In the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day, Big Ideas launched its national commemoration project called Foundation Stones in Wales.
Foundation Stones invites everyone to paint a commemorative stone in memory of the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution. The stones will be laid within the foundations of the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London.
As part of the Welsh launch, over 800 Foundation Stones were created. Co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation the Rt Hon Ed Balls said: “We are delighted that so many Welsh stones will be included in this important new Memorial.”
Big Ideas was invited to run Foundation Stones at a special event at the The Senedd to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Assembly Members and other attendees created Foundation Stones with messages in Welsh and even a Welsh dragon, representing a powerful contribution from Wales to the new Memorial.
Left stone- “In memory and with respect”.
Right stone – “With hope”.
The following week, with support from the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service, Big Ideas engaged with primary and secondary schools and community groups across Newport, Cardiff and Torfaen. Over 700 stones were painted over the course of one week. Many of the stones were celebratory, looking towards a brighter future and the children were excited by the fact their stone would become part of the new national Memorial.
Big Ideas also ran a stone painting workshop with children at an after school club on a Gypsy Traveller site and an evening workshop at the Romani Cultural & Arts Company base, sharing stories about stones that had been painted over the course of the week. They painted some moving stones to commemorate Roma and Sinti victims of Nazi persecution, finishing off a wonderful week of engagement with Welsh schools and community groups. Diolch yn fawr- thank you to all the groups who took part!
These Welsh stones will join thousands of others to form the foundations of the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London. To take part in this unique project, email FoundationStones@big-ideas.org.