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Women at the Frontline of Mass Violence and Genocide

Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives
Queensborough Community College
222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, NY 11364
August 15-September 15, 2016
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

Reception and panel discussion: Sunday afternoon, August 28, 2016.

 Women at the Frontline

Photo, top: Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel (right) discusses sexual violence during the Holocaust, with panelist Patrice Bensimon, Yahad in Unum. Photo bottom, left to right: Dr. Amy Traver, Queensborough Community College; Dr. Dan Leshem, Kupferberg Center.

The Women at the Frontline of Mass Violence and Genocide photography exhibit had its U.S. premiere at the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College, in partnership with the French organization Yahad-In Unum. Yahad-In Unum, which created the exhibit, is a global human rights organization focusing on researching and denouncing genocidal and mass violence.

The exhibit, featuring 19 photographs and video testimonies of female victims of genocide and mass violence throughout the world, ran from August 15 until September 15, 2016. In cooperation with Remember the Women Institute, there was a reception and panel discussion on Sunday afternoon, August 28, 2016.

The result of more than a decade of Yahad’s investigations and interviews, the exhibit depicts female survivors of genocides spanning over 60 years. These survivors include Jewish women who survived the Nazi extermination of Jews in Eastern Europe (the Holocaust by Bullets), Roma survivors of the Nazi genocide against them, indigenous women victimized during the Guatemala conflict during the 1980’s, and Yazidi women who survived the genocide being perpetrated today by Isis in Iraq and Syria.

"From our investigations into the victims of genocide and mass violence, Yahad has seen that women have suffered in a specific way: as victims of sexual violence, forced abortion, sterilization, or sexual slaves," explains Patrice Bensimon. "Our mission with this collection is to give a voice to these women, and in doing so, to give them back the dignity that was stripped from them. Violence against women during mass killings and genocide is an issue in its own right that needs to be further studied by scholars and better known by the public at large. We also want to show that the lessons from World War II have not been heeded, and genocide and mass violence to continue into the present with no sign of slowing down."

The panel discussion on Sunday, August 28, 2016, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM included: Patrice Bensimon, Director of Yahad-In Unum Research Center; Dr. Rochelle Saidel, founder and Executive Director of Remember the Women Institute; and Dr. Amy Traver, Associate Professor of Sociology at Queensborough Community College. Get tickets.

About the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives
The mission of the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives is to use the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

About the Remember the Women Institute
Remember the Women Institute, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in New York City, conducts and encourages research and cultural activities that contribute to including women in history. Special emphasis is on women in the context of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Through research and related activities, the stories of women—from the point of view of women—are made available to be integrated into history and collective memory. Our work is intended to influence academic research and publications in a variety of fields, as well as theatre, fine arts, film, and popular culture. Remember the Women Institute has published books and organized groundbreaking panels on women and the Holocaust, including the topic of sexual violence during the Holocaust.

About Yahad-In Unum
Yahad-In Unum Yahad combines the Hebrew word for "together," with the Latin phrase In-Unum, meaning "one." Founded in 2004 by Father Patrick Desbois, the organization is dedicated to identifying and documenting World War II killing sites against Jews and Gypsies throughout Eastern Europe. Its mission is to discover facts of genocidal practices wherever they are and provide a voice of protest on behalf of all victims of genocide and mass violence. For this reason, Yahad will open the doors of the Holocaust Museum in Guatemala in early 2017.

Action Yazidis is an initiative of Yahad-In Unum, created in 2014, to document and offer evidence of every step of the Yazidi genocide committed by ISIS, following a similar plan of education as Yahad-In Unum. Testimony is gathered, verified and broadly disseminated. Interviews are held with Yazidi victims of all ages. The eye-witness accounts of those who escaped slavery and imprisonment by ISIS are crossed-referenced with other sources, including photographs and written material, as well as from separate testimonies.

Action Yazidis and Yahad-In-Unum are not politically affiliated, nor do they advocate any political, economic or military action be taken by any group or nation. Rather, their mission is to uncover facts of genocidal practices wherever they are found and provide a voice of protest on behalf of all victims and potential victims of genocide.

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