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Slide Show and Discussion of 'Breaking the Silence' Photo Exhibit to be Presented at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Oct. 14, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Two former Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, Avichay Sharon and Noam Chayut, will be at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for a slide presentation and discussion of "Breaking the Silence: the Combatants Story," a photo exhibition created by a group of former IDF soldiers, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in Schneider Hall auditorium, Room 100.

Sharon and Chayut, both in their early 20s, are two of the organizers of the internationally acclaimed photo exhibition that opened last year in Tel Aviv.

In her review of the exhibit, Molly Moore of the Washington Post called it "the most graphic example yet of concerns being voiced by influential Israeli soldiers and officers over the tactics and techniques of the armed forces' occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

Sharon and Chayut will bring a slide show of the original exhibit’s photographs and testimonies, all taken and given by IDF soldiers (recruits/draftees/conscripts). The two will discuss the issues they faced while participating in the occupation, the impacts of the occupation on both the occupied and the occupiers, and why they feel compelled to share them publicly. Their presentation in Eau Claire is one of many scheduled for university, community, and ecumenical groups across the country – including one at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

"All who attend are sure to find the photographs and testimonies from this exhibit powerful and provocative," said Paul Kaldjian, assistant professor of geography and anthropology at UW-Eau Claire. "I fully expect Sharon and Chayut's discussion to challenge our perceptions and sense of what matters."

The slide-show presentation and discussion is sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Center for International Education, the National Peace Foundation, the UW-Eau Claire Department of Geography and Anthropology and The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals.

The exhibition is open to the public, and admission is free. For more information, contact Kaldjian at (715) 836-2321 or kaldjian@uwec.edu. For more information on "Breaking the Silence: the Combatants Story," visit www.breakingthesilence.org.il
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