Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Engaging with Contemporary Native American Art
The exhibition addresses the histories and present-day realities of the first people of this continent through contemporary art. Turtle Island is the name given to North America by the Anishinabek, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and the Lenape—some of the Indigenous people of this region. The sixteen works on display address survivance: a term that emphasizes both cultural survival and resistance in the face of hundreds of years of genocide and mass atrocities. Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island has found its home at the KHC because it is only through studying the Holocaust that we develop the vocabulary to examine and acknowledge other genocides and the contemporary responses to them. By using art to communicate the impact that genocide has upon Indigenous people on Turtle Island, we can understand that these egregious crimes of attempted erasure are not outliers but part of a continuum.
Mirror Shield conceived by Cannupa Hanska Luger
Image Credit Rob Wilson Photography
Turtle Island direction action, Standing Rock, ND
Thanksgiving Day 2016, police in reflection
World War II & The Holocaust
The KHC’s permanent exhibition tells the story of the Holocaust in Germany, from pre-World War II through to the end of the war. It includes a mixture of local artifacts and archival materials from the KHC’s collection, including historical audio and film clips as well as video testimonies from local Holocaust survivors reflecting upon their experiences.
Past ExhibitsView all past exhibits
In July of 2015, the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center was contacted by a vintage clothing dealer about a recent acquisition of a unique garment at an estate sale. In the back of a walk-in closet, amid a variety of old shirts and vintage dresses, hung a faded striped jacket. A year later, we now know the story of Benzion Peresecki, a young Jewish man from Lithuania who wore this jacket for ten months in Dachau and kept it for 33 years.View Exhibit
It all began one night in November 1938, when Nazi mobs filled the streets. The planet needed a hero—fast. Who could have predicted that this hero would be one concocted by two Jewish boys from Ohio? Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster went on to create Superman! Already in Superman #10, published in 1941, they introduced us to the Dukalia American Sports Festival, an unmistakable reference to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Dukalian athletes were portrayed marching, arms stretched in a “Heil Hitler” salute, while Dukalian consul Karl Wolf proclaimed: “Dukalians are superior to any other race or nation!” (Simcha Weinstein, Up, Up, and Oy Vey!, p.21). About the same time that Superman #10 appeared, Dyna Pubs of East Moline, IL, published Dardevil Battles Hitler, where Nazi legions are defeated by the famous silver streak comic character, Captain America. The front cover showed its titular hero…View Exhibit
Villagers of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon joined together to conceal, rescue, and provide false documentation for Jews and French Resistance fighters at great risk to their own lives. They offered sanctuary and kindness to refugees, even while they, the Huguenots or Calvinists, had lived under oppression themselves and were targets of religious persecution for hundreds of years. The unwavering willingness of the villagers of Le Chambon to help those in need is a testament to the power of the human spirit, and will serve as an outstanding model to students and other visitors about our responsibility to respond to global events.View Exhibit
In the mid-1930s an organization called the German-American Bund established fifteen summer camps throughout the United States, including one in then-bucolic Yaphank on Long Island. This exhibit exposes the work and the propaganda activities of the Bund at the time when the threat of Nazism seemed foreign to the U.S., certainly to the hinterland of Long Island. It also underlines the role that Camp Siegfried played in spreading Nazi propaganda in our own backyard, until it went out of business after the summer of 1939. Only forty-nine miles from our college campus on the Long Island Expressway there is a small mid-Suffolk village: Yaphank, an Indian name meaning “Valley of Peace.” Set on a wooded lakefront, the camp served as a summer place for youngsters and as a weekend campground for adults. On Sundays a special train would leave Penn…View Exhibit
Schedule A Tour
For over 30 years, the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center has researched and presented original exhibitions on the Holocaust and other mass atrocities and shared its work with local, regional, and national audiences. Schedule a tour for an up-close experience with some of these works.Contact