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Holocaust Memorial Day 2024

Updated: Apr 4


Skimstone Arts presents A Night of Fear & Freedom 18 to 24 January 2024

Part of the National Holocaust Memorial Day Programme and Newcastle City Council's Holocaust Memorial Day Events 2024. 

In January 2024, communities across the North East were invited to join Newcastle’s Skimstone Arts for A Night of Fear & Freedom - a series of free events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 is Fragility of Freedom. 

 

A Night of Fear & Freedom included a powerful new photographic and text exhibition, the chance to hear live and recorded performances of true stories, original songs, music, spoken word and poetry in a compelling, thoughtful and uplifting event, and the opportunity to listen to highlights from the project during a special broadcast on Skimstone Radio.

 

 

As Skimstone Arts’ Artistic Director, Claire Webster Saaremets, explains:

 

"When we look at what is happening across the world with war and conflict and how it is irrevocably affecting the lives of those caught up in the onslaught, we need to, as artists and activists, create work together with diverse artists and communities that explore how freedom is an intrinsic part of all our lives, and how we can consider ways to contribute to the strengthening freedoms of those we live alongside and those much further away."

 

“A Night of Fear & Freedom is a chance for people to come together to pledge not to take our freedoms for granted and consider what we can do to strengthen freedoms around the world.” 

Live events 

 

On Wednesday 24 January, at Newcastle City Library’s Bewick Hall and on Thursday 25 January at The NewBridge Street Project’s Cinema Space, visitors were invited to join Skimstone Arts’ Artistic Director Claire Webster Saaremets, Associate Artist Ako Ismail, musicians and story sharers to sit around a ‘gathering light’ and listen to live and recorded performances of true stories, new and original songs, music, spoken word and poetry.

 

This powerful, thoughtful and uplifting experience highlights stories from diverse contributors about how freedoms have been stolen, lost and found.  This event is suitable for ages 12+.

"Hearing real stories from people was a very impactful experience... experiencing the emotional power of music and the thoughts it provoked when discussing important sensitive topics. It felt a very friendly accessible event." Audience Feedback. 

"The variety of voices and stories shared. It's great to hear the work from such a divers range of artists and individuals. The volunteers and staff members were also very welcoming and warm." Audience Feedback.

"I think humans have probably always gathered around the fire singing and reciting poems, telling stories of the people lost to wars and atrocities. This was a moment to do that. But I find it saddens me terribly that each year there is a new war, new atrocity, new set of names and lives to remember. Thank you for this space." Audience Feedback.  


Skimstone Radio Broadcast 

Finally, on Friday 26 January at 12.30pm, listeners tuned in to Skimstone Radio to hear highlights from the exhibition and event and thoughts from the audience. You can still listen to the broadcast by visiting https://www.skimstone.org.uk.


A Night of Fear & Freedom has been made possible with funding from Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Libraries, Youth Music, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and in partnership with Theresa Easton, Fine Art Department at Newcastle University. It is part of the National Holocaust Memorial Day Programme and Newcastle City Council's Holocaust Memorial Day Events 2024. To find out more, visit www.skimstone.org.uk/a-night-of-fear-and-freedom.

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