Visualizing the unspeakable

Activity information

Activity type: Private activity

1 Throwley Way
Flat 133 Aspects
Sutton, Surrey
United Kingdom

An innovative way of engaging the young adults' readers and children with the Shoah is the use of the holocaust graphic novel. This genre is an emerging one managing to pass the trauma, the terror and mass murder in a visual narrative way. The interaction of picture and text succeeds in inviting students to respond to the holocaust theme. Children should choose between a range of holocaust graphic novels such as Maus (Spiegelman), Magneto Testament (Pak- Di Giandomenico), A bag of marbles (Joffo-Bailly), Anne Frank A comic biography (Jacobson-Colon), The Search (Heuvel), Second Generation (Michel Kichka), etc. The graphic novel Hidden (Lizano-Dauvillier)is an interesting one for children from 5-6 years old. Of course, teachers should read the books first and then decide which of them is the most appropriate for their students, taking into consideration their level and their psychological profile. It is vital to explain to our students that in graphic novels the message is transferred not only by the text but also by the picture. During the reading process, teachers should be helpful when someone faces a problem with the meaning of a picture or a text. We focus on gaps, empty pages, image or text absence, color, black and white contrast, ways the trauma is depicted by the illustrators and why. After reading, we ask our students what they feel and think about the story, we encourage them to draw their favorite picture, write a poem, create a diorama or wordle, etc, in response to the graphic novel. While teaching about the holocaust we should always remember that the knowledge must reach the heart, where it can awaken emotional learning, as the Auschwitz survivor Heidi Fried said.

Organiser Name

georgia karantona

Organiser Email

[email protected]