Illustrating the Holocaust





This practice-led illustration research project investigates methods of conveying the history of Litzmannstadt ghetto (now Bałuty in the Polish city of Łódź) during the Second World War, and the destiny of the ghetto children. Our only knowledge of the majority of them is through archival material, such as deportation lists. How can illustration approach such complex matters, and what kind of images could be applied? Reception theory has inspired the first part treating illustration as a tool of engaging the viewer through object tactility and drawing.

Based in the connotation to stones in Jewish memory tradition, this text treats how workshops may function as a gradual and compassionate unveiling of information involving the participation and the contribute to the reflection of the bystander. In workshops participants receive a stone wrapped in paper. Each stone commemorates a child from Łódź who was deported and murdered. The stones are kept during a workshop where the participants produce a drawing of the stone. In return they receive information about the name, gender, address, and age of the child. 


The methodology has been developed through the sharing of ideas by generous colleagues and by voulunteers in a series of workshops. Using surveys after the workshops, the procedures have been refined over time. Even if the statistic material is limited, the use of anonymous response  provided valuable  insight in and the influence on and response by  the participants.

Project history


Part II Work in progress

 Paper at the international conference in Riga 




The Art Book Museum, Łódź October 2018

Research question: How may the material made in the workshops be used furher; what kind of book or archive may bring the idea further on?

ESSAY Når tilskueren tegner Formakademisk


Published 2018-10-09


TALK AT HUMBOLT UNIVERSITY  Communicating sensitive topics 10th of September 2018 

Seminar hosted by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.


WORKSHOP as part of education at Faculty of FIne Art, Music and Design in Bergen 8th of March 2018.

NRK Ytring: De norske jødene som ikke kom hjem

Published  2018-01-27


Aurora Jacobsen Evenshaug, formidler ved Jødisk museum Trondheim


27th of January marks the date the prisoners of Auschwitz were liberated in 1945.

A ceremony of commemoraton took place at the Falsted Centre, in Ekne in Trøndelag on this date in 2018. It was a cooperation between The Falstad Centre, The Jewish Museum in Trondheim and this artistic research project.



As part of the workshop cooperation, students in the multi-disciplinary group participated in the third workshop in the mid of October.


WORKSHOP Łódź, 29th and 30th of August 2017.

This workshop took place in Bałuty, the district in Łódź, Poland that was turned into a ghetto during WWII. Here, the workshop ended in a guided tour in the former ghetto, visiting places such as the Maria church where the main bridge in the ghetto was situated. Also the home addresses of children in the project was visited.


TALK Dramatikkens hus, 24th of August 2017

Hvilket refleksjonsrom tilbyr vi barn og unge i kunsten i dag, og hvordan skaper vi dramatikk som åpner opp for barns erfaring og tolkning? Hvordan kan vi skrive scenetekster for barn som er relevante, utfordrende og speiler den virkeligheten barna lever i? Dramatikkens hus  inviterte dramatiker Jens Raschke, illustratør Hilde Kramer, dramaturg Stefan Åkesson, Erik Uddenberg og Suzanne Osten til å prate om sin tilnærming til kunst for barn og unge.


TALK Norsk barnebokinstitutt

#HumanBeingDeported was a part of a seminar on 30th of March at Norsk barnebokinstitutt discussing how children literature convey the Holocaust in present and previous time.



Author Bjørn Sortland participated in the first workshop, and later published an article in the newspaper Vårt Land 28th of March 2017 based on his experience. 

Link (paywall).


PROJECT STARTUP: Workshop at Rom 8 with seminar following up



Click on arrow for more photos

This artistic research relates to a cross-disciplinary cooperation:

Centrum Dialogu Marka Edelmana, Łódź, Poland

Falstadsenteret, Trondheim Norway

Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Germany

Høgskulen i Volda, Norway

The Polín Museum, Warszaw, Poland

The Strzeminski Academy of Fine Art in Łódź, Poland


Paper at Cumulus Conference in Paris 2018  by Kjetil Vaage Øie and Thomas Lewe

In a time where the last survivors of the Holocaust are soon gone, and the role of witness-oriented mediation of the history is discussed, this project investigates the potetial of drawing in a post-memory perspective. Archival practice and artistic practice are merged in the next step of the project where the drawings and stones become an archive of its own.

A scrolli-telling story was made by the Lemgo students after the workshop in 2017: Please visit

Left: Radio podcast made by students during the first workshop in 2016.

Click on image to play  film