Travelling Exhibition: I Have Not Seen Another Butterfly Around Here: Children’s Drawings from Terezín Ghetto
2. 2. 2022 Overview news
In October 2021 the South African Holocaust & Genocide received the pop-up travelling exhibition entitled I Have Not Seen Another Butterfly Around Here: Children’s Drawings from Terezín Ghetto. The exhibition, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Jewish Museum in Prague, focuses the art and poetry of Jewish children incarcerated in the Terezín Ghetto in Czechoslovakia during World War II.
The exhibition was opened at a small event at the Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre (CTHGC). We were honoured to have in attendance Ambassador of the Czech Republic H.E. Dr Pavel Řezáč, and Counsellor-Minister Ms Alice Mžyková, who travelled from Pretoria and delivered the opening address and words of welcome, respectively. Dr Zuzana Pavlovská, head of the Department for Education & Culture at the Jewish Museum in Prague travelled to Cape Town for the week of the exhibition opening, and delivered a keynote address.
The following night, Dr Zuzana Pavlovská gave a fascinating lecture about the history and collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague. She also conducted an in-depth workshop with our volunteer guides on the pop-up exhibition, sharing valuable knowledge and insights that we have been able to incorporate into our educational programming. Zuzana also ran on-campus workshops with learners from Herzlia High School on the children’s art and poetry, and did a presentation to over 300 learners at Westerford High School.
The exhibition has been a wonderful educational tool with which to teach about the Holocaust, specifically through the eyes of the child victims of the Nazis. In the space of 2 months, approximately 300 high school learners (along with their teachers) interacted with the exhibition during their respective visits to the CTHGC, with many reporting it to be moving, enlightening, and a highlight of their experience at the Centre. In November, the education team ran a training workshop for new volunteer educators, who used the exhibition to practice their guiding. The exhibition will travel to CTHGC sister museums in Johannesburg and Durban in 2022.
Exhibition Opening Event (20 October 2021)
Zuzana Pavlovská Lecture (21 October 2021)
Workshop with Zuzana and CTHGC Volunteer Guides (22 October 2021)
“Thank you for making this happen for us right here at the southern tip of Africa. The past three days were a tour de force. I am overwhelmed and so grateful.”
“Thank you Zuzana for an outstanding and emotional presentation on the children in Terezin through their artwork. We look forward to one day receiving the children’s magazine [Vedem] in English.”
“I could have listened to Zuzana all day. The stories and relevance to us – sad and awesome at the same time. I felt like I was in Prague for the morning.”
Visit to Westerford High School (21 October 2021, approx. 300 learners)
“Insightful and moving talk, clearly capturing the students’ attention from beginning to end.”
“Thank you, your contribution to their learning is valued by us all.”
Herzlia High School (21 & 27 October 2021, Grade 8-10, 150 learners)
“Informative, inspiring and life-affirming.”
“An interesting and moving exhibition, which provides insight and meaning. It supported our study of Holocaust poetry perfectly.”
“We were touched at how pupils of different ages worked together, discussing a subject that was universally relevant to them, irrespective of age – very powerful.”
“Thank you for a powerful learning opportunity, everyone who attended benefited tremendously from Zuzana’s expertise.”
“A very powerful, moving, heart-wrenching programme.”
“I thought it was very moving to see how young children (some our age) lived their lives. Seeing the artwork showed life from their perspective.”
“I liked that we got time to analyse the poems and really pay attention to what both the artwork and the poems were saying.”
“Incredibly moving and touching. It makes me grateful to be able to attend a Jewish school and say I am Jewish proudly.”
“Very beneficial. The topic of cultural and recreational activities of the children in the ghettos/ camps is not often covered at school.”
“Great experience, really nicely thought out and presented. The more we learn, the better we can share.”
“To see the poems and artwork was such an honour and really created perspective for me. I feel very grateful to be able to visit this exhibition, as it shows what a difference one person can do.”
“I love poetry, and to read poems of such significance is very inspiring.”