CMHR_Atrocities table by Scott Mair

Breaking the Silence interactive study table

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

In Breaking the Silence, a giant interactive table sits in the centre of the gallery, with points that expand with information when you touch them.

The table explores 19 examples of genocide and mass atrocity from around the world, and breaks each event down into four stages that are common to all genocides and major atrocities:

  1. The build up, when the stage is set for violence
  2. The violation, or the actual committing of genocide or atrocity
  3. Distortion and denial, or the cover up and refusal to acknowledge the atrocity; and
  4. Breaking the silence, when the truth becomes known and the violence is acknowledged—by the larger, global community, if not by the perpetrators.

The interactive display emphasizes the importance of speaking out to protect human rights before human rights violations escalate.

Interpretive writing

I wrote the text that explored the following genocides and atrocities:

  • The Armenian Genocide
  • The Rwandan Genocide
  • The Mayan Genocide
  • Argentina’s Dirty War
  • China’s Great Leap Famine
  • Ukraine’s Holodomor under Stalin
  • The Holocaust
  • India’s Partitian
  • The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

View an example of my writing for this exhibit.


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