Anne Frank: A History for Today
The 27th January marked Holocaust Memorial Day at Greenfield Arts, in which we hosted a celebration of all the work the Ambassadors and young people have achieved as part of the Anne Frank Outreach exhibition programme we developed at Greenfield Community College – Sunnydale Campus and Aycliffe Site and The Greenfield Gallery. This included a drama workshop with renowned performer Jane Arnfield and The Forge, students explored predjudice and how these stories this can affect us. This was followed by a performance of The Tin Ring, a solo piece by Jane. The piece shares the memories of Holocaust survivor Zdenka, a very powerful piece.
Our Town Mayor, Mary Dalton, also made a very poignant visit to the Anne Frank Exhibition at Greenfield on January 27th – Holocaust Memorial Day. Mary said the exhibition brought back fearful memories of the German occupation and the Nazi extermination of innocent Jews. “We lived in fear with restricted movement and no means of communication and radios confiscated. Acts of sabotage resulted in local prominent people shot in reprisal. Teenage boys were taken away to work in German factories as slave labour.” said Mary. Mary’s father even risked being shot by hiding a teenage boy and neighbours radios in his loft. Whilst the exhibition contained disturbing images for Mary it also brought back fond memories of her late husband and their life together in England.
This exhibition, which was a travelling outreach display and came especially to Greenfield Community College from the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, included a display of photographs and text, as well as a response from the students of Greenfield Community College and local primary schools in Shildon, who have taken part creative outreach sessions and had guided tours from our trained Ambassadors.
Students from both campuses have had the opportunity to train as Ambassadors for the exhibition, in which they have been leading tours of the display, highlighting key areas and engaging students. It is so important to share this history so it doesn’t get lost or forgotten. The Ambassadors trained with the Anne Frank Trust for two days, looking at how they can explore the Second World War, prejudice, compassion and respect through the story of Anne Frank and how they can pass this onto their fellow students. This has been a great educational tool, giving the Ambassadors a sense of responsibility and skills in presenting to their peers as well as sharing the important information. Students said they feel they wouldn’t have engaged as well without the Ambassadors and have learnt so much about prejudice within society. The Ambassadors also noted how much they have learnt about managing a group of students. Our Director of Arts and Creativity commented “this exhibition opportunity has given us the chance to develop a wide and varied high quality programme of activities that have reached all young people at both campuses and extended to local primary schools and the wider community. We are really pleased to help share Anne’s story and the important lessons which stay with you.”
We were honoured to give a private tour to MP Phil Wilson who talked in depth with the students about his visit to the Anne Frnak Museum, Amsterdam, and asked the Ambassadors lots of great questions about the exhibition. Commenting on the exhibition Phil said "it is important to keep the memory of what happened all those years ago alive. The students have done a tremendous job, I was very impressed with their knowledge around the subject and their confidence."
It is so important to share this history so it doesn’t get lost or forgotten. Our Director of Arts and Creativity commented “this exhibition opportunity has given us the chance to develop a wide and varied high quality programme of activities that have reached all young people at both campuses and extended to local primary schools and the wider community. Thank you to the many people involved in this exciting programme.”