A city civic commemoration event marking Holocaust Memorial Day will be held on Sunday 27 January at Leeds Town Hall from 2pm.
The event will be hosted by the Lord Mayor, and will include a keynote speech by Appolinaire Kageruka, survivor of the Rwandan genocide, to mark the 25th anniversary of the genocide. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Torn From Home’
Appolinaire was forced to flee his home when he was 24 years old. Born a Tutsi, which was the ethnicity targeted during the genocide, he will reflect on his experiences as a survivor to address the common themes of Holocaust Memorial Day.
The speech will be followed by a performance by Playhouse Youth. Their piece ‘The Library’ will feature music, movement, and storytelling, set inside a library of forgotten stories, exploring the themes of home, displacement, family and loss.
There will be music from the ‘Kolot Hazichoron - Voices of Hope’ choir, and a reading of the seven statements of commitments with candle lighting. These will be read by representatives of different groups persecuted, including Holocaust survivors, people with additional needs, the LGBT* community, and Remembering Srebrenica.
The free event will close with a traditional Hebrew memorial prayer sung by the President of Bradford Synagogue, Rudi Leavor, BEM and is free and open to all.
Leeds will also mark Holocaust Memorial Day with a ‘Pay What You Feel’ screening of the film Hotel Rwanda at Seven Arts on Monday 28 January, 7.30pm. Tickets can be reserved in advance.
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The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Graham Latty said:
“The need to reflect on what has gone before remains ever important in times where fighting against hatred and persecution are an everyday challenge. This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme of ‘Torn From Home’ reminds us of the importance of place, and how everyone should have somewhere they are happy to call home."
Councillor Judith Blake said:
“Leeds marks Holocaust Memorial Day with an event that embraces a wide range of different groups, and commemorates those who have lost their lives through moving personal stories. These compassionate tributes represent the spirit of our city and our understanding of the need to learn from the past.”
Notes to editors:
The event is coordinated in Leeds by Leeds City Council’s Arts Development team and the Holocaust Memorial Day steering group. To find out more, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Arts-Development.aspx
About Holocaust Memorial Day:
Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2019 is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.
About the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is the charity established by the Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day, encouraging and inspiring individuals and organisations across the UK to play their part in learning lessons from the past and creating a safer, better future.
The cross-age and inclusive company from Leeds Playhouse work together as an ensemble to present tales from real people affected by the Holocaust. They bring stories of different experiences to life through performance, music and storytelling.