- Created on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:49
- Written by Imperial Valley News
San Diego, California - Internationally renowned photographers, filmmakers, musicians and activists will come together for San Diego State University's second annual Initiative for Moral Courage symposium, sponsored by SDSU’s Jewish Studies Program.
The symposium, Oct. 14-17, will focus on stories of courage during the Bosnian war in the early 1990s. It will highlight the unique role of Sarajevo's Jewish community as well as the coalition that formed among Muslims, Christians and Jews to help each other in harrowing circumstances.
The events will feature award-winning films, famous speakers and a concert.
Through the lens: Survival in Sarajevo: The first day’s programs highlight the symposium’s theme this year: “Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats Working Together During the Bosnian War.”
A photography exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, Oct. 14 at SDSU’s Love Library.
The exhibition is based on veteran reporter Edward Serotta’s book, "Survival in Sarajevo" about a Jewish humanitarian aid agency, La Benevolencija. Led by Holocaust survivors and their children, La Benevolencija brought together people from different religious backgrounds and ethnic groups to work in the Jewish community center in Sarajevo.
The library exhibition will be open during regular library hours through mid-November. Serotta will be speaking at the exhibit’s private opening and reception on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Leading experts to give perspective: Serotta will then hold a lecture about La Benevolencija’s incredible war efforts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
At 1 p.m., the organization’s former director, Jakob Finci, will tell the story of the Sarajevo Haggada, a legendary, gorgeous and rare illuminated manuscript from the 1300s celebrating the Passover Feast. The Haggada was hidden, first from the Nazis and then again during the Bosnian war, both times by Muslim men who were willing to risk their lives to save a Jewish manuscript.
The program will close with a 3 p.m. screening of the award-winning film “I Came To Testify” by Pamela Hogan. The film is about a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca. These women had the courage to break the silence about the systematic rapes of women during the war. Hogan will be at the screening to introduce and discuss the making of the film.
All of these events will take place at the Fowler Family Ballroom at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
Film screening, talk and concert: In her debut feature, writer/director Jasmila Zbaniae explores the painful long-term effects of war on a Bosnian woman and her daughter. At 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, the symposium will feature Zbaniae’s "Grbavica: Land of My Dreams," winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Following the screening, historian Lawrence Baron, former Nasatir chair of modern Jewish history at SDSU, will give a talk. Baron’s contribution to Holocaust studies was recently profiled in “Fifty Key Thinkers on the Holocaust and Genocide” by Paul Bartrop and Steven Jacobs. He is the founder and current president of the Western Jewish Studies Association.
Both events will take place at the auditorium in SDSU’s Fowler Athletic Center.
Finally, SDSU violinist and composer Yale Strom will lead local musicians in a performance reflecting the mix of Jewish, Christian and Muslim influences on life in the Balkans. The musical finale will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. at Rhapsody Hall, in SDSU’s Music Building.
All events are free and open to the public. More information.