A city civic commemoration event marking Holocaust Memorial Day will be held on Sunday 28 January at Leeds Town Hall from 2pm.
The event will be hosted by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jane Dowson and will remember those who were persecuted and died during the Holocaust and other genocides.
Also attending the event as a special guest will be the Cambodian Ambassador, Her Excellency Dr. Rathchavy Soeung, who will give a speech which explores this year’s theme ‘The Power of Words’.
Music will be played by the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s Youth Dance Company will perform ‘Shoes on the Danube’ based on the sculpture by the same name.
Situated on the banks of the Danube, the sculpture is a moving tribute to the innocent people who lost their lives on the river’s banks during WWII. As is tradition, candles will also be lit to commemorate all those who have been affected by the Holocaust and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
The aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides continue to raise challenging questions for individuals, communities and nations, and this will be explored through this year’s theme. The vision of Holocaust Memorial Day is to learn from the past in order to create a safer, better future.
Members of the public are invited to join the Lord Mayor at Leeds Town Hall for the commemoration service.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jane Dowson said: “I feel very humbled to be part of this year’s commemoration service at Leeds Town Hall. My heart breaks that people continue to suffer oppression, persecution and genocides and that the lessons from the past are not being heeded in some areas of the world.
It is important that we look back and remember all those who have suffered, that we learn the lessons from the past and work even harder to make sure that it never happens again.
“This year’s theme ‘The Power of Words’ prompts us to think about how spoken and written words from individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state can have a huge impact, whether good or bad.”
Tom Bowes, Youth Company Leader-Learning and Participation Coordinator at Northern School of Contemporary Dance said: “This Holocaust Memorial Day commission has challenged and supported our young dancers to understand the impact of these past atrocities on communities.
“Our youth company has worked with sensitivity throughout the process to produce an engaging and thoughtful piece, using the body, spoken word and film. Both the dancers and I are honoured to be a part of such an important commemorative event for the city.”
The event is coordinated in Leeds by Leeds City Council’s Arts Development team and the Holocaust Memorial Day steering group. To find out more, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure
About Holocaust Memorial Day: Holocaust Memorial Day on 28th January 2018 is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
About the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is the charity established by the Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day, encouraging and inspiring individuals and organisations across the UK to play their part in learning lessons from the past and creating a safer, better future www.hmd.org.uk
Her Excellency Dr. Rathchavy Soeung: Her Excellency Dr. Rathchavy Soeung is Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Ambassador-designated to the Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Sweden, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Ethiopia, and the Permanent Representative to the African Union.
Dr. Rathchavy Soeung is a career diplomat. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia in 1998 and has held many roles including; Secretary of State and Senior Official of Cambodia to ASEAN (ASEAN SOM Leader), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, from 2010 to April 2017.
Northern School of Contemporary Dance Youth Dance Company: The NSCD Youth Dance Company is the youth performance company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance. This open-level group are aged 12-17 years old. Led by Tom Bowes, the group meet weekly to participate in creative workshops and choreograph dance works.