Opening Program to Feature Andrew Natsios; Former Sudanese Slave; Darfurian Refugee; and Holocaust Survivor
October 28, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will project wall-size images from South Sudan onto the exterior of the building during “Our Walls Bear Witness: Sudan at the Crossroads” to highlight the lives at stake as the region prepares for a referendum on independence scheduled for January 2011. The Director of the Museum’s genocide prevention program, Michael Abramowitz, and former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, recently returned from a bearing witness trip to South Sudan. Accompanied by award-winning Washington Post photographer Lucian Perkins, they documented conversations with survivors of the Sudanese civil war, political leaders and civilians. The images will be shown November 8–10, from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. as part of FotoWeek DC’s Night Gallery.
On November 8, the Museum will launch the display with a public program featuring remarks by Abramowitz; Natsios; human rights activists Simon Deng, a former Sudanese slave, and Darfurian refugee Omar Ismail; and Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer Margit Meissner. The event, beginning at 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Although the country’s civil war ended in 2005, the images and testimonies we captured in South Sudan reveal a population devastated by decades of war and mass atrocities, but determined to proceed with the referendum and build their future,” said Abramowitz. “The tensions are palpable but we came away convinced violence can be avoided. We hope the public display of these images will help in raising awareness of the potential dangers there.”
In 2006, the Museum projected images taken of the destruction in Darfur, Sudan, and its effect on survivors onto the exterior of the building to draw attention to the atrocities being committed by the Sudanese government against the region’s civilian population. In 2008, the Museum participated in Washington, DC’s inaugural FotoWeek, by projecting pictures of Holocaust survivors onto the building in memory of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
More information about the trip to South Sudan and the Museum’s FotoWeek DC schedule is available at www.ushmm.org. A full schedule of events can be found at www.fotoweekdc.org. Other participants include the American Red Cross, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, the Human Rights Campaign buildings, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Newseum, Satellite Central (M St. – Georgetown), and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.