Shadows of Shoah is an artistic project, communicating the gravity and significance of the Holocaust in a unique way. Using photography and original music, selected episodes from survivors' experiences are presented in a brief, compelling format. To reach a generation that may regard the Holocaust as of little relevance or significance, Shadows of Shoah strives to produce powerful and evocative art while carefully maintaining historical accuracy. Read the artist statement.
The incomprehensible tragedy we refer to as the Holocaust ended in 1945. The antisemitism that inspired it lives on.
Despite the Holocaust's uniqueness and its status as one of the most comprehensively documented events in human history, the memory of this, one of the twentieth century's defining events, is increasingly under assault. Outright denial may remain a fringe phenomenon, but other less direct forms of distortion have arisen. Universalization, distortion, depreciation, and moral equivalence often function as not-so-distant-cousins to an anti-Zionism that shows itself to be little more than poorly veiled antisemitism. In a climate of popular ignorance, apathy, and passivity, these trends have combined to create conditions that seem eerily familiar to those who lived in 1930s Europe.
Shadows of Shoah stands against the resurgence of an ancient hatred.
In May 2012, Shadows of Shoah was incorporated as a charitable trust. The trust objectives are Holocaust and antisemitism education. The trust is chaired by Robert Narev, MNZM, a survivor of Theresienstadt.
Late in 2012, the Raye Freedman Trust agreed to support the construction of the Shadows of Shoah Exhibition. Work began immediately on construction of this highly innovative exhibition.
On 25 January 2013, the Prime Minister of NZ, Rt Hon John Key, launched the Shadows of Shoah Exhibition. The opening was held at a United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
In 2016 the River of Tears exhibition debuted in Queensland , Australia.
The exhibition is now available for bookings by museums, galleries, cultural centres, universities and other venues. Enquiries are welcomed.
Shadows of Shoah is the work of Perry and Sheree Trotter. Perry is a fourth generation New Zealander and is a photographer and formerly a musician. Sheree is of Māori descent (Te Arawa) and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Auckland. Her area of study is NZ Māori and Jewish history. She has undertaken an educators' course at Yad VaShem.
The Trotters' interest in the Holocaust is rooted in their commitment to the Jewish people and their quest to understand the historical, cultural, theological, and spiritual roots of antisemitism. They identify as friends of the Jewish people and as evangelical Christians. They are acutely conscious of the role of Christendom's historically dominant (but, in their view, aberrant) theology in preparing the ground for the Holocaust.
Ours is a media saturated generation. Young people may be less likely to take the time to read a history book or to watch a lengthy documentary. In order to reach the present culture Shadows of Shoah uses strong imagery, original music and poignant, brief, historically accurate accounts. Shadows of Shoah has been reviewed by leaders in the field of Holocaust art and education and has been described as "unique and extremely high-end".
Shadows of Shoah is a multifaceted work and exists, or will exist, in the following forms:
Shadows of Shoah is an ongoing work and until 2012 was funded by Perry and Sheree Trotter. The Shadows of Shoah Exhibition is now established and the charitable trust seeks funding in order to develop and tour the work and to enable the collection of further survivor stories, before it is too late to do so.
For those considering supporting Shadows of Shoah, details can be found here.
For other queries, please make contact.
While visiting friends at Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, Israel, in 2008, Perry and Sheree Trotter interviewed and photographed seven Holocaust survivors. More recently they photographed survivors in cooperation with Sydney Jewish Museum and Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre, a number in Queensland, Australia, here in New Zealand. In March 2018 they interviewed another eight survivors in Jerusalem and Rosh HaNiqra.
At time of writing Perry and Sheree have photographed more than sixty survivors. Subject to funding, Shadows of Shoah will continue to photograph and interview survivors as long as there are survivors living.