A major retrospective of global genocide is the focus of “Testimony across the Disciplines: Queensborough Community College Students Respond to Genocide through Art, Music, Dance and Writing.” The featured artworks, narratives, poems and live performances are the culmination of a year-long project that had students explore and respond to the consequences of genocide, mass atrocity and societal injustice.
The exhibition opens on Thursday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. at the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives (KHRCA) and will showcase projects completed by 300 students and 20 faculty members from ten academic disciplines and five colleges. Photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors, writings on the Parsley Massacre of Haitians in the Dominican Republic and videos of students interviewing formerly incarcerated women are just a few of the compelling projects on display.
The opening art reception will be immediately followed by a live performance of musical presentations, student choreographed dance pieces and searing spoken word performances, including one entitled “I am Genocide”, at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC) from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m.
“The inspiration for this exhibition and performance was the desire to empower students and improve learning by allowing students to showcase their own research. This rigorous, year-long academic experience will document students’ creative responses to their study of discrimination, empathy, bias and genocide,” said Cary Lane, Instructor in the Department of Academic Literacy. “The result is a powerful, multi-disciplinary, student-led capstone event that will have a lasting and powerful impact.”
Professor Lane and Dr. Steven Dahlke, Assistant Professor in the Music Department, are Co-Project investigators of the NEH Challenge/KHRCA Colloquia Series grant. The grant’s mission is to enrich students’ knowledge of the humanities by engaging students in faculty-mentored scholarly initiatives.
Throughout the project students worked closely with faculty, Holocaust survivors, victims, offenders of incarceration, and genocide scholars. The students also prepared for their responses by engaging in interdisciplinary research collaborations, writing workshops and curatorial projects.
Dr. Dan Leshem, Director of the KHRCA, said that “exhibitions on this scale reinforce the role of the Center as an essential resource for the entire community to learn about urgent issues around the world through art, film, scholarly work, historical artifacts and living testimony. This exhibition serves as a catalyst for visitors to envision a better future.”