While every creative dreams of having a Nike or Chuppa Chups brief land on their desk, they don’t test us in the same way as projects that call on our ability to parse complex issues with nuance and sensitivity, while still delivering an unambiguous and single-minded result.
If there is any topic more complex and confronting than devising creative ways to represent an institution that presents the history of the Holocaust, then I’m yet to encounter it.
As the grandchild of grandparents who lost substantial parts of their families in the Holocaust, this project also had a very personal dimension.
The creative direction was developed in response to the rising tides of Holocaust revisionism and the zeal of Neo-Nazis and their bedfellows to diminish, dilute and deny the truth and the tragedy of what happened to much of Europe’s Jewish population across the Second World War.
Together with photographer and friend, Abhijit Chattaraj, we took photos of one of the JHC’s Holocaust survivor volunteers, Stephanie, whose forearm still visibly bore the tattoo that was savagely branded onto her all those years ago.
The pencil with the eraser rubbings became a visual metaphor and demonstration of the idea that this is ‘history you can’t erase.’
It still stands as one of the most potent and successful creative campaigns that has ever been devised for the JHC (now the Melbourne Holocaust Museum).