poems and expands the aesthetic experience of the audience, providing both relevant visual information and more subtle, complementary metaphors to Agosín’s poetic work.
This program is presented by Case Western Reserve University’s Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, the Office of Student Affairs, Judaic Studies Program, Max Kade Institute, Religious Studies, International Studies Program, Alianza Latina/Latin Alliance, CWRU’s Siegal Lifelong Learning, Beachwood and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Braided Memories: Diaspora, Memorialization, and Identity
Wednesday March 22nd, 2023, 7:00pm
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage; Free admission
What does it mean to seek refuge? How does it feel to be welcomed or denied entry into a new country? What does it mean to leave your home to seek safety far away? In the exhibition Braided Memories, Chilean Jewish poet, writer, and human rights activist Dr. Marjorie Agosín explores these questions and more through the story of her great grandmother, Helena Broder, who fled her home in Vienna for safety in Chile in the wake of Kristallnacht. Join Dr. Agosín for a conversation about the experiences of Jewish refugees in Chile and the power of art at the Maltz Museum with a poetry reading, artist talk, and moderated audience Q&A.
This program is presented in partnership between the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, CWRU’s Siegal Lifelong Learning, Beachwood, and Case Western Reserve University. Co-sponsorship by Case Western Reserve University’s Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, the Office of Student Affairs, Judaic Studies Program, Max Kade Institute, Religious Studies, International Studies Program, and Alianza Latina/Latin Alliance.
Braided Memories Exhibit: Opening Reception
Thursday March 23nd, 2023, 4:00pm
Kelvin Smith Library Art Gallery (first floor). Remarks by Dr. Agosín and the Chilean Jewish photographer, Samuel Shats. Exhibit runs through mid-May.
On the Threshold of Oblivion
Portraits of Holocaust Survivors in Chile
Friday March 24nd, 2023, 12:00pm-1:30pm
CWRU’s Siegel Jewish Lifelong Learning, Beachwood
Friday March 24nd, 2023, 4pm
CWRU’s Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, Clark 206
One of the worst examples of intolerance in history happened in Europe, during the years of Nazism, when millions of our fellow beings, for the mere fact of being supposedly different, were socially stigmatized. The Jews, the Romani and Sinti peoples, communists, homosexuals, the mentally or physically disabled, and political opponents were persecuted and mercilessly exterminated; millions lost their lives, others, fortunately, were able to flee from Europe or survive the horror of the genocide and were liberated at the end of the war.
Some survivors of this horrid tragedy of the Jewish community found refuge in this Chile, perhaps the corner farthest from the scene of war, and could remake their lives. The majority today has fallen and only a couple hundred remain, those who were young children or adolescents today are between 75 and 105 years old. This photographic work is based on the personal history of survival and reconstruction of 31 of these survivors of the Holocaust.
We have the conviction that, through the human impact of each story and the chosen visual treatment, emerges an aesthetic experience of multiple gazes, overwhelming, close, and un-erasable, and with a high formative content, strengthened by a subtle and intimate treatment, but also profound and sensitive to the use of symbolic language to speak about difficult themes like tolerance, the loss of memory, old age, death, resilience, and life constructed beneath the shadows of the past.
This program is presented in partnership between CWRU’s Siegal Lifelong Learning, Beachwood, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, CWRU’s Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, and CWRU’s Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, with the co-sponsorship of the Office of Student Affairs, Judaic Studies Program, Max Kade Institute, Religious Studies, International Studies Program and Alianza Latina/Latin Alliance at CWRU.