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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) organises academic events in order to provide the broader public as well as an expert audience with regular insights into the most recent research results in the fields of Holocaust, genocide, and racism research. These events, some of which extend beyond academia in the stricter sense, take on different formats ranging from small lectures to the larger Simon Wiesenthal Lectures and from workshops addressing an expert audience to larger international conferences and the Simon Wiesenthal Conferences. This reflects the institute’s wide range of activities.


The range of events further extends to the presentation of selected new publications on the institute’s topics of interest, interventions in the public space, the film series VWI Visuals, and the fellows’ expert colloquia.



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VWI invites/goes to...
Kathryn Brackney: Beyond Bearing Witness. Art and Literature after the Holocaust, 1945-1963

Wednesday, 24. April 2019, 15:00 - 17:00

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


VWI invites Institute for Contemporary Art at the Technical University Graz   

KateIn recent years, scholars have devoted increasing attention to memory of the Holocaust in the early postwar period before the Eichmann trial. This presentation highlights the cultural production of Jewish refugees during this period – but it focusses on forms of remembrance not primarily concerned with what has come to be known as 'bearing witness'. In contrast to the landmark memoirs of survivors like Primo Levi or Elie Wiesel, who attempted to document for the world the genocide of Europe’s Jews, writers and artists like Avrom Sutzkever and Marc Chagall turned to surreal visual vocabularies both to memorialize destroyed Jewish communities and to make sense of their own indeterminate position in the postwar world. The hybrid figures and liminal space in their work convey both an enduring sense of proximity to the dead and, often, distance from the living. Together, the art and literature featured in this presentation constitute an alternative tradition of Holocaust remembrance.

Commented by Milica Tomić

Kathryn Brackney is a Junior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies and a doctoral candidate in modern European intellectual and cultural history at Yale University. She was previously a fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the USC Shoah Foundation. Her article Remembering ‘Planet Auschwitz’ during the Cold War was recently featured in UC Berkeley’s journal, Representations.

Milica Tomić is an artist and head of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Technical University in Graz. Tomić’s collective as well as investigative art projects offer an innovative way to engage with new forms of memorialisation beyond existing commemorative practices. Since 2002, she has been a founding member of the Grupa Spomenik and in 2010 she developed the interdisciplinary project Four Faces of Omarska. Her exhibitions have been exhibited in among other places the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Kunsthalle and the MUMOK in Vienna, the KIASMA in Helsinki, as well as at the Biennales in Venice, Sydney, and Istanbul.

Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by latest Tuesday, 23 April, 12.00 am and bring your ID.

Click here to download the invitation as a PDF file.

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