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A Year Ago Today: Communities Reflect on the CZU Lightening Complex Fires

August 16, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm  |  Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History


“As a way to begin talking about the disaster, we invited people to bring in objects found in the ashes of their homes to be photographed and to tell us the stories these objects conjure. The objects salvaged from the ashes and the stories that emerge, build, one to the next, revealing details of daily life, the power of nature and the fragility of the world we have created.” —Shmuel Thaler and Nikki Silva

Join Shmuel Thaler, Nikki Silva, and collaborators from across the county as we collectively reflect on the one year anniversary of the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Firesand imagine a path forward together. This event will highlight the stories of those affected by these fires as part of the MAH’s new exhibition Out of the Ashes, which features an ongoing film and audio archiving project by Shmuel and Nikki who began collaborating with MAH in September 2020 to document and record some of the personal stories of those who were impacted by these devastating fires.

The evening will also feature a preview screening of Contents Inventory by local filmmaker Irene Lusztig who has also been working closely with affected members of the community to document and share their stories. We hope you’ll join us at the MAH for an evening of collective storytelling and visioning our next steps as a community that continues to deal with the threat of fire and climate change. Comments and recommendations provided during this program will help shape an ongoing series of programs that will run throughout the year.

This event is presented with support from the Humanities Institute, the James Dolkas and Karl Mertz Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Kitchen Sisters Productions, and California Humanities.


August 16, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm