This exhibition marks the culmination of a year long cross-generational archiving and participatory project that combines art, WW2 London and early rocket engineering. The project, led by artist Françoise Dupré in collaboration with Rebecca Snow, connects two sites of terror: London and Mittelbau-Dora Nazi Concentration Camp in Central Germany where V2 rockets were assembled.

DORA PROJECT ExhibitionPeckham Platform, SE15

DORA PROJECT connects two sites of terror: London and Mittelbau-Dora Nazi Concentration Camp in Central Germany. V2 rockets were assembled by slave labourers in an underground factory in Mittelbau-Dora where more than 20,000 inmates died. Between September 1944 and March 1945, V2 attacks on London killed around 2500 Londoners and destroyed homes and families.

The exhibition brings together mixed media artworks made in response to the challenge of visualising sites of suffering and the transmission of memory of past traumatic experiences. Artworks include Mapping a wall installation by Françoise Dupré and Grey Area: a map sketched in film by Rebecca Snow. These works were made following an extensive period of research including visits to international and local archives and V2 sites in London, Germany and France. Also on show is a documentary film by Year 9 students at the London Jewish Comprehensive School (JFS) about the role of scientists in war and ethics in science. Field Report was a school project led by Dupré and Snow in collaboration with JFS.

The project has addressed the contemporary relevance of commemorating historical events through participatory Commemorative Public Events in South East London, Greenwich and New Cross. Its last event will be held in collaboration with Peckham Society at Peckham Platform. The event will commemorate Peckham and Southwark’s V2 rocket victims, sharing memories and discussing the impact theses attacks had on people’s lives and surroundings. Archival materials and testimonies are welcomed.

DORA PROJECT was generated in response to the artists’ own family histories. Françoise Dupré’s uncle was a French political prisoner, slave labourer and survivor of Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp. Rebecca Snow’s great-grandfather, an industrial chemist, worked for the British Intelligence Objective Sub-Committee (BIOS), recovering German industrial evidence in 1945.

After WW2, German rocket engineers were employed for the development of space and military programmes in the USA, France, Russia and Britain. V2 chief engineer, Wernher von Braun became NASA’s first Director. Whilst many Londoners have heard about the V2, few know about the history that connects spaceflight to Nazi Concentration Camps.

A series of participatory and learning activities and talks exploring DORA PROJECT’s main themes are programmed through the duration of the exhibition at Peckham Platform. Visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to DORA POSTCARD PROJECT by writing their testimonies and comments.

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