My name is Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, German media artist and curator and creator of numerous international projects dealing with “art & moving images”.
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 is representing the manifestation of SFC – Shoah Film Collection- my international initiative for Peace and Reconciliation dealing with the Holocaust - as a cultural event in Lithuania standing under the Patronage of European Parliament, to take place between 23 September and 1 November 2013 at two venues – Jewish Cultural Center of Vilnius and Regional Museum of Kedainiai (a city close to Vilnius) Due to the current financial crisis, the small budget of these hosting institutions are only able to realise a kind of minimum project constellation, while for the essential project components, e.g. the interventions, additional funding needs to be found via this funding campaign and your support: funding target $ 15.000.
The “Perks" are representing a wonderful way, to thank all supporters individually in a very personal way and establish a relation between the project creator and the supporter. For the supporter, it is particularly attractive, that – depending on the Perk value - he can select between different types of art works by artists represented in Shoah Film Collection, like individual video art works on DVD, compilations of 3 or more art videos on one DVD, several photo and digital prints as individual works or edition (5-50), and even some original art works are available as gifts for an higher financial support.
On the symbolical date of 27 January 2010, 65th return of he Liberation of the Concentration Camp of Auschwitz - I launched SFC -Shoah Film Collection - http://sfc.engad,org - an independent art project and international initiative addressed to young generations of artists and filmmakers to deal with the topic of Shoah (Holocaust) and collective trauma caused by totalitarianism by using new technologies and contemporary approaches in order to keep vivid the memory through sensitizing via art.
Each year on 27 January, a new call for the following year is released resulting meanwhile an outstanding collection of works of art & moving images, e.g. experimental and documentary art films and videos contributed by more than 50 artists from 14 countries. The deadline for 2013 has been extended to 31 July, thus SFC is still accepting submissions. Regulations and entryform an be found on http://www.nmartproject.net/netex/?p=1549
In order the present this collection of film and videos to a wider audience, I created a special event structure named " A Virtual Memorial - Commemorative Interventions" – http://avmci.a-virtual-memorial.org to be hosted by institutions of culture and art, placing SFC - Shoah Film Collection in the context of complementary interventions like lectures, a symposium, international artists meeting, exhibitions, performances, artists presentations and talks, discussions and much more, in order to activate the artists and well as the audience. In this way, the project becomes an important international initiative for peace and reconciliation.
In 2012, I realised the pilot project "A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012" http://riga2012.a-virtual-memorial.org under the Patronage of the European Parliament in collaboration with Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum, the Culture Project and Latvian Videoart Archives NOASS Riga and the European funding context "Artists for Change" 1-30 June 2012, supported by the Latvian based embassies of USA, Sweden, Austria and Israel. The documentation can be reviewed online on http://ateamartistsforchange.wordpress.com/category/latvian-category/
With this crowdfunding campaign, I would like invite you to help me to realise the manifestation of SFC _ Shoah Film Collection in Lithuania as "A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013" – to take place between 23 September and 1 November 2013 - standing again under the Patronage of the European Parliament - a collaboration with Jewish Cultural Center Vilnius and the Regional Museum of Kedainiai (a city close to Vilnius).
The opening of the project is scheduled for the 23 September 2013, the national memorial day for the Lithuanian victims of the Holocaust, the inauguration of exhibitions featuring films and videos and their making of, photographs and digital graphics. The international artists’ meeting and symposium will take place on 24-27 September 2013, including screenings, lectures, artists presentations and talks, discussions and other interventions like the performances by Doron Polak and Arturas Bumsteinas (Lithuanian sound artist). On 1 October, the project & the meeting of artists will move to the Regional Museum of Kedainiai, a former synagogue which was not destroyed by the Nazis, to be followed by the lectures, artists’ presentations and talks screenings and discussions on 2-4 October 2013.
Aims and target audience
For most people living these days, the Holocaust does not mean anything else than historical Past which does not affect them personally, at all. The project of Shoah Film Collection and its manifestations would like to sensitize, motivate and activate people, in order to enable an identification, personal connection and affection by entering a new approach making them recognize that the Holocaust should actually affecting everybody from the bottom of their heart, because it is representing in fact the most horrible manifestation of what we call the „dark side of human nature“, which may manifest itself in its lightest forms in most different ways already in everyone’s life in family, school and education through intolerance and discrimination, for instance.
SFC _ Shoah Film Collection and its manifestations, and especially the most recent one in Vilnius/ Lithuania may be the cause to start or continue working on that the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity must not happen again.
Why should this project be supported?
