To coincide with the opening of the Imperial War Museum’s (IWM) new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries this autumn, a new partnership programme uniting cultural heritage partners across the UK has been launched.

National Holocaust Centre & Museum will be joining seven other regional partners in the Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme (SWWHPP). The partners will engage national audiences with hidden or lesser-known stories from across the country relating to the Second World War and the Holocaust.

The National Holocaust Centre & Museum project communicates the memory of the Holocaust for a contemporary purpose: to cultivate ‘Upstanders’ against hate and persecution.

Through this project, we aim to develop a responsive dialogue between the Centre and under-heard audiences, which draws on disruptive and engaging narratives to consider new and challenging perspectives. We will work with culturally diverse groups as well as audiences who find it difficult to engage with and visit cultural organisations.

We will share with them – in different formats – the testimonies of survivors of the Holocaust, as well as exploring how we listen in different spaces and places at the Centre, as well as online.

We will explore different themes and challenges within these testimonies, which encourage reflection and creative activity, how they enable us to remember the past, but also how they encourage us to reflect on what it means to be human and encourage us to be upstanders in our community.

We will reflect on effective methods of sharing testimony and learning about the Holocaust, which is pertinent to our plans for site re-development.

Other partners working with Imperial War Museums are Aberystwyth University/Prifysgol Aberystwyth; Bodmin Keep and the Museum of Cornish Life; The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association, Leeds and Huddersfield; The Manchester Jewish Museum; National Museums Northern Ireland and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. The SWWHPP is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund.

As part of their involvement in SWWHPP, each of the partners will be working with StoryFutures Academy and a group of celebrated authors and writers to develop a digital installation that will provide a unique and immersive sound experience for audiences. Designed by creative agency Joi Polloi, this installation will open in IWM London before it tours the country in 2022 and 2023.

The National Holocaust Centre & Museum will be working with World Jam – a supportive network for non-English speaking poets and writers living in Nottingham. Today, WorldJam is a diverse group of people – from asylum seekers to refugees, to immigrants, students and local English performers.

World Jam host writing workshops, produce poetry anthologies, and provide our members with live performance opportunities and translation of their poetry and lyrics.

After attending three workshops with the National Holocaust Centre – hearing from Hedi Argent and Simon Winston, Holocaust survivors, who shared their stories with the group – the World Jam attendees then shared their experiences with Amina Atiq, a professional poet who has been commissioned to write a story/poem, inspired by the information shared by the group.

Her story, which will form part of eight binaural sound stories representing a ‘digital anthology’ of how we feel, will remember and represent the Second World War and Holocaust across the UK today. 

Poet Amina Atiq

Over the next three years, the SWWHPP will also establish a digital internship and support digital skills development across the partner organisations to support digital and community-based engagement.

Click here for more information on SWWHPP.