The Young Vic, a famous London theater, hosted a unique event on Sunday night to commemorate victims of genocide. Entitled The Human Cost, and done in association with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), the event was organized to coincide with the only UK performances of the internationally-acclaimed play, The Investigation, which explores the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials and is performed by a company of Rwandan actors.
Sunday's event commemorated victims of genocide through poetry, song, film and music with contributions from survivors of atrocities in Darfur and Rwanda, as well as the Holocaust.
Two students from James Allen's Girls' School in south London who visited Auschwitz in 2006 as part of HET's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, spoke about their experience and its relevance today.
"The performances of The Investigation at the Young Vic created an unmissable opportunity to stage The Human Cost, bringing together a community of performers and artists from all over the world who share a unique experience," Young Vic artistic director David Lan said. "It is a chance to commemorate, reflect and raise awareness about the devastating and far reaching effects of genocide so we never forget what has happened in the past and what continues to happen today."
Poetry by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi was performed by actor Elliot Levey and screenings were shown of "Chaim Nagelsztajn's Testimony" from the Holocaust, "Clare's Testimony" from Rwanda and Tomorrow is Too Late, a documentary about Darfur. The evening included music from Orlando Gough's inspirational choir, The Shout, Europe's best known Yiddish folk singer Shura Lipovsky, Bosnian accordion player Merima Kljuco and violinist Ruth Waterman.
The Human Cost was conceived and curated by celebrated director, Richard Beecham, who was also the artistic director for the UK's Holocaust Memorial Day national event this year.
"We were pleased to be involved in this special event to commemorate the victims of genocide," Karen Pollock, HET chief executive said. "We educate students about the Holocaust to ensure they learn from the lessons of the past. Last night's event was very moving and thought-provoking for all attendees, and we hope they will reflect and act upon what they saw and heard to help fight racism and discrimination wherever it may occur."