Because it is unique in its kind as an art project, because so many serious creative people are involved, because an artistic discussion about essential issues in art and life is needed, because the European Parliament is honouring this project realisation in Lithuania by taking Patronage speaking - even if probably not for all Europeans - but for the majority of them in any case, because the existence of man kind is requiring a re-thinking of human values, because we are one people, no matter on which continent under which historical, political, economical, ethnic, cultural, religious conditions we are living, because the event in Lithuania will give thousands of positive signals, because it will make the future manifestation at other places possible……..
*Because in Greece there are now Neo-Nazis in the Parliament - *because it is good for artists to get there and meet in person with each other and have discussions with the public.
*Because a younger generation has no memory or historical knowledge of the holocaust
*Because Lithuania has an intensely anti-Semitic past, maybe present too, and i am very interested in showing my work there. (Annetta Kapon, USA)
"As new generations grow up, without personal experience of meeting witnesses, perpetrators or surviving victims of the Holocaust, we need to build new kinds of memorials, archives and create new artworks to continue and deepen the research of how the atrocities could ever be permitted to occur. Agricola de Cologne’s Shoah Film Collection is an important instance of such an institution. If the exhibition and archive, with all it represents, would not receive it’s rightful place within contemporary consciousness, it would be a great loss. This is a unique opportunity to discuss the ever-important issue of Holocaust with the Lithuanian public. Don’t let it be lost. You can help us realize SFC - Shoah Film Collection in Vilnius." (Felice Hapetzeder, Sweden)
One of the reasons is because this project is not a commercial project and the artists involved are not represented by a commercial gallery. (Ariel Yannay Shani, Israel)
Because, for very personal reasons, that go far beyond the work that I shall be showing.
At the end of the 19th century, looking for a better life, wishing to escape the pogroms, an important part of the Jewish population left Lithuania for South Africa and founded a new community there. These are my origins, we are the ones who survived. During the war, my father and many other South African Jews returned to Europe in the Allied armies, to fight Nazism. Many other South African Jews took up the fight against Apartheid.
This event, the Shoah Film Collection in Vilnius, is important to commemorate those who were lost, but also to commemorate and celebrate us, the survivors, who refused to lie down and die, but who fight for a better, kinder, more generous world for all.(Joseph Rabie, France)
Because.... Humanity is cruel and stubborn. The Holocaust can never be commemorated enough. (T&NOK - Bannenberg &Snel, Netherlands)
Because.... the Holocaust should always be remembered as the biggest human crime.
Because…We say to all generations to come "NEVER AGAIN"
Because …it is the worst historic fact in the last century, when Europe was already a well civilized country...(Dova Cahan ,Israel)
*Because it's important not to forget, - *because man usually repeat his mistakes,
*because history never teaches us how to be best, if we are not able to transform bad events into beauty (Isobel Bank, Italy)
"In no other place nor time did one witness a phenomenon so sudden and so complex: never were so many human lives extinguished in so little time, and with such an equally lucid mixture of technical intelligence, fanaticism, and cruelty".--Primo Levi
The Holocaust presents a profound challenge to memorialization. A group of international artists have created work as a way to preserve and honor the memory of victims of the Holocaust. We have the opportunity for this work to be shown in Vilna in September 2013, where it will seize attention and attract debate to the new generations. We need your support to materialize this opportunity that will help to encourage awareness and remind us of the threat posed to us all when genocide and crimes against humanity are allowed to occur. (Alicia Felberbaum, UK)
The Shoah Film Collection is a vitally important series of media art works that collectively expresses the critical connections between art and historic memory. This is a collection that actively calls on generations to remember not only the atrocities of war but also requires us to consider how these inherited memories are translated into art. (Jay Needham, USA)
How will the raised funding be used?
The funding target of $15 000 is representing just a kind of minimal budget, while in reality more than the double amount would be needed.
The status of this project as a non-profit, internationally orientated media art project from Germany dealing with the Holocaust to be realised in Lithuania makes it difficult to raise any funding from anywhere.
One needs to consider, that due to the financial crisis the Lithuanian institutions hosting this project are only able to provide a very small budget, which allows just the realisation of a kind of minimal constellation. After numerous of the Vilnius based embassies confirmed the financial support for artists to attend the project event, this project will be realised in any case in such a minimal constellation, while for the realisation of advanced essential components additional funding has to be raised via this crowdfunding campaign.
The fact, however, that the project realisation will take place in any case is of particular relevance for all those who would like to support this project, because already from the beginning there is the guarantee that each incoming cent will be used for the project realisation in Lithuania.
After a community of artists is carrying this initiative together with me, from my point of view the best perspectives - also in terms of the aims as an international initiative for Peace and Reconciliation – are to get the international community of supporters on board which show simultaneously their solidarity that the Holocaust, genocides and other crimes against humanity, intolerance, discrimination, persecution and torture must not happen again. Never More!
