Students from Rockwood Academy began working with independent Screen Dance Director and Creative Producer Sima Gonsai on developing an artistic response to Holocaust survivor Mady Gerrard’s testimony. The gifted testimony was one of the 112 survivor interviews captured by Natasha Kaplinsky OBE for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF).
Working with Sima, the students used their own reactions, representations, and thoughts on Mady’s testimony and the Holocaust to create their own artistic expression of it.
On the 12th November 2018, we are proud to release our sixth echo which encapsulates their artistic expression of Mady’s testimony. The film, titled Weaving Portraits features the students and their work and was a joint collaboration between River Rea Film’s Mathew Beckett, Sima Gonsai and photographer and videographer John Palmer. The sound recordings were captured by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Alex Chisnall.
During the creation of the film, Rockwood Academy’s students were inspiring, working creatively and maturely to create a film that promotes tolerance, empathy and hope. Through their own words, they promote the sentiments “through equality we are able to embrace our differences and unite” and “we stand united for what we believe to speak, to echo, to be heard” within the film, showing their commitment to their Echo.
The echo will form an archive as part of Echo Eternal, a commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project inspired by the testimony of British survivors of the Holocaust. The project brings together diverse communities in a collaborative context, focusing on the Holocaust memorial and genocide awareness. Echo Eternal is presented by CORE Education Trust on behalf of the UKHMF.