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May 12, 2019
The world remembers the Holocaust on its 72nd anniversary. A mass genocide that occurred during World War 2, it still weighs in the hearts of many. Cameron Ferenchik, a junior at South Forsyth, entered the Art and Writing competition for Ms. Barth’s class. She was pleasantly surprised when she discovered she won 2nd place. The Anti-Defamation League of Atlanta, and the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University, sponsored this Art and Writing contest. The purpose of the contest is to spread awareness about this tragic event in history – the Holocaust.
Ms. Barth gives students the opportunity to enter the competition and explains, “I love when students show me their artistic abilities”.
The competition paves way for students to express themselves, and learn about significant historical events, similar to the Holocaust. Each student has the opportunity to participate and help spread the remembrance of this atrocity that occurred in history. Cameron submitted her unique photograph to Ms. Barth for the contest.
“Her photography,” Ms. Barth comments, “is very inspirational to me.”
Cameron Ferenchik is Ms. Barth’s 3rd student to earn a winning spot in the Holocaust Education contest.
Moreover, the contest theme, “Imagine a World without Hate”, requires students to compose a piece of writing or artwork to convey this message. Cameron falls more on the art end of the spectrum, as she said she has more of an interest for it than writing. In addition, she expresses that she created her piece within a limited time frame, as she wasn’t planning on submitting an entry until the day before the deadline.
“I knew that I wanted to do something on the art spectrum but I wasn’t exactly sure what,” Ferenchik states. “I decided I would just take a photo. The contest required the entries to be mailed in, so I had to have my photo printed and mailed within the two day time frame that I had.”
Interestingly, however, Cameron’s history class did not focus specifically on the Holocaust, but more on a multitude of important events during WWII. She mentioned in the interview that she had a film project which allowed her to learn more about these events; they chose a film based off a significant event in the war to study and compared its accuracy to the real event. Cameron says that entering the Anti-Defamation League writing contest allowed her to speak for the innocent victims.
Cameron believes that it’s important to study the Holocaust as it reminds us of events throughout history. Moreover, she states that learning about this tragic event makes people realize that there have been many other conflicts throughout time, that have been sparked by hate.
“It makes you realize that it is not the only event that has been the result of hate,” Ferenchik states. “If we look at times before WWII, we can see how so many other wars and conflicts are the direct results of hate toward a certain group of people.”
She incorporates what she learned in the classroom about the Holocaust and pours her love and sympathy into a bold, yet touching, photograph. The inspiration for her artwork along with its title stems from a quote. This said quote motivated Cameron to create her masterpiece.
“I saw a quote online that said ‘when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace’. I wanted it to be the center of my image; that’s why I focused most of the light on the quotation,” continues Cameron.
In regards to a personal connection to the Holocaust, Cameron shares that her piece was not based off one, but more focused on the knowledge and the content she has learned in school.
“…it is inspired by things I have learned from our world and from it’s past…I think that the idea of ending hate and the greed for power is so important. It’s such a simple concept to think about yet the world always seems to fall prey need for power and hate”.
Cameron also mentions that her mom helped her to create her artwork, and achieve the vision she was striving for.
“My mom helped me with my photo because she is a photographer. She helped me set up the background and light. [She] mostly helped me with the details and I was the one who took the photo and edited it.”
Cameron’s artwork winning the contest was truly a serendipitous event, as she didn’t expect to win. She utilized her creativity in a form other than writing and this allowed her to stand out from the majority of participants.
“I did not think much of my photo…I wasn’t planning on submitting an entry but decided to last minute…It made me realize that you do not have to be an amazing writer to win a contest; you can also show your talents through art”.
Her previous experience with art, dealt with photography, as her mom is a photographer, and she is exposed to the subject often. This has played an enormous role in her interests, including her preferences for subjects at school.
“I have always grown up around her taking pictures, so I eventually just developed an interest in it too. In my art classes, I have submitted photography as sketchbook pages rather than drawings and I have also submitted photos to the scholastic contest that took place last semester.”
Cameron’s entry to the 2018-2019 “Imagine a World Without Hate” Art and Writing Contest, is truly unique in that it captures the dark elements of this event, and intelligently emphasizes the contrasting positive quote as the light. She agrees that issues around the world are due to a lack of balance between power and love.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace” – Jimi Hendrix.