According to the priority of the project realisation, the incoming money will be spent exclusively for the realisation of not yet financed project components, e.g.
1. the preparations in Cologne: print of a multilingual brochure and leaflets in German, English and Lithuanian , print & preparations of the photographic, digital graphic, computer based works, films and videos for the exhibitions in Vilnius (23. Sept – 1. November 2013) und Kedainai (1. Oktober – 1. November 2013), transport Cologne-Vilnius-Cologne,
2. preparations in Lithuania: (Vilnius/Kedainiai) installation of exhibitions: SFC – Shoah Film Collection, photographs and grafics, computer based multimedia works - hiring technical and electronic equipment for the duration of the exhibitions, eg. projectors, DVD players, flatscreens, computers etc for the duration of the exhibitions. Performance: Doron Polak, Arthuras Bumsteinas and group: hiring of sound, light and electronic equipment, fees.
3. The remaining money will be used for covering expenses like meetings including international and local artists, accommodation and stay for artists etc. in Vilnius & Kedainiai
If this funding target of $15 000 should be exceeded, according to the priority some additional project components will be realised, e.g.
4. inviting one or more additional artists for covering expenses like travel & accommodation, which was not possible until now, 5. including a third venue - the Museum Fort VII in Kaunas (the first concentration camp on Lithuanian ground at the 2nd largest Lithuanian city) a potential partner, which would like to join, but has no budget at all, at least $ 4000 would be needed to cover the event expenses on 5 & 6 October 2013 – an international artists meeting including screenings, artists presentations and talks, discussions; 6. it is further intended to produce and print afterwards a catalogue documenting the project realisation in Lithuania, which is of particular relevance.
Who is standing behind the project?
Hello, my name is Wilfried Agricola de Cologne ( you see me on the image above as the 2nd from the left, together with the SFC artists collegues attending A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 - on the left standing Felice Hapetzeder, and on the right Eitan Vitkon, Shelley Jordon, Jay Needham, Ben Neufeld and Doron Polak), I am an interdisciplinary media artist and cúrator and initiator of SFC _ Shoah Film Collection. The way, how I described my project as “community based”, not only my person, but all partners are standing behind this project who were accompanying the project until now, they are: the hosts in 2011 in St.Petersburg (Russia), Szeszin (Poland), Arad (Romania), 2012 in Riga (Latvia) Warsaw (Poland), und Phnom Penh (Cambodia) und 2013 in Vilnius und Kedainiai (Lithuania) and project sponsors Zenith Art Systems Bonn (Germany) und Karthäuser & Breuer Cologne (Germany), but above all the community of artists participating in SFC – Shoah Film Collection, without them the project wouldn’t exist, including…..
Agricola de Cologne, Yochai Avrahami & Karin Eliyahu, Steven Ausherman, Theme Bannenberg & Nok Snel, Bebe Beard, Tova Beck-Friedman, Christiano Berti, Isobel Blank Brian Delevie, Paolo Bonfiglio, Sean Burn, David R. Burns, Dova Cahan, Marita Contreras, Jenna Feldman, Alicia Felberbaum, Peter Freund, Konstantinos-Antonios Goutos, Grace Graupe Pillard, Felice Hapetzeder, Todd Herman, Arne Intveen, Holger Kiess, Anetta Kapon, Shon Kim, Tamy Mike Laufer, Dana Levy, Heike Liss & Thea Farhadian Lukas Matejka, Shelley Jordon, Branko Miliskovic, Jay Needham, Doris Neidl, Ben Neufeld, Miri Nishri, Cezary Ostrowski, Joseph Rabie, Janet Riedel/Katja Pratschke/Gusztáv Hámos, Doron Polak & Uri Dushy, Roland Quleven, Jean-Michel Rolland, Nathania Rubin, Jens Salander, Antti Savela, Elana Schwadron–Minkow, Daveed Shwartz, Maja Schweizer, Boris Sribar, Hadas Tapuchi, Rolanda Teicher Yekutiel, Eitan Vitkon, Anders Weberg, Yonathan Weinstein, Ariel Yannay Shani
It is necessary to add a note concerning the serial art works like the artvideos and the photographic and digital prints. The artvideos are given to the supporters as copies, the supporter does not receive any rights on the work, he may use the video (s) for private use only. Any other use, for instance, public screening requires the expressive permission by the artist or owner of the respective work. The average price for the unlimited copy of an artvideo on the market is about 100 EURO ($ 132).
The serial prints are released on occasion of this campaign in special editions and different sizes and are all numbered and signed by the artist. The delivery of these “Perks” may take more time than usual, since the period of the project realisation within 6 weeks after the campaign deadline is very short.
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Initiator, artist and curator