Forgotten Voices: Stories of Hope, Courage and Resilience from the Holocaust and WWII
Using creative processes of theatre, film, online digital technologies and social media campaigns to remember forgotten stories of humanity, courage and resilience from the Holocaust and World War II, Forgotten Voices: Stories of Hope, Courage and Resilience links these stories to solidarity today and the key role the EU plays in promoting democracy, equality and peace for all.
The project uses a diverse collection of forgotten or hidden stories exploring voices of resistance from ordinary people who stood up against fascism and a hatred of the other. Time and time again, acts of kindness, courage and resilience were carried out by ordinary people, both within the camps and in wider society struggling under totalitarian regimes, as people stood up against fascism to protect the rights of others. The project highlights how people from all backgrounds risked, and in some cases, sacrificed their lives for complete strangers, demonstrating a belief in humanity and a determination to fight for a future where all people would be treated equal.
Four European partners from Ireland, Spain, Poland and Germany come together and select 20 stories of ‘hope, courage and resilience’ in a time of war, 5 from each partner country. The stories inform the creation of a digital book, ‘live’ theatre monologues and a twenty-minute film which are then shown to the public and used to bring people together to promote a remembrance of European history. The stories explore what happens when democracy is denied and how this impacts on ordinary people from the genocide of the Jewish and Roma communities to the imprisonment and deaths of political activists, people with disabilities, Spanish Refugees, Polish civilians, German anti-Fascist resisters and many more. By shining a light on dark events of the past, the project uses stories of ‘hope, courage and resilience’ to highlight the role of the EU today to promote democracy, equality and peace for all. By telling the stories of ordinary people who stood up against fascism and supported democracy and freedom, the project promotes a remembrance of a shared European history and raises awareness of the shared values that Europe stands for in relation to promoting peace, democracy and the wellbeing of all its people equally.
The project culminates in an international creative arts event held for the 2021 Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival where participants take part in interactive theatre performances, film screenings, panel discussions and debates, highlighting stories of a diverse range of groups who stood up against fascism and hatred of the other. Participants then engage in debate on how to recognise the growth of fascism in society and debate on contemporary democratic achievements in Europe and how European solidarity plays a key role in promoting democracy, equality and peace for all people today. A key aim is to encourage participants to recognise the importance of European solidarity and the way in which the EU promotes right and values for all people equally and to engage citizens in actions to prevent the growth of intolerance and to promote diversity and inclusion.
The project is supported by Europe for Citizens and the partners are Smashing Times, Dublin, Ireland (lead partner); IFESCOOP, Valencia, Spain; University of Hannover, Germany; and Akademia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna w Lodzi, Poland.