NANJING, China, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, USC Shoah Foundation will introduce its first Mandarin-language New Dimensions in Testimony interactive survivor testimony at the Nanjing Memorial Hall in Nanjing, China on Dec. 13.
It is the first permanent exhibition of NDT outside the United States and features Madame Xia Shuqin, a child survivor of the Nanjing Massacre. She is the only non-Holocaust survivor who has been interviewed for the project so far.
The Tianfu Bank and Tianfu Group generously funded the creation of this NDT testimony.
The exhibit is a featured part of the newly reconstructed Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall's core exhibit space. NDT uses groundbreaking natural language software to allow audiences to interact with the recorded image of a genocide survivor, who responds to questions in real time, powered by complex algorithms providing realistic conversation.
Xia traveled to Los Angeles in 2016 to film the NDT interview. The interview took five days and was filmed on the 360-degree "light stage" at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. High definition cameras and lights captured the interview from all angles as Xia answered hundreds of questions about her life before, during and after the Nanjing Massacre.
"With the partnership between USC Shoah Foundation and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, Madame Xia's story is brought to light through New Dimensions in Testimony," said Mr. Yi Huang, President of the Tianfu Bank. "Madame Xia will continue to educate, to inspire and to preserve memory of the atrocities of the Nanjing Massacre for future generations so people around the world will learn from history long after the survivors are gone."
Xia was 8 years old when Japanese soldiers stormed into her family's home on the morning of December 13, 1937, and murdered 11 of the 13 people in the house – Xia's parents, grandparents and siblings and their neighbors. Only Xia and her four-year-old sister survived. About 300,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers were killed over the course of two months during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanjing.
Xia filmed her testimony for USC Shoah Foundation's Nanjing Massacre Collection in 2012 at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. Her Mandarin-language testimony is part of a collection of over 100 Nanjing survivors' testimonies collected by USC Shoah Foundation, 30 of which are already preserved and subtitled and accessible in USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Foundation Archive.
In October, USC Shoah Foundation staff traveled to Nanjing to introduce students in Nanjing University's Oral History Association to the indexing methodology of the Visual History Archive. The students will use USC Shoah Foundation's new online indexing training course to learn how to index the remaining 70 Nanjing survivor testimonies to become accessible in the Visual History Archive by summer 2018.
Mr. Hao Wu, President of China Tianfu, said:" When I first saw a demonstration of New Dimensions in Testimony with a Holocaust survivor, I quickly understood how important it would be to bring the technology to the people of China," he said. "A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, but without the generous cooperation of Madame Xia, this would not have been possible."
The people who first imagined the possibilities of creating something as advanced as New Dimensions in Testimony when the technology didn't even exist are thrilled to see it reach fruition.
"It's incredible to see how far this has come in just a few short years," said Heather Smith-Maio, who came up with the concept for New Dimensions in Testimony. "Madame Xia's important life story will now be able to inspire people across China – and the world – long into the future."
About New Dimensions in Testimony
New Dimensions in TestimonySM is an initiative by USC Shoah Foundation to record and display testimony in a way that will preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future. Collaborating within the project are Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and concept by Conscience Display. Funding for New Dimensions in TestimonySM was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis. F. Smith, Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Cayton/Goldrich Family Foundation in honor of Jona Goldrich, and Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Other partners include CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Contact: Josh Grossberg 213-740-6065
SOURCE USC Shoah Foundation