Hope Dawn of a new day. Les Amis X Zedra T4 Project

“Les Amis are proud to be working with Zedra Jersey”

The following information will give the background and rational to the art work “Hope dawn of a new day”.

Les Amis X Zedra

ZEDRA will officially launch their new office with an event on Thursday 13th July. The event will also
celebrate their corporate charity, Les Amis. The charity relies on assistance from volunteers and
donations to fund their services, that are not supported under the new long term care law, so that
they can support Islanders with learning disabilities in more innovative ways. ZEDRA’s contribution
will help the charity to expand their facilities.

The office launch event will include an impressive art auction with works designed by Les Amis
members. The Les Amis artists have created ten pieces of art for a silent auction and it’s hoped that
significant funds will be raised for the charity. ZEDRA have also commissioned Les Amis to produce
a large piece of art work which will take pride of place in the new ZEDRA reception area.

Shaun Findlay, Managing Director, Les Amis, says: ‘Without volunteers and donations the work of
Les Amis would not be possible, so support from businesses like ZEDRA are crucial for us to
provide professional support and care for the vulnerable Islanders who need it'.

It is important to understand that disability does not mean inability. In many circumstances, people
with learning disabilities are more than capable of achieving their goals as well as meeting the
expectations of employers. We are extremely grateful for ZEDRA’s support which will play a pivotal
role in expanding a variety of our services and community programmes, ensuring that individuals
with disabilities have access to positive and equal opportunities in Jersey.’

Ashley Cox, Managing Director, ZEDRA Jersey, concludes: ‘We are delighted to announce our
partnership with Les Amis. Building trusted relationships, encouraging entrepreneurial spirit and
promoting equality is part of our ethos at ZEDRA, so we have great synergy with Les Amis and are
proud to be sponsoring their incredible work'.

Find out more about: www.zedra.com / Follow on Twitter

Zedra Logo

Background of the project

On July 14, 1933, the Nazi government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law, one of the first steps taken by the Nazis toward their goal of creating an Aryan “master race,” called for the sterilisation of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage, the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against people with disabilities, regularly labelling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society. Just a few years later, the persecution of people with disabilities escalated even further. In the autumn of 1939, Adolf Hitler secretly authorised a medically administered program of “mercy death” code-named “Operation T4,” in reference to the address of the program’s Berlin headquarters at Tiergartenstrasse 4. Between 1940 and 1941 approximately 70,000 Austrian and German disabled people were killed under the T4 program, most via large-scale killing operations using poison gas. (This methodology served as the precursor to the streamlined extermination methods of the “Final Solution.”) Although Hitler formally ordered a halt to the program in late August 1941, the killings secretly continued until the war’s end, resulting in the murder of an estimated 275,000 people with disabilities. The 70273 Project was set up to commemorate the 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people murdered by the Nazis between January 1940 and August 1941. Three doctors would each review case files and if they deemed the person to be an ‘economic burden on society’, they marked a red cross at the bottom of the sheet. Two red crosses and the person would be killed.

Look closely and you will see the red crosses in the artwork which represents the atrocities that took place during this time.

How do the T4 project and the wizard of Oz link together and make the basis of this piece of art?

The original 1939 Wizard of Oz movie and L. Frank Baum’s original novel, has over the years, fuelled a number of elaborate theories as to the story’s deeper meanings. Some of these have been overtly political, some have been spiritual, some monetary. Here are seven of the most notable ones:

A Parable on Populism (and American Monetary Policy), Religious Allegory, Atheist Allegory, Feminist Allegory, “The Jungian Thing”, the Inadequacy of Adults and the Glinda Conspiracy Theory.

Les Amis theory is based upon the movie and how it interacts with the real life actions that were taking place in Europe at the time of its release (12th of Aug 1939).  Hitler’s Operation T4 was in its final stages and by the time the movie was being shown in the UK (11th Dec 1939) it was authorised and began to see the execution of innocent people due to their disability and their ‘economic burden on society’. In fact by the time the movie had reached other European countries and was being shown in Iceland (March 1941), nearly 70,000 innocent people had been murdered and by the end of the war an estimated 275,000 people with disabilities had been killed.

What represents what?

So in this context the Wizard of Oz, the storm (shown by the dark blue sky) was the beginning of the unrest in the world at that time. Dorothy represents the common person fighting against Nazi Germany, injustice and inequality in society. Toto is hope (key part of the title) and faith.  The Yellow Brick Road is the path to enlightenment and social change.  The Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion are the incomplete (or disabled) people in society who are all different but treated equally as an economic burden (so all of the art work has been done by disabled people using their own finger prints to add their own personal stamp to the piece to prove this is not the case today dis-ability is not an in-ability).  

The green of the Emerald City represents the finance sector and questions what it is more important than life itself? The Wizard represents politicians and the games they play, so people see what they want them to see and not doing what they need them to do (unseen in the picture, but a constant in current day society). 

The Wicked Witch of the East (who is killed by the house landing on her) represents the ignorance of society and how if this goes unchallenged, allows evil acts to be carried out in the name of progress.  Dorothy’s house (Les Amis logo a house at the foot of the picture) represents the power of the common people, which when joined together make a strong and stable structure (i.e house) it can squash out ignorance and enable change to begin.

The poppy field is a sign of remembrance for all those who gave their lives and still do in the name of humanity to prevent any further atrocities taking place across the world. 

The rainbow represents the dawn of a new day (second part of the title of the piece).

Getting in touch

We’d love to hear from you if you want to find out more. We’re based at Five Oaks, close to the JEP, so feel free to pop in during working hours. Or give us a call on 850600 or email info@lesamis.je. Alternatively, you can message us through Facebook or Twitter.

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DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT BY iPOP DIGITAL - Les Amis Limited Registered Charity No. 232 - LA Incorporated No.231 - ASSOCIATION OF JERSEY CHARITIES NUMBER: AJC 113