Witnesses of Violence

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOther eventSocietal


Our perspectives on the past are largely shaped by the stories of those who experienced it. Especially when it comes to sweeping, violent events of 20th-century history, personal stories help us understand the past. During this event, witnesses, researchers and artists explore in what ways graphic novels can capture stories of violence and genocide. As a creative interpretation, graphic novels do not claim to provide a direct or all-encompassing record of events, yet they visualize their later impact.
The project Survivor-centred Visual Narratives, initiated in Canada, investigates how visual narratives can help victims of genocidal and other mass violence find a voice. How can they work in dialogue with graphic novel artists to interpret and record their experiences? Amongst others, the project includes Yezidis and Syrian war refugees who escaped physical violence.
This international project builds on a prior collaboration between witnesses, researchers and graphic novelists that focused on narrative art, visual storytelling and education around Holocaust and human rights. From this, two graphic novels recently emerged: But I Live: Three Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Emmie Arbel. Die Farbe der Erinnerung.
Period28 May 2024
Event typePublic debate
OrganiserNIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide studies
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Genocide
  • graphic novels
  • Comics; Comic strips
  • Biography