The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII Approved to Use European Year of Cultural Heritage Label

Published On 3 March, 2018 | Latest News

Smashing Times are delighted to announce that The Heritage Council has approved our use of the European Year of Cultural Heritage Label for our performance ‘The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII’. 2018 will see a celebration of diverse cultural heritage across Europe – at EU, national, regional and local level. This will involve a series of initiatives and events across Europe, enabling people to become closer to and more involved with their cultural heritage.

The aim of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is to encourage the sharing and appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage, to raise awareness of our common history and values and to reinforce a sense of belonging in a common European space. European cultural heritage allows us to understand the past and to look to our future. This is reflected in the slogan for the year: ‘Our Heritage: Where the Past Meets the Future’.

In Ireland, the Heritage Council is coordinating the European Year of Cultural Heritage. It will coordinate and promote a national programme of European Year of Cultural Heritage events and other activities. The theme for the Year in Ireland is ‘Make a Connection’. This theme aims to deepen the connection between people and heritage, and build a legacy of increased public engagement. To achieve this objective, the Heritage Council invited organisations and individuals to take action and respond to the theme, and Smashing Times are pleased that ‘The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII’ has been included as one of the events. Following on from a highly successful run in Germany as part of an international tour, The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII was performed in the Theatre Royal, Waterford on 15 February 2018, and at the Playhouse Theatre, Derry on 24 February 2018.

The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII is a creative reimagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against fascism and totalitarianism, and refused to accept oppression. The performance is followed by a post-show discussion with the artists and invited guest speakers to explore powerful women’s stories in history, and themes of gender equality and peace.

Women’s stories that have inspired the performance include Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; Ettie Steinberg (1914-42) the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army. Also included are Neus Català Pallejà, Maria Eugenia Jasińska and Dolores Ibárruri.

For more information on our tour of ‘The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII’, click here.

For more information on the European Year of Cultural Heritage in Ireland, click here.


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