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Memorial Flames

Observe Holocaust Memorial Day with this group art activity.

You will need

  • A projector or screen if you plan to show a video case study
  • Supplies to create your chosen artwork

Before you begin

  • This is a great activity to run during an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • Make sure that everyone involved is aware of the content that will be discussed today and there are quiet and safe spaces for participants to go to if they need a break.
  • Think about how you’ll run the event. We’ve included some suggestions but it’s up to you how much you want to adapt them for your group. It’s a good idea to read through the information before you begin so you’re prepared.

 

Introduce Holocaust Memorial Day

  1. The person leading the activity should talk about the significance of Holocaust Memorial Day. We’ve included some information above to help.
  2. Choose one (or more) of the case studies below to read together. We have shared stories not only from survivors of the Holocaust, but also those from recent and current genocides to provide context and perspective to the importance of observing the day. There is also an animated video that you may choose to show your group.
  3. Everyone should talk about the Memorial Flame. Think about the significance of a flame when showing commemoration and solidarity with victims of genocides both past and present. We’ve included some information above to help.
  4. Hold a moment of reflection. Encourage participants to share their own thoughts or reflections however they feel comfortable.

Make a Memorial Flame

  1. Everyone should think about designing and creating their own unique Memorial Flame to form a display. This could be done as individuals, in small groups or as a whole group. Things to consider include:
    • Where will it go? Decide whether the flame will be displayed at your meeting place, in a public space, or in everyone’s homes.
    • Do you need to get permission?
    • Should you make a wall display or fill a larger exhibition space?
    • Could you have sculptures and 3D artworks? Options for the kind of artwork you create are endless. Here are some ideas, but choose whatever works best for your group and its available resources:
      • drawings
      • hand or finger paintings
      • collages (this could include giving each participant a section of the image of the flame to decorate individually, before putting them together to reveal the finished piece)
      • sculpture (see our salt dough recipe for a safe and easy dough)
      • poems, writing or positive words.
    • Who will come to see the display?
    • Can an audience interact with it? For example, writing their own reflections, messages or pledges.
    • What information needs to go with the artworks? You should explain that it is for Holocaust Memorial Day, and share the stories you have been inspired by. You can order ‘booklets about Holocaust Memorial Day here.
  2. Everyone should think of something – a detail or message – that they want to reflect in the artwork. Check out the stories below for some inspiration. This could be:
    • Particular details from a person’s testimony or life story that gives you visual ideas for the flame, such as an activity they enjoyed before the Holocaust or genocide, or something that gave them hope.
    • People’s names: for example rescuers or people who were murdered.
    • Details from the history of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution or genocides.
    • Ideas inspired by poems written in response to genocides
  3. Everyone should us craft materials to make the flame(s).

Ivor Perl – survivor of the Holocaust

Reflection

This activity was about helping your community and being a citizen by sharing learning about Holocaust Memorial Day with other people and feeling connected to others around the world. How did you feel when you heard the stories of people who had been affected by genocide? Why is it important that we keep the Memorial Flame burning and do not forget these stories? Creating the display will help to tell others what you have learned. How else could you tell others?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.