The Last Stop in West Texas for “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” Exhibit – Midland College in Midland, TX

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Back in October the SWC hosted the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission’s (THGC) thirty-four panel, Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit, and it was well received by its visitors. In mid-January it was installed at Midland College’s McCormick Gallery in Midland, Texas, where it will run through the end of February. We feel that this unique exhibit deserves one more mention by us to encourage interested folks to hurry over to Midland and check it out.

In the words of the THGC: “Genocides begin when intolerant and hateful individuals dehumanize others in a society by putting them into separate and unequal classes and deliberately harming them. According to the Genocide Watch organization, genocides and mass murders led to the killing of more than 170 million people, more than the sum of the deaths in all 20th and 21st century wars combined.” Prijedor was put together to educate the public about genocide through the story of the Bosnian city of Prijedor, where between 1992 and 1995 acts of genocide were committed. The exhibit “honors both the memory of the lives lost in the Prijedor genocide and the experiences of the survivors whose stories are told within the 34 panel series.”

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Why is Midland hosting the exhibit? Much like the SWC, the McCormick Gallery has made it their mission is to exhibit, collect, and preserve history, in this case through the medium of art. The Prijedor exhibit aligns closely with those goals, and represents an opportunity to tell a story that for many has been forgotten in the decades since it occurred.

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The SWC hosted the THGC’s quarterly meeting in late October 2013, whereat we were able to speak with the many individuals who made this exhibit possible. They were passionate about their mission to increase awareness of genocide, and talked at length about their many educational programs and events. Perhaps Chaja Verveer, THGC commissioner and a Holocaust survivor, sums it up best: “Our kids need to be taught to recognize and fight bigotry, to stem hatred and prejudice, and learn about living together, embracing diversity.”

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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission programs include teacher workshops providing guidance in teaching the Holocaust and other genocides, the recording of concentration camp liberator oral histories, and the enhancing of social studies curriculum through requiring the teaching of genocide-related content in school classrooms. For more information regarding Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission programs and Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month (April), please do not hesitate to contact them.

The “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit is open to all. College students, middle and high school students, and educators are particularly encouraged to attend. Note also that the University of Texas at Tyler will host the exhibit in March 2014.

– by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

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