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Creative workshop sheds light on Holocaust stories of ‘Liberation and Freedom’

Philosophy, Ethics and Theology students at Xaverian College recently had the opportunity to attend workshops as part of a creative arts projects led by Holocaust Art Educator, Caroline Slifkin, and Hannah Goldstone, whose grandfather came to the UK on the Kindertransport, which was a rescue effort of children from Nazi-controlled territory that took place in 1938–1939 during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. Hannah and Caroline have worked together on various Holocaust Education projects for decades and, after receiving funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, launched the Liberation and Freedom Project. 

The purpose of the project is to look at the complex subject of liberation through the art of Holocaust survivors and liberation and war artists. After learning about the subject and listening to Hannah share her grandfather’s experiences, the students reflected on what they had heard and expressed their own thoughts through the creation of art that will be displayed, alongside the art of 11 other schools and colleges participating in the project, at the Yom HaShoah Remembrance event at the Bridgewater Hall on 7 May 2024.

Year 13 student, Denise Andrade from Manchester and studying A Levels in English Literature, Psychology Philosophy, Ethics & Theology, commented: “I took part in the project to experience a part of history that cannot be forgotten. I think more people should take part in similar projects as it allows us to creatively engage with an uncomfortable past that must be remembered.”

Seb Dixson from Hyde, studying A Levels in Philosophy, Ethics & Theology, Business and Politics in Year 12, took part in the activity to support his A Level studies, and said: “I found the talk about the Holocaust truly fascinating to be honest and would thoroughly recommend it to other students to fully understand what happened at the time. Creating the artwork was thought-provoking and enabled us to attach meaning to what we talked about.”

Mo McDevitt, Philosophy, Ethics and Theology Teacher at Xaverian College, said: Our students worked exceptionally well at creatively reflecting on the complex subject of War and Liberation. Caroline and Hannah’s thought-provoking sessions helped to stimulate group discussion through the use of survivor testimony and art that inspired our students to express their thoughts and ideas through the creation of their own art pieces. We look forward to our continued work with Holocaust Education in supporting our students with their studies and contributing to the outcomes of the project.”

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