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Inauguration of the Exhibition Women in Ravensbrück

The concentration camp Ravensbrück in Germany was the only camp where only women were deported. The exhibition, now at Kulturhuset Kåken in Gothenburg, is produced by the Cultural Office (Kulturkontoret) in Borås with funds from the Västra Götaland region.

The exhibition examine whether and how these women's experiences differed from those of imprisoned men.

The exhibition talks about the tough life in Ravensbrück, about how women were exploited, punished and killed - but also how they took care of each other.
– It was a pleasure to arrange this inauguration together with Kulturhuset Kåken, the speakers and the musicians, says Elisabeth Punzi (CCHS/Heritage and Wellbeing). Together we could show difficult experiences that are part of our heritage, but also how people are able to grow and find meaning also under the worst circumstances, not least through telling their stories.

The inauguration on the International Women’s day, included music and poetry reading based on Anna Margolin's texts written in Yiddish in early 20th century New York. The music “Libe Monstren” is newly composed by Henryk Lipp, Klara Andersson (Fågelle) and Timo Nieminen.
Image removed.Following the performance Jan Izikowitz read his mother’s story about her own experiences from her time in Ravensbrück. The mother's story is a poignant story of how she as a young Jewish woman came to the concentration camp, survived and was liberated with the white buses. It is a unique story never told before.

Mostafa Hosseini is a psychologist working on a research project on migration and integration. Mostafa has conducted in-depth interviews with young women from Afghanistan who have come to Sweden alone, about their everyday lives and the efforts and relationships that have contributed to inclusion in Swedish society. In his presentation, he intertwined figures over today’s migration crisis with quotes from the experiences of unaccompanied refugees.

The last talk was by Josef Frischer, a so called second generation survivor. Both his parents were imprisoned in concentration camps, his native language is Yiddish and Josef describes how his parents' trauma also became his own. Joseph’s story is one of how grief and trauma can be processed into something empowering.

On the 18th of March CCHS hosts a seminar about the importance of heritage, art and creativity for human survival and wellbeing at Kåken.
– We will show examples of how the women at Ravensbrück expressed themselves, and strived to comfort each other through creative expressions, says Elisabeth Punzi. Such creative expressions might be meaningful also for people in other difficult circumstances, not least for individuals who experience overwhelming mental distress. Artist Annica Engström and authors Lina Ekdahl and Malin Lindroth will give examples of how art and poetry might be supportive and we will have a small poetry workshop.

Klara Andersson (Fågelle) och Timo Nieminen (photos by Kerstin Olsson Möllerstedt)
Mingle and exhibition (photos by Jenny Högström Berntson)
Mostafa Hosseini lecturing (photo by Jenny Högström Berntson)

The inauguration was arranged by Kulturhuset Kåken in collaboration with CCHS/Heritage and Wellbeing and Heritage Academy.