Artists & Survivors

The Memory Makers project pairs survivors of genocide with a range of artists, who are responding to their life stories by creating a work of art.

The aim is to honour their experiences, to Keep the memory alive. If we all share just one story with one other person, we will have taken a huge step towards learning and spreading the lessons of the past.


Writer, broadcaster and actor Stephen Fry met Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch at her home in north London. As a member of the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra, Anita played cello for the notorious Dr Mengele. Stephen and Anita were keen to explore the idea of music and evil – and whether art can remain untouched by the worst of human atrocities.


Filmmaker and animator Gemma Green-Hope met Holocaust survivor Ivor Perl at his family home. Ivor was just 11 years old when he was taken to Auschwitz, and survived with the help of his older brother and several strokes of fortune. Gemma and Ivor discussed family, memory and hope – and how the lessons of the past can shape our future.


Collage artist and animator Martin O’Neill met Holocaust survivor Bettine Le Beau at her north London home. Bettine survived the Holocaust in France as a child, and went on to become a Bond girl and movie star. Martin and Bettine had a wide-ranging discussion on happiness, education and working with young people – and how hope can overcome hatred.


Severely visually impaired illustrator Kimberley Burrows met Holocaust survivor Sabina Miller over lunch in central London. Sabina survived the Holocaust by fleeing the Warsaw Ghetto and hiding in the Polish countryside. Kimberley and Sabina discussed the importance of family and overcoming adversity – and how hatred can never break the best of the human spirit.


Poet Sarah Hesketh met Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler over tea in north London. Eve survived the Holocaust as a child, escaping Nazi persecution by fleeing France for America. The pair discussed Eve’s heartache at missing her family across the Atlantic, as well as the significance of memory – and whether art can capture human experience for future generations.


Ceramicist Clare Twomey met Nisad ‘Šiško’ Jakupović, who survived the notorious Omarska concentration camp during the Bosnian War. Nisad experienced the horror of communities turning on one another as school friends became oppressors. The pair discussed Nisad’s experience of the camps, and how human solidarity can triumph even in horrific circumstances.


Filmmaker Debs Paterson met Holocaust survivor Janine Webber at her north London home. Janine survived by moving between hiding places in occupied Poland, and witnessed the Nazis seizing her brother and father. Debs and Janine explored the effect these experiences have had on her life – as well as the importance of educating young people about the past.


Filmmaker and visual artist Will Head met genocide survivors from Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and the Holocaust. Will’s Moving Portraits project shows survivors with objects that are deeply significant to them – whether that is a picture of a loved one, or something that helped them through the horrors they experienced.


Young illustrator and visual artist Gideon Summerfield met a group of Holocaust survivors. His project aims to capture each individual as fully and faithfully as possible through intricate line drawings and portraits, to depict his subjects as they are today – with one eye on what they experienced in the past.

If everyone who reads this shares one story with one person, we will have taken a huge step towards learning from the past to create a better, safer future.

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