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Artwork will form commemorations for Holocaust Memorial Day

Published on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Two candles in the dark

PEOPLE from across Leicester are being called on to submit artwork or personal photographs as part of the forthcoming annual commemoration of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 each year, and reflects on genocides around the world, from the Nazi persecution of Jews in the Second World War, to more recent atrocities in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the usual commemorative event held at the University of Leicester’s Fraser Noble Hall cannot take place in January 2021. Instead, alternative ways to commemorate it are being created by the Holocaust Memorial Day committee.

People are being asked to contribute their own artwork or photographs on this year’s theme of “Be The Light In The Darkness”, for inclusion in virtual commemorations.

They will form part of a planned slideshow to be projected in Green Dragon Square, next to Leicester Market. Artwork needs to be submitted before January 17, 2021. It should be emailed to lord.mayor@leicester.gov.uk

The commemorations are being hosted by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Leicester Council of Faiths and the University of Leicester.

The two councils’ websites are also due to host Holocaust Memorial Day webpages, which will include video clips of local students talking about their research and experiences of visiting the notorious Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, as well as an online talk by renowned historian Professor Aubrey Newman, who founded the University of Leicester’s Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the latest in a series of citywide commemorations to be carried out online due to coronavirus restrictions, following the virtual Remembrance Day events in November, which also included artwork submitted by members of the public.

Leicester Lord Mayor Cllr Annette Byrne said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a chance not just to remember those who have died in past genocides, but to recognise that the lives of very many people today are still overshadowed by the impact of more recent atrocities across the world.

“These events are a stark reminder of the lessons from history, and also a very important opportunity for reflection.

“We hope that by inviting people to take part in submitting artwork and photographs it will still provide an opportunity to get involved and share in this poignant annual commemoration.”

Artwork and photos acceptable for inclusion should portray people caught up in the Holocaust with sensitivity, focusing on the lives and livelihoods that were taken from them. It will be used in the city council’s social media and in Green Dragon Square.

Chair of the Leicester Holocaust Memorial Day Committee, Tony Nelson added: “We are sorry current restrictions prevent Leicester’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event from taking place this coming January 27.

“We recognise the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisations, and believe it should have a permanent place in our memory.

“As a result, the organising committee has been busy preparing a virtual commemoration which we hope people will access.”

The events locally are part of international Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, details of which can be found here

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