White Rose Project goes online in 2020

Leah Benjamin’s Sophie Inside and Out

The Holocaust Centre runs an annual art and writing project for high school learners in the Western Cape. Called the White Rose Project, it takes its name from a group of German university students, the White Rose Movement, who resisted Nazi oppression. 

The aim of the project, this year titled Memory and Resistance, is to encourage a greater understanding of the need to protect human rights and freedom of expression. 

Whilst this annual project always has relevance, it seemed that this year, it resonated more fervently. Students who would ordinarily have worked on this project with their teachers (as this forms part of their school curriculum) had to find new ways to work on them during lockdown. 

Their responses were heartfelt and clearly expressed whether the through Art,
Writing, Video or Music Categories. Despite all the challenges,  the White Rose Creative Project 2020 had a record number of entries coming from a more diverse group of learners than ever before.

The judging of the competition has always been by a panel of high calibre external judges, and this year was no exception. Judges were not able to physically see the artworks on display as the entire Project was ‘visualised’ online.  

Visit the exhibition online to view the 101 entries across the four categories.

Category B — Art (Senior)
Benjamin Zar — Herzlia High School

“The piece was inspired by a modern photograph of the Jewish Quarters on Rhodes island. The photograph was so stunning as the architecture of the ancient buildings was fitting in showing the historical heritage of the Jew’s claim to the island. 

The choice of charcoal for the buildings is symbolic in it’s darkness, as a place that was once considered a home but is now left uninhabited. The floral tree in the top left corner, created using a collage, I believe is in reference to the idea of the Jews of Rhodes always being a part of the island. The beauty that the colour provides in contrast to the charcoal reflects how even through pain and misery, there is always hope in the Jewish people of Rhodes.”

Untitled, Benjamin Zar — Herzlia High School

Category B — Art (Junior)
Leah Benjamin — Herzlia Middle School 
Sophie: Inside and Out
(pictured at top of article)

“For my project I have chosen to focus on Sophie Scholl who was a key member of the White Rose resistance movement which opposed the Nazi regime during World War II. 

I took an old coat and hand sewed patches of colourful material into the lining. I then wrote quotations by Sophie, or by her family to her, some of her character traits, family member’s names and more on the patches. Sophie was so much more than she appeared. On the outside she appeared to be just a normal German girl, from a good German family, with a good German boyfriend in the army. 

What people didn’t realise from first glance was that she was extremely intelligent and brave. On the outside the coat looks plain and like any other coat, but on the inside it is unique and remarkable, just like Sophie.”

“We want to sincerely thank every learner who put in such  tremendous effort to send in an entry, every judge who gave of their time and expertise to thoughtfully judge each entry and of course our generous patron and sponsor, Kathy Ackerman-Robins for making this year’s ‘new normal’ White Rose Creative Project such a success” said The Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre’s Linda Hackner.

The White Rose 2020 winners across all categories are as follows:

Category A — Writing (Junior)
1st Rubi Koff — Herzlia Middle School
2nd Taya Allardice — Herzlia Middle School
3rd Ethan Myers & Jonathan Querido — Herzlia Middle School

Category A — Writing (Senior)
1st Sakeena Lagardien – Rustenburg Girls High School
2nd Nika Hofmeyr — Rustenburg Girls High School
3rd Brian Daniels — Bishops Diocesan College

Category B — Art (Junior)
1st Leah Benjamin — Herzlia Middle School 
2nd Isaac Showell — Herzlia Middle School 
3rd Eliana Hepple — Cape Town Torah High

Category B — Art (Senior)
1st Anna Nagel — Rustenburg 
2nd (tied) Sara Khan — Peter Clarke Art Centre
2nd (tied) Daniel Kruger — Bishops Diocesan College
3rd Robyn Gernetzky — Herzlia High School

Categories C – Video (Junior)
1st Ava Rathner — Herzlia Middle School

Categories C — Video (Senior)
1st Jenna Dugmore — Rustenburg Girls High School

Special Award — Exceptional entries
Ameera Behardien — Rustenburg Girls High School
Matthew Newton — Bishops Diocesan College 

Winning Junior Art
Leah Benjamin

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