M–Th: 9 am–5 pm; Fri 9 am–4 pm; Sa&Su: closed
Admission by donation (suggested $5)
Faces of Survival presents a commissioned series of portraits of Holocaust survivors by Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist Marissa Roth.
Holocaust survivor volunteers and families of survivors who have passed met with Roth to have their photographs taken. It was important to both the artist and curatorial team that the project also include survivor volunteers who have passed away. Family members where possible held a photograph of their loved ones, to preserve their presence and link the generations.
The result is powerful: the forty portraits depict the survivors—including Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) outreach speakers, board members, and volunteers, both past and present—in a unique and powerful way. The close-up portraits, in particular the survivors’ eyes, tell us about pain, loss, and suffering. They also express kindness, hope, resilience, and the victory of the human spirit.
Following the portrait sessions, the survivors and descendants were asked two questions: What message do you want to convey to students of the VHEC? And, why is it important to remember the Holocaust? The curatorial team then selected quotations from the answers to accompany the portraits. The diversity of the messages from the survivors and descendants is powerful: they remind us to commemorate and honour the ones who perished, to not forget those who rescued them, and to not remain silent but to take action against any kind of discrimination and persecution. They also prompt us to regard education as key in preventing racism and anti-Semitism, to never take democracy and human rights for granted, and, simply, to tell our families that we love them.