Olga Campbell had long repressed feelings of grief and sorrow. All members of her mother's family had been murdered in the Shoah but no details had ever emerged.

After listening to a radio program about second generation Holocaust survivors, Campbell started to explore and confront feelings by creating a solo multimedia exhibition in 2005 called Whispers Across Time. Combining prose, art and poetry, she wrote and imagined her family's story as best she could as an alternative to knowing nothing. This exploratory journey into the inner darkness of the Holocaust resulted in her self-published book, A Whisper Across Time (Jubaji Press 2018) in which she depicts one family's experience of the Holocaust as an inadvertent legacy of trauma. It has been described as both a story of remembering and healing--and also a cautionary tale asking the reader to look at what is happening in the world today: It happened before, it could happen again.

Also cited as a healing ritual, a Shamanic Soul retrieval and a celebration of life, A Whisper Across Time resulted in an art show and book launch in November of 2018 at the Gertrude and Sidney Zack Gallery in conjunction with the Jewish Book Festival at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver. As a multi-dimensional reflection of family losses and inter-generational trauma, it eventually received the Kahn Family Foundation Prize for Holocaust Literature at the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards in 2020.

Olga Campbell has also published an alphabet book, Graffiti Alphabet (Lion's Gate Press 2009), consisting of her photographs of graffiti in Metro Vancouver to celebrate the creativity and energy of a dynamic urban art form. The 96-page book also doubles as an art book for adults.


Graffiti Alphabet (Lion's Gate Press 2009) $22.95 978-0-9812911-1-6
A Whisper Across Time (Jubaji Press 2018) $32 978-0-9812911-2-3

[BCBW 2020] Alan Twigg / HolocaustLit