Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females — Tapestries and Sculpture by Linda Stein (H2F2)
The sculpture for H2F2 includes Heroic Tapestries, Spoon to Shell Sculptures, and a Protector Sculpture as well as a 7-min film and book. The exhibition represents different aspects of bravery during the time of the Holocaust: Jew and non-Jew, child and adult, World War II military fighter and ghetto/concentration camp smuggler, record keeper and saboteur. Together they represent the many types of female heroism, with war battle gear and without, during the years of the Holocaust. For her Spoon to Shell sculpture, the artist blended spoon and shell into an amalgam of materials, addressing sexual abuse. Protector includes a Wonder Woman shadow and becomes a symbol for the brave defender.
ENCOUNTERS with H2F2
Create sculptures of found objects to imagine a life story situated in a community of people. With collage, drawing, and painting, create a series of artworks of people in action that includes an element of the selected art in their action. Display the series together and discuss the work with others. Or collaboratively create an interactive story game using Twine, Inklewriter, or Storyboardthat, which are open-source tools for sharing, nonlinear stories, to show the possibility of becoming an upstander. Examples include: Bea the Upstander game by John Rapaccioli & Elissa Kapp (2016) and an interactive story for teachers on why it is important to address LGBT bullying by Kevin Jenkins (2016).
Lesson Plan Examples
Create an interactive story game of the 4 Bs with the possibility of becoming a brave upstander. There is never a single story about any place or people. In this encounter, select one of the Cabinets, Cupboards, Cases, and Closets sculptures to imagine a life story situated in a community of people. With collage, drawing, and painting, create a series of artworks of people in action that includes an element of the selected art in their action. Display the series together and discuss the work with others. Return to looking at the selected sculpture and reinterpret the piece from the perspectives gained from the process of this encounter.
Lesson Plan Example: Download Interactive Stories on Becoming a Brave Upstander (PDF)
Create a graphic novel/cartoon of the Hero Around/Within Us that incorporates self-narratives of real and/or imagined experiences. From reading the essays in the 2016 H2F2 book or from your own research on each of the heroes (see links on the Leadership encounter to begin research), and looking at the Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females tapestries, one can learn about the lives and actions of the women, and the context of their lives. Add to, as well as, respond to the interactive prompts overlaid on the digitized tapestries, to explore Stein’s use of feminist pop culture and religious icons such as Wonder Woman, Kannon, and Mononoke—who personify the values of empowerment, strength, justice and protection.
Lesson Plan Examples
The Identity Exploration with Cultural Artifacts encounter, with the Spoon to Shell Series, begins with a discussion, while looking at the art, with others whose social class, age, gender, sexuality, and ethnic background differs from one’s own. To join the discussion click here. To interpret a cultural artifact, it is important to look at conditions for its production as they relate to socioeconomic class structures, gender-role expectations, and specific visual codes of the time, as well as how those codes have changed over time. Using Regender (Yee, 2005), read articles that are regendered–about the cultural artifacts–to discern whether and how the meaning has changed. Look again at each work in the Spoon to Shell Series. What does the spoon signify in relation to the shells and text fragments and other items in the box assemblages? The uniformity of the 20 black, wooden, box sculptures brings order and calm to the chaos, fragments, and tensions that are visible from the window of each box. Stein uses spoons and shells in the box sculptures as metaphors for power and vulnerability.
Lesson Plan Examples
Look closely at each element and consider all of the possible meanings. Next, consider how each meaning is developed in relationship to other elements in the tapestry. Then, create a collage honoring a woman who has made courageous decisions toward furthering social justice.
Lesson Plan Example: She is My Hero