Tali Nates - Goethe-Institut

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South Africa
Tali Nates

Tali Nates
© Catherine Boyd

Tali Nates was born in Israel in 1961, the child of Holocaust survivors rescued by Oskar Schindler. She studied history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Since 1985 she has lived in South Africa, where she continued her studies at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. In 2008, she founded the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre. Its focus is on researching the history of genocide in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the Holocaust and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. As a centre for remembrance, education, dialogue and teaching, it focuses on human rights issues such as prejudice, racism, othering, anti-Semitism, homophobia and xenophobia. Tali Nates teaches on these topics worldwide and lectured at the United Nations in New York (2016). According to the Mail & Guardian, she is one of the “top 100 newsworthy and noteworthy women in South Africa.” In 2016, she received the KIA Community Service Award.

Award statement

Tali Nates founded the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, a chief place of remembrance in South Africa. The centre grapples with genocidal history through case studies on the Holocaust and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Tali Nates juxtaposes memories of the Holocaust with those of the genocide in Rwanda without relativising the specific nature of the crimes. She looks at the roots of both events and asks what we can learn from them with regard to current wars and human rights issues. In carefully curated exhibitions and in distinct public positions, Tali Nates makes it clear that racially motivated crimes and genocides can be repeated and that memory, information and education are therefore important means of preventing them.