The project was originally inspired by British Holocaust survivors’ testimonies, recorded with Natasha Kaplinsky OBE in 2015 and 2016 on behalf of UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.
The project brings together diverse communities in a collaborative context, using a common focus of Holocaust memorial and genocide awareness. This focus is supported by the creation of civic and artistic alliances between schools with different social and cultural characteristics.
The project is delivered through four strands:
Schools work with an artist in residence to use survivor testimony to explore themes of the Holocaust or genocide in the context of its impact on individuals. Each school creates its own artistic response which is conceived and delivered by pupils. This ‘Echo’ of the testimony pays tribute to the survivor and is shared with the school community.
Every January, participating schools come together to collectively showcase their work, inspired by their survivor testimony.
Each of the Echo Eternal participating schools benefits from a range of training opportunities led by CORE Education Trust and linked with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and Holocaust Education Trust. Each school is further supported by CORE Education Trust to develop counter prejudice narratives, in response to survivor testimony and to develop pupils’ critical thinking. Schools access information and guidance from the Aegis Trust and Ishami Foundation when considering genocide survivor testimony.
Each school is encouraged to consider applying to become a UCL Beacon School and to secure accreditation as a Refugee Welcome School from the NASUWT.
Schools work with a film maker to produce a permanent record of their artistic responses “Echos” and to capture their civic pledges. This involves making a short film beginning and ending with the words of the survivor. The schools use social media to share their project experiences with other participating schools and stakeholders.
During their artistic residency, schools are encouraged to contemplate a range of civic pledges, with the goal of impacting positive societal change. These pledges are inspired by the testimony from the survivors. Schools are expected to re-commit to these pledges, every year.