Events Calendar

Trauma, Creativity and Bearing Witness Through Art

Thursday, March 28, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 4110
Poster for Bearing Witness Through Art

"Trauma, Creativity and Bearing Witness Through Art: Marian Kołodziej’s  Labyrinth"

Presented by Alyssa Logie
Responses from Amanda Grzyb and Sharon Sliwinski

Abstract: Beneath the shiny marble floor of a church in Harmęże, Poland, a nightmarish exhibit silently screams out the traumatic memories once held within the mind of Auschwitz survivor, Marian Kołodziej. Marian Kołodziej’s exhibition, “Negative of a Memory. Labyrinth,” (“The Labyrinth”) is a sensually-assaulting reminder of the horrors often repressed or buried in the minds of those imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps. As a Polish political prisoner who arrived at Auschwitz on one of the first transports, Marian Kołodziej witnessed countless atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against the European Jews and other targeted groups.
Kołodziej’s artwork, initially functioning as a catharsis for his own trauma, remains a testament to art’s unique ability to help survivors work through their traumatic pasts by rendering their trauma visible to the public. By giving form to Kołodziej’s unspeakable thoughts and traumatic memories, The Labyrinth also functions as a testament to the horrors of the Holocaust, a memorial to the victims of the Nazis, and a public reminder of the evils we are capable of perpetrating against one another.
This paper seeks to explore the mending potentials of the creative process for individual survivors of trauma in the context of genocide, as well as the witness function of survivor art when it is shared with the public to experience.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS Communications

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