13 Oct Dora Love Prize 2017 welcomes schools from Essex
More young people from Essex and Suffolk than ever before are taking part in the Dora Love Prize and its founder and organiser, Professor Rainer Schulze, thinks the feedback from schools shows it has never been as important as now.
Established in memory of Dora Love, who lived and worked in Colchester after surviving Stutthof concentration camp, the Prize encourages young people to think about the issues surrounding the Holocaust and develop projects which investigate how it relates to the attitudes, discrimination and prejudices still around us now.
Professor Schulze, Emeritus Professor of Modern European History in the Department of History, said: “Learning from history is particularly important today when aggressive xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia – and, yes, anti-semitism too – are on the rise again.
“The Dora Love Prize is a unique opportunity to combine the study of the Holocaust with examining the world in which we live today, and attitudes that we harbour ourselves: how do we approach people who are ‘different’, do we stand up to acts of discrimination and hatred that we witness in our streets, in our schools, in our communities, do we really practice the principles of universal human rights or do we only talk about them?”
- Other schools still have time to contact Professor Schulze to find out how to take part in this year’s Prize.
Workshops look at Holocaust Memorial Day theme
The Dora Love Prize was launched with a special day of workshops at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus involving 11 schools from across Essex and Suffolk.
This is the largest number of schools to take part in the annual project since it was launched five years ago. A total of 115 students joined the workshops involving art, drama and discussion and based around the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 – ‘how can life go on’.
One of the highlights of the day for many students was the chance to hear the experiences of Holocaust survivor Frank Bright who now lives in Suffolk.
Academic and discussion sessions were also led by Professor Schulze, Deputy Headteacher at Northgate High School Dale Banham, English Romany Gypsy Police Officer at Thames Valley Police and one of the founders of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association (GRTPA) Jim Davies, and Education Officer for the Holocaust Educational Trust Martin Winstone.
Arts and creative workshops were led by Drama practitioners and recent Essex graduates Alice Murray and Bonnie Murphy, Participation and Young Company Director at Mercury Theatre and Co-founder of Komola Collective Filiz Ozcan and Artist Alison Stockmarr with inspirational and motivational speaker Siya (Siyabulela) Twani also leading sessions.
The Dora Love Prize – standing up against intolerance
Dora Love, who died in 2011, spent much of her life raising awareness of the need to continue to stand up against the attitudes which made the Holocaust possible – intolerance, discrimination and hatred of those who are regarded as ‘different’. She received an honorary degree from the University of Essex in recognition of her work.
The Prize is awarded each year for the best Holocaust awareness project by an individual pupil or group of pupils based at a school in Essex or Suffolk.
The schools will now work on projects ahead of a special evening in January at the Lakeside Theatre during the University’s Holocaust Memorial Week.
“Once in a lifetime opportunity”
The University’s Arts Education Outreach Officer Kate Beckwith said: “I feel honoured to be part of such an important day. To watch the students learn about such a difficult and important subject and become empowered and confident enough to share their own thoughts and experiences by the end of the day is so exciting. It is an excellent example of how the arts can be utilised to provide meaningful insights into other subjects. The students seemed really enthused by the idea of making their projects cross-curricular and multidisciplinary. I am looking forward to seeing their presentations at the Lakeside Theatre in January.”
The schools taking part were Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College in Wickford, Gosfield School, The Ongar Academy, Maltings Academy in Witham, Newmarket Academy, Northgate High School in Ipswich, St John Payne School in Chelmsford, The Sandon School in Chelmsford, Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds, Tendring Technology College and William Edwards School in Grays.
The feedback from teachers was incredibly positive. One said: “A once in a lifetime opportunity. It was brilliant to learn new things and identify further cross-curricular links that can be incorporated into the Dora Love project.”
Another added: “Meeting with Holocaust survivor Frank Bright was a brilliant experience. The workshops were very thought-provoking and the pupils were eager to share information with each other afterwards.”
If your school would like to take part or find out more contact Professor Schulze at: [email protected]