Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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When art transmits memory

the portraits of the Righteous by Francine Mayran

Armin T. Wegner, portrait by Francine Mayran

Armin T. Wegner, portrait by Francine Mayran Francine Mayran

Francine Mayran, painter, ceramist and psychiatrist from Strasbourg, "born after World War II", expert at the Council of Europe, sees art as a "transmission belt" in which paintings, ceramics and texts build a European memory pathway formed by about fifty exhibitions at all main European Memorials, from Tirana to London, from Bulgaria to Germany.

For the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide she created thirty new works accompanied by the leaflet "After the Holocaust we said 'Never again'...". In her opinion, whereas history informs, art forces us to ask ourselves about them, our nature and our conscience. This accomplishes a baton passing against indifference, to honour the victims, keep the survivors' message alive and keep on investigating what happened and its effects on the survivors, their descendants and the entire humanity.

Witnesses, and the Righteous in particular, play a key role in this process. As explained in her biography in, Francine Mayran creates on concrete these portraits, which in our opinion are very moving, of Righteous people in the Holocaust and other genocide cases, remembering their "extraordinary capability to accomplish Good", to be lights in the darkness of the world. At the Council of Europe she is actively involved int he field of Education and Pedagogy and she works with teacher from all over the continent to work through the memory of all victims of genocide cases, rejecting every kind of rivalry. 

21 May 2015

The portraits of the Righteous, by Francine Mayran

passing on a moral baton against indifference

Dialogue and reconciliation

it is the Righteous, rather than the victims or the persecutors. to speak to the future generations

In the torn social fabric of a country where a genocide case or other crimes against the humankind have occurred, it is very difficult, even after many years, to resume a kind of dialogue to re-establish relationships and rebuild civil coexistence between the victims - including survivors or their relatives, refugees and their heirs - and the persecutors, accomplices or passive bystanders. To this we should add the role of the State, its officials and government members, who often try to deny what occurred and refuse taking up the - however apparent - responsibilities of the massacres. Only the reaction and heeding ability of those who have not bowed their heads to the uniformation of behaviour within the group of the persecutors and have refused to conform to a conduct which conscience cannot approve, can allow people to resume a kind of communication which is able to combine the need for truth and the assumption of responsibility with an opening to future hope and a shared project-making. The Righteous are the only ones who have what it takes to do that.

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