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Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme

Colourful luggage tags hanging. Each has a handwritten message. Two pledges are legible: "I will, teach younger people about the Holocaust to make sure it is never forgotten. "I will continue to educate others and raise awareness about the Holocaust"

27 January is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. It is also UK Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering the six million Jews and others murdered by the Nazis, as well as the victims of other genocides. Cambridge Interfaith Programme commends attention to the following events scheduled to mark this occasion:

Tales from Northwest African Vichy Camps:
Educating through Graphic Memoir

Thursday 27 January, 4-5pm GMT

The University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion section have arranged this online lecture from Professor Aomar Boum, Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Boum explains:

"Until recently little work has been published about the establishment, administration and daily life in Vichy camps where thousands of native and foreign prisoners were held captive and forced into labor in colonial Vichy projects in North and West Africa. In this talk, I revisit the daily life in these camps through the archives and oral histories of North African Muslims, Black Africans, Jewish refugees and Spanish Republicans transferred between Camps in mainland France, Algeria, Morocco, Mali and Senegal. I rely on the medium of comics as a tool to inform and educate."

"I argue for the use of graphic memoirs to re-construct the history of Saharan Vichy camps and contend that in the larger context of an anthropology of genocide and the Holocaust, graphic memoirs could be seen as retroactive ethnographic accounts where witnessing takes place through seeing, guided by the archive. I note that the use of images as a form of Holocaust writing, following the steps of Maus, is a call to seeing and therefore remembering through witnessing the trauma of detainees of labor and internment Vichy camps in the Sahara between 1940 and 1945."

A socio-cultural anthropologist with a historical bent, Professor Boum is concerned with the social and cultural representation of and political discourse about religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East and North Africa.

This is a free event.

Please sign up in advance (via Eventbrite) to receive the information about how to access the livestream.

Life Before the Line

25-29 January, 7pm

The ED&I unit are not the only University of Cambridge actors recognising Holocaust Memorial Day and the long history of antisemitism. A new play premieres at the Corpus Playroom this week (25-29 January), exploring contemporary British experiences.

Drawing on the school-life of playwright (and University of Cambridge student) Amy Levy, Life Before the Line's action is set in Manchester in 2016-2017:

"Esty, Danny, Sara and Allister are in their RS class having their usual debates with Rabbi Fine when the terrorist alarm rings. And it is not a drill. Despite being scared they also have a short amount of time where they can do nothing but think. Flipping back and forth between their perspectives they must decide, if they come out the other end, what they will do differently, what risks will they take and most importantly what lines will they cross.

"Life Before the Line explores the trials and tribulations of growing up: from first love to finding independence and what it means to reconcile living in a modern Britain while being a part of one of the oldest religious communities in the world."

The play is directed by Ben Phillips, and produced by Farzana Haque (an undergraduate in the Faculty of Divinity). Tickets (£9/£8/£7.50) are available from the ADC Theatre website.

Reading Religion and Conflict: study evening

Also on 27 January, prospective students are welcome to join CIP associate Dr Julia Snyder and Professor Philip Connell (Faculty of English) for an online taster session, Reading Religion & Conflict, 6-7pm. This event is part of the Faculty of Divinity schools outreach programme. Dr Snyder's presentation will draw on CIP's Scripture and Violence project

More information about the study evening and how to register.


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