Day 18: Harry Spiro BEM led by Everyone Erdington, Erdington Arts Fourm & James Brindley Academy - 24th January
In partnership with Erdington Academy and Godwin Developments.
Originally planned as a socially distanced and broadcast event – the film for this campaign day instead was filmed safely in advance of the day.
The film takes us from darkness to light featuring poetry, music and artwork hosted by members of Everyone Erdington and Erdington Arts Forum.
Poetry and artwork made by students from James Brindley Academy features within the film. Once restrictions are lifted the Chairs installation can be visited at the Secret Art Studio Space in Central Square, details will be listed on social media.
Musicians from The Sullivan Selection bring together a mix of musical cultures, featuring musicians Nifeco Costa, Sandra Daniels, Stefan Stefanov, Andrzej Rogowski, Edwin Podolski, Ilias Lintzos and Jobe Sullivan. Influences from Poland, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, The Roma people, and Ireland.
From the darkness we will burst into light – finishing with a celebration of the multi-cultural nature of Erdington, and the Echo Eternal Project as a whole.
Further events and activities will take place through the year including as part of Refugee Week in June and Hiroshima Peace Day on the 6th August.
We thank Godwin Developments, MP Jack Dromey and the local councillors for supporting. We look forward to working with Erdington Academy over the coming year.
"In Harry Spiro’s name we pledge to share his testimony and work together to make Erdington a “Community of Sanctuary.” Through our work, we will bring Erdington’s communities together, to learn from each other, to share and celebrate our differences and our similarities, our hopes and our aspirations.
"We will work together to create a community of sanctuary where all our residents feel welcome, safe and respected. We will work together to create a community where all will feel valued."
"In Harry Spiro’s name we pledge to share his testimony and practice tolerance, taking on board other’s views with an open mind.
"We will do this by supporting our pupils to be anti-bullying ambassadors and work together to run an annual event that promotes tolerance and raises funds for a charity that supports activity for looked after children."
Harry is a camp survivor.
He was moved to the Piotrkow ghetto — the first created in Poland by the Nazis. Harry’s mother saved him by lying about his age to get a job in a glass factory.
He was sent to several ghettos and concentration camps including Buchenwald and Theresienstadt, where he was finally liberated.
He lost all his family.
“God did not ask people to behave and do what they've done in killing other people.”
Inspired by Harry's testimony pupils recreated his vision for 'tolerance' and 'hope' in the form of light and darkness.
The pieces sit together to represent the ongoing discussions and communication to immortalise the atrocities in prevention that it will never happen again and we live in harmony.