Echo Eternal Project: A Fly on the Wall

“Travelling through the story of Agnes Kaposi’s journey: a production exploring isolation, intolerance, discrimination and most importantly sheer luck. We discover the root of her story as she survives through one of the most brutal genocides simply by getting on the wrong train. See her explore school life as she was isolated for being Jewish, her families’ strength at staying positive and the harsh reality of the Ghetto’s she worked in as a 12 year old girl”

During May 2018 eleven students from Yr7-10 came together to take part in the Echo Eternal project. This is a national project using interviews with survivors of the holocaust as a stimulus to create a piece of performing arts. City Academy Birmingham is proud to be one of twelve schools chosen to be involved in the project. Our students were inspired by Agnes Kaposi’ testimony of her memories and experiences of the holocaust. They listened to her story and use this to create an incredibly moving performance piece, which included the use of drama, music, spoken word and dance. Students were worked with a professional spoken word artist, the talented and inspirational Amerah Saleh, supported by Faye Meecham.

It was a pleasure to have Amerah and Faye come in and work with our students, who benefited from their expertise and quickly formed a great respectful, working relationship. From the first day everyone involved in the project began to gel and work collaboratively. The students were confident enough to contribute their ideas and suggestions throughout the development process. They were able to work cohesively and devise the piece through the mutual respect that they had for one another.

This project provided our students with the opportunity to not only learn about the holocaust but to explore it from the perspective of Agnes and they appreciated every moment. On Wednesday 23rd may the students performed their finished piece to over 150 people, over two showings and then answered questions from the audience about the experience of being involved in the project. Many of them spoke positively about the impact that being involved in Echo Eternal had on them personally. Students were able to relate elements of Agnes’ story to some of their own experiences, showing a great deal of empathy. On Thursday 24th May the students had the opportunity to perform their piece whilst being filmed on location in and around Birmingham. This included shooting at locations including the Peace Garden and on top of the library of Birmingham! The footage will be used to create the final “Echo” from City Academy Birmingham which will be stored in the Holocaust Memorial Centre due to open in 2022. We will receive the video in the next few months and will of course make this available to parents and students by sharing this via our twitter and on our school website.

The students were an incredible credit to the school and were fantastic ambassadors for City Academy Birmingham. We would like to congratulate everyone involved and remind them how proud we are of them. Thank you to an amazing staff team, led by Miss Holness who supported students with the project.

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