Voices for a Better World: The Legacy of Testimony screening at Leipzig Plenary

The IHRA Leipzig Plenary meetings are featuring an exclusive screening of a new film by the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), Voices for a Better World: The Legacy of Testimony, a project supported by the German Presidency of the IHRA.

A window into the experiences of Holocaust survivors and refugees

Since 2003, the AJR Refugee Voices Archive has been recording the testimonies of survivors of Nazi oppression who found refuge in the UK. Now, this film explores the reflections which the interviewees are invited to give at the end of their ground-breaking oral history interview. How do they make sense of their disrupted lives? What do they worry about now? What are their hopes? What advice do they have for us, and for future generations?

Voices for a Better World is a window into the experiences of Holocaust survivors and refugees, which allows us to reflect on the legacy and future resonance of testimonies.

Get to know the film's creators

The film was directed and edited by Dr Bea Lewkowicz, a social anthropologist and oral historian and the director of the AJR Refugee Voices Testimony Archive and Sephardi Voices UK. Dr Lewkowicz is a member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London and has curated several exhibitions, including Continental Britons, Double Exposure, Sephardi Voices, and most recently Still in Our Hands: Kinder Life Portraits.

The film is narrated by Ed Skrein, a British actor, rapper and filmmaker whose grandmother came to the UK from Vienna on a Kindertransport. Initially known for his music, he is best-known today for his roles in the television series Game of Thrones and the film Deadpool.

Voices for a Better World also features music from Julian Dawes, a British composer whose oeuvre for the theatre and concert hall has received wide acclaim for its contemporary idiom and accessibility. His prolific output of vocal music includes two song cycles which concern the Holocaust: "Songs of Ashes" is a setting of fifteen poems by the Polish poet, Jerzy Ficowski, and "I never saw another Butterfly" is a collection of songs on children’s poetry from Terezin. Dawes' solo cello piece inspired by Jewish liturgy, "Write this Song for Yourself" (2015), its title drawn from Deuteronomy XXXI, 19, will be featured in the AJR film.

Following the film's screening, IHRA delegates will be invited to participate in a Q&A session.

For more information about the film: https://www.ajrrefugeevoices.org.uk/voices-for-a-better-world