Some people have so much courage.
The Queens College Art Center will open “Resistance and Memory in Belgium, 1940-1945: Multiple Narratives,” on Tuesday, Feb. 21. This documentary installation will be on display there until May 26.
Anne Griffin, a former Fulbright fellow who is currently a political science professor at The Cooper Union, spent years gathering testimonies from women and men who resisted the Nazi occupation of Belgium during World War II. With laminated cards featuring written testimonials and listening stations, Professor Griffin presents intersecting personal accounts of defying the German war machine, rescuing Jews, and promoting a movement that spread across Europe.
Contemporary portraits by French photographer Jean-Marc Gourdon and other wartime images accompany the exhibition.
The resisters were from different backgrounds and their post-occupation lives varied widely. Their only common features are that they were all very young during World War II and they all showed extreme bravery.
Professor Griffin’s interest in Belgian Jews was sparked by a random meeting with a group of resisters in a Brussels armory in 1996. Due to her efforts, she was conferred the rank of Office of the Order of the Crown by the Kingdom of Belgium, a royal decree honoring distinguished artistic, literary, or scientific achievements.
Although the show will launch on Feb. 21, the Opening Reception Party is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with Professor Griffin leading a tour at 7 p.m. The Queens College Art Center is located at the Rosenthal Library (Level 6) on the Flushing school’s campus. Closed on weekends and holidays, it has the following gallery hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Resistance and Memory in Belgium, 1940-1945: Multiple Narratives” has previously shown at The Cooper Union (2005), Yeshiva University Museum (2006-2007), and the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam (2008).
Image: Queens College