Survivors’ Wall – new interactive video installation at the Holocaust Memorial Center

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Memorial day:

In 2011, August 23 has been declared as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. On the anniversary of the endorsement of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (aka Hitler-Stalin pact) victims of the two totalitarian systems that marked the history of the 20th century in Europe, the communism and Nazism, are commemorated on this day. This year at this occasion, the Holocaust Memorial Center will stage a new interactive video installation titled the Survivors’ Wall.

At the suggestion by the Prague conference European Conscience and Communism in June 2008, followed by the initiative of the ministers of justice of Hungary, Lithuania and Poland, the ministers of justice of the European Union at their meeting in Luxemburg in June 2011, declared the anniversary of signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as the memorial day of the victims of totalitarian dictatorships. By endorsing the document, the European Union aimed at taking a step toward strengthening the consciousness about the common European past and collective remembrance. For the first time on August 23 2011, Ministers of justice of the EU member states paid their homage to the victims at an international conference in the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

Joining to this important international initiative, the Holocaust Memorial Center will stage a wall of survivors, designed by Nóra Patrícia Kovács, student of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest. The wall is consisted of a screen with twenty projected videos running constantly. At the edges of the screen, two cameras capture the movements of the visitors. The system enlarges the video selected a visitor and plays it with voices on the whole screen. Several visitors can watch the video simultaneously, but only one can control it. The Survivors’ Wall has a priority mission, by introducing individual destinies to the visitors of the museum. The visitor selects himself/herself the interview and by this, he/she establishes a closer tie with the person, who managed to survive the holocaust.

The new installation will be available to the visitors during opening hours in the Synagogue of the Museum as of August 23 2012.

The ceremonial initiation of the installation will take place at 14,30 on August 28 2012.

Videos used for the installation:

Antal Blanka, Tibor Bános, Ágnes Barok, Sándor Bíró, Joli Engel, Dénes Kovács, Ágnes Müller, Zoltán Rappaport, Pál Schi_er, Vilmos Sugár, Ferenc Vadász, Tamás Valló and Gábor Verő, courtesy of the archive of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.More information:

Interviews with Miriam Amir, Chava Arni, Éva Reubeni, Lea Rosenblum, Márta Révész, EszterVárdi and Miriam Weiszer were recorded by Katalin Pécsi-Pollner.

Design by Nóra Patricia Kovács;

Interaction designed by Gábor Karcis;

Program by Dávid Mórász, students of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest.

Special thanks to Miklós Erhardt and János Szirtes, professors of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.

The installation was implemented by 2KAL Informatics and Services Ltd.