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Genocide Series
Judith Weinshall Liberman
Return to the Genocide Series Gallery

The Genocide series was begun in 1999 in response to a challenge posed by a human rights activist soliciting artists to submit a portrait of a Genocide victim for a proposed web site. The winning portrait would serve as a symbol for the web site, whose mission would be to promote human rights.

Although the proposed web site never came to be, the challenge of fashioning a portrait of a genocide victim was inescapable. Using mixed media – a combination of acrylic painting and collage - I created two works on the subject, one showing an individual victim of genocide, the other showing multiple victims. The underlying aim of both works was to portray the victim of genocide as anonymous, because to the perpetrators of genocide the proposed victim is not an individual but a member of a group. To underscore that anonymity, I portrayed the victim as a skull. The skull is seen from the back. The viewer can tell nothing about the victim: not the gender, nor the age, nor the race, nor the religion, nor the nationality nor anything else that might give a clue as to the individual identity of the victim. For the same reason, the multi-portrait I created consists of numerous reproductions of the same victim – a skull seen from the back.