Dr. Jeremy Maron, Curator of Holocaust and Genocide Content, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
This session will take the form of a moderated discussion on unconventional methods of Holocaust representation, adopting Roberto Benigni’s “Holocaust fantasy” Life is Beautiful as a starting point.
The discussion will ask participants their thoughts on what they think are particularly effective approaches towards Holocaust representation, as well as approaches that they think are less effective or even inappropriate, and why this is so. Can less conventional forms of representation offer different or unique insights into the Holocaust than more traditional historical narrative examinations? Does the Holocaust demand or obligate those that are creating representations to adopt particular strategies or forms? How do we sense when a Holocaust representation “works” or “does not work”, or is “appropriate” or “inappropriate”?
Participants are asked to view Life is Beautiful beforehand (which they must locate on their own) as well as read two short articles on Benigni’s film (which will be provided to participants in advance of the discussion) – one by Holocaust survivor Imre Kertész, who argues in favour of the film’s fabulist and comedic portrayal, and the other by film critic Linda Holt, who takes a more critical lens towards Benigni’s representational approach to the Shoah. Pre-reading list will be sent upon registration.