People - places - objects. Summary of the methodological conference on documentary film in education
More than 100 people, mainly teachers from all over Poland, attended a three-day methodological conference entitled “People - places - objects. Documentary film as an educational tool about Auschwitz and the Holocaust”, held at the Auschwitz Memorial from 25-27 August.
'The interest in attending the conference once again exceeded our expectations and organisational capacity - as there were twice as many applications as the number of participants anticipated. This is excellent news because it highlights the importance of educating about the present and future and the responsibility and causality that come with remembering Auschwitz's victims. It is authentic,' said Anna Skrzypińska, deputy director of the Museum, at the inauguration of the conference.
The Director of the Warsaw Center for Socio-Educational Innovation and Training, Karolina Malczyk, addressing the conference participants, said: 'I am confident that you will apply what you have learned here in your schools and to young people you serve. I express my gratitude and admiration to you for making time to cultivate and exchange your experiences.'
The first day of the conference saw the presentation of the "Auschwitz in front of your eyes" app for guided tours of the Auschwitz Memorial. Thanks to the project, people worldwide will soon be able to undertake remotely guided tours of the former German Nazi camp. The project was collaboratively developed by the Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, and Israeli firms AppsFlyer and Diskin, with the aid of specialist enterprises like Orange and the participation of numerous private benefactors and foundations.
The second and subsequent day was devoted to documentary film. Marek Zając, secretary of the International Auschwitz Council, chairman of the Board of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and director of the Polsat Family TV channel, talked about the unique series “History of Auschwitz in 33 Objects” produced by Polsat TV, in which each episode presents the history of the camp through the prism of unusual places and objects with poignant stories, the film's premise and its potential for educational purposes.
Participants at the conference also heard about the work of the Museum's Conservation Laboratories, the rules and methods of preserving various authentic objects, and conservation challenges in an authentic Memorial. This was narrated by one of the conservators, Andrzej Jastrzębiowski. Conversely, Agnieszka Sieradzka spoke about the Museum's Collection and how it stores items left by victims and perpetrators.
The WCIES (Warsaw Center for Socio-Educational Innovation and Training) methodological advisor, Joanna Karpinska, analysed M. Pollak's film "Silence That Sometimes Almost Rang in the Ears" and elaborated on its applicability in Holocaust education.
To facilitate the teaching of the history of the Warsaw Ghetto, Dr. Halina Postek from the Warsaw Ghetto Museum suggested the utilisation of "The History of the Warsaw Ghetto," a short documentary film that narrates the establishment and operation of the most extensive ghetto in German-occupied Europe in a comprehensible manner for students.
A team of educators from the State Museum at Majdanek: Karolina Wasiluk and Paulina Pętał, discussed the documentary film entitled "Lublin's traces of Operation Reinhardt" as a tool for informal education and indicated methods of working and using it in education. Gabriela Sitek from the Okonakino Foundation talked about the film, “Three Minutes - A Lengthening,” directed by Bianca Stigter.
On the second day of the conference, participants laid candles at the Death Wall in the courtyard of Block 11 in memory of the victims of the German Nazi camp.
The conference, held for the 16th time, was organised by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust at the Auschwitz Museum and the Warsaw Center for Education and Social Innovation and Training.