Lakeside Arts
Part of University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts

Eye as Witness visitor wearing VR headset

The Eye as Witness: Recording the Holocaust

Professor Maiken Umbach
Professor of Modern History, Faculty of Arts

The Eye as Witness is an immersive multimedia experience examining Holocaust photography that will be presented in Lakeside Arts Djanogly Gallery (23 Jan – 14 March 2021) after touring to the South Hampstead Synagogue and Imperial War Museum in 2020. It will feature virtual reality technology that allows visitors to ‘step into’ a picture taken by a Nazi photographer in the Warsaw Ghetto and has been designed to explore the political and moral motives for witnessing and recording the Holocaust and to encourage critical thinking on racism, hatred and ‘fake news’ today.

The exhibition has been researched by Professor Maiken Umbach (Department of History) and her team as part of an AHRC-funded project ‘Photography as Political Practice in National Socialism’. Paul Tennent in the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab has developed the VR experience. The exhibition has been organised by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum. 

Lakeside Arts has supported a bid for further funding for evaluation of the project and through its Learning and Outreach Programme will be instrumental in supporting research towards that evaluation whilst the exhibition is showing at Nottingham. It will also support an academic conference marking the conclusion of the project to be held early in 2021.