Genocide & Visual Representation

Cultivating Compassion:
First Steps Towards Prevention

July 09-13, 2007
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Presentation for the Seventh Biannual Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars

Typically when war and genocide are conveyed in our culture, the images rely on the shocking nature of these horrible situations. As one survivor from the DR Congo put it, they extend the dehumanization he felt as a genocidal target. If we are to encourage our communities to work towards prevention, we need to present genocide in a way that is accessible so it cultivates compassion. Although it is one of the most severe conditions of our world, we can address it from an individual and human perspective without either sensationalizing or trivializing it. Based on a site specific installation in Sarajevo as well as the 2007 Genocide exhibition at the Mizel Museum, this presentation describes how fine artists have manifested firsthand experiences with genocide as thoughtful and sensitive reflections. These reflections include addressing issues of disregard for human lives as well as the environment, memory, resilience, survival and reconciliation.
Read the entire presentation

The Dead Weight of Complacency
10 “Glocal” artist interpret Genocide

January – April, 2007
Mizel Museum, Denver

Just after World War II ended, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the atrocities that occurred “a crime that has no name.” But by the time the Nuremberg trials began, genocide was the very real name given the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

10 “Glocal” Artists Interpret Genocide displays fine art that deals with one of the most severe conditions of our world from an individual and human perspective. Participating artists address the issues of disregard for individual lives and the environment, memory, resilience, survival and reconciliation.

All of the artists present firsthand experiences through thoughtful and sensitive reflections without either sensationalizing or trivializing the subject. Indeed, much of the work comments in admiration on the strength and resilience of genocide survivors.

Through these varied mediums, the exhibition illuminates the realities of modern day genocide and seeks to motivate its viewers to begin dialogues with themselves and others, asking questions and demanding answers as to why and how genocide can be condoned today.

Overview of the Exhibition
Curatorial Statement by Lee Lee

Art & Social Justice Conference

Women’s Caucus for Art
July 22, 2011, St Louis MO


Presentation by Lee Lee on the role art can play in promoting social justice