Day 1: Mady Gerrard led by Rockwood Academy - 7th January
In partnership with: Morgan Sindall, Acivico, Birmingham City Council, Highly Sprung Performance, Vortex Creates, River Rea Films, Paul James Promotions.
The opening of the Festival started at Rockwood Academy with the dedication of their new building to Mady Gerrard. The time-lapse film of the new build started our digital experience, before we learnt about Rockwood’s pledge and aspiration for students through both the new facility and Mady’s words.
The film includes a digital guide to the 19 campaign days, the people who inspired them and the pledges made. The day itself was the start of the campaign and includes activity throughout the school online and a commitment to future activity.
*Please note that the Promenade Performance and the lighting up of the building was moved to later in the year to ensure we meet Covid Safety Guidelines.
ECHOES: A collection of poems and drawings by students at Rockwood
Dedicated to Mady Gerrard and presented to her alongside the opening of the school’s new ‘Mady Gerrard Building’, this book is a collection of poetry and artwork inspired by her testimony – written and illustrated by the students of Rockwood Academy.
Inspired by poetry from students who explored Mady’s testimony last year, a 20/21 Echo Eternal cohort created artwork about the poems that spoke to them – using the imagery of the words to further tell Mady’s story.
The impact which Mady Gerrad has had on Rockwood Academy and its students has been profound, as captured in the pages of this book. Click here to explore an online edition of Echoes: A collection of poems and drawing by students at Rockwood Academy.
"In Mady Gerrard's name we pledge to share her testimony and put Mady at the centre of our learning environment.
"We will do this by naming the new building of the school after her, ensuring her name and testimony are forever included in the work of the school curriculum and community activity."
Mady is a camp survivor. Mady lost both her parents when she was very young. Her mother died before the war in 1937 and her father was sent to a work camp in 1940. She was sent to two different ghettos before being sent to Auschwitz. She was then put to forced labour in a factory before being marched for 12 days to Bergen-Belsen, where, finally, she was liberated.
Later in life Mady became a successful designer. She had a series of businesses and shops involving the design, manufacture and sale of clothes.
“I said to myself, if l ever get out of this helI I am going to give food to whoever is around me is not never going to starve whether I will be able to afford it or not, I am going to feed everybody.”