Vedem Underground : The Secret Boys Magazine deconstructs and reinterprets the literary work of a secret society of Jewish boys, who created the longest-running underground magazine in a Nazi camp. Using a combination of pop-art graphics, drawings and paintings, and the prose and poetry of teenage prisoners in the Terezin Ghetto, the exhibit breaks down the 83 weekly issues totaling the 800 pages of Vedem (“In The Lead” in Czech”), then reconstructs them in the form of a contemporary magazine. Through the exhibit, Vedem, which was produced from 1942-44, is recreated as the original ‘zine (hand made magazine), complete with “Masthead,” “Mission,” “Newsroom,” “Printing Press” and “Circulation” sections as well as panels dedicated to subject matter such as “Columns,” “Features,” “Humor” and “News and Editorial” panels.
Vedem Underground enlarges the intimate scale of the original publication while mixing and matching works of art with poetry and prose to create a collage in which Vedem is reinterpreted as a work of artistic activism that remains as relevant today as it did more than 70 years ago. The exhibit includes dynamic wall panels, vinyl art or custom vinyl wallpaper, a ceiling banner and four videos. Also included are 56 high-end facsimile of artifacts, ephemera, the 800 pages of the original Vedem’s magazine and four videos of never before seen footage. The exhibit has been shown premiered at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and wil travel to 13 museums through 2019. The exhibit has been covered by USA Today and NPR. The exhibit is complemented by an innovative workshop which combines creative activism with a journalism lesson. The workshop is designed to teach middle- through college students both the historic context of Vedem and the art of creating a ‘zine, or hand- made magazine, as a symbol of creative expression, and a way to explore one’s identity through socially-engaged creativity.