Illustration Research:

This Is a Human Being

The rhetorics of present right-wing populistic movements towards refugees in Europe cause reason to remind of the atrocities that took place soon eighty years ago on European soil. This artistic research project dwells on the destiny of the many children killed in the ghettos and in extinction camps during WWII. From Litzmannstadt ghetto in Łódź alone, 15 681 children between the age of 0 to 10 were deported during a short period in September 1942. Keeping their memory alive is one way of paying respect to their fates. 

This artistic research project is part of an international crossdisciplinary cooperation.  Partner institutions are:

Volda University College, Faculty of Media and Journalism, Norway

The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center, Poland

The University of Applied Sciences, Ostwestfalen-Lippe Germany

The Strzeminski Academy of Fine Art in Łódź Poland

Falstad Centre, Trondheim Norway


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The International Holocaust Remembrance Day 

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.


What role can illustration play in a complex and visually overloaded society? How can a project benefit from involving the viewer in the research and development? These questions are central in the illustration/ commemoration project about the children who died during Wielka Spera  (the Nazi deportations from the Jewish ghetto Litzmannstadt in September 1942). 


Using stones as object of commemoration for children killed during the Holocaust, the project evolves through inviting the viewers in workshops to participate in both research and artistic practice.

Searching the archives documenting the deportation of children from the ghetto of Łódź  information is found on where they lived and how old they were. USHMM and Yad Vashem are also primary sources. 

First public event took place at Bergen public library on 27th of February and workshop in Rom 8 28th of February2017, in Vaskerelven 8. Participants in the workshop "adopt" each their stone with a number attatched. After keeping the stone during 24 hours, the participants make a drawing and return the drawing and the stones to me. From there we locate each child in the public records of Łódź; home street, age, family etc. 


Author Bjørn Sortland participated in the first workshop, and published an article afterwards in the newspaper Vårt Land 28th of March 2017. 

Link (paywall).

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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.

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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.


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.