Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Holocaust Memorial Day 2009

Last week, on the 27th of January, we marked Holocaust Memorial Day, with animated text/art on the electronic billboards at Piccadilly Train Station Manchester.

After 2 sleepless nights and many many days of work and anxiety we at last showed our highest profile artworks to date. This project has been fraught with difficulties, responsibilities but above all its been an honour to work on. There was a constant battle between creating a living memorial to the memories and words of the wonderful people we have met, with the pulls and pushes of the demanding politics of placing a Holocaust Memorial in such a high profile space.

With the news from Israel and Gaza, everyday brings great hurt, anger, confusion and resentment. Sadly this seems to impact for some people on their responses to the very notion of a Holocaust Memorial Day.

For me the day was about separating the current events, and honouring the lives and memories of the people we have worked with and become friends with. A group of the authors, the older Jewish people who had provided the words and inspiration for the text/art came to the station to view the artwork. This was the highlight of the day for me. Never sitting still, I took photos, Phil gathered responses. I am very proud of what we have achieved, the text/art stood out amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy station.

55,000 passengers per day use the station! We where written about by the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2009/01/26/270109_holocaust_poems_feature.shtml in the Metro and Evening News. The Jewish Telegraph and The Jewish Cronicle, and http://www.writeoutloud.net We have had many individuals give us wonderful feedback, and the Holocaust Memorial Trust said ‘this is fantastic.’ and that ‘we’re so impressed with the work you have done for HMD09’.

There is so much to reflect on I will be thinking about the day and the lead up for a long while yet. For photos of the event please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthur-and-martha/

This project would not have been possible without our Funding for Kindness which was provided by the Clore Duffield Foundation, through Sparks: The Clore Jewish Development Fund.

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