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A Living Tradition CIC Report for January 2021

The main work for A Living Tradition this month has been focused on Holocaust Memorial Day, which took place on 27th January.   Because of the  Covid-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to put on face to face activities.  In their place the following online activities were developed.   Many thanks to Newcastle City Council for their funding for and support with these events.


These are the events and activities.   They can be found at   Be the light in the darkness - Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 | Newcastle City Council


Dietrich Bonhoeffer Lecture

German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the main opponents of the Nazis during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  His actions and writings have left us a rich legacy, of work and ideas. which we can take inspiration form today, as we face new threats to the values of human rights and dignity for all.    

Bonhoeffer famously asked who Christ was for the people of his time.  In this film Peter Sagar asks who Bonhoeffer is for us today.  

This is a powerful and thought provoking discussion, filmed by Shirley Foster, of the legacy of this brave and principled man, who stood up to the Nazis and helped Jews in the dark days of the 1930’s and 1940’s and what his legacy can mean to us today.

Schools materials with an emphasis on remembering the Bosnian genocide and our common humanity.

These school materials have been specially prepared by Peter Sagar to help pupils to understand what happened in the war in Bosnia in the 1990’s and what lessons we can all learn from those terrible events.

The materials can be used to help students to understand how societies can break down - and how they can be rebuilt.   They are suitable for students form Year 6 onwards and can be used in different ways.

Remembering the Rohingyas

A short film, featuring the Rohingya photo exhibition and contributions from campaigners to help viewers to understand what happened during the genocide of Rohingyas in 2017 and how we can respond to the suffering of this marginalised people.

This is a moving testimony to the plight of the Rohingyas and a reminder of how human goodness can be a light in the even the bleakest darkness.

Newcastle; A Place of Sanctuary - The Roma on Tyneside

A film by Yani Siskartika with Peter Sagar about the way that Newcastle and the wider northeast have been a centre of human rights work for 250 years and how people in the area have welcomed a number of different groups who have come here over the years, including the Irish and the Yemenis.

It will also consider the Roma Holocaust or Porajmos, the  development of the Roma community on Tyneside, why they have come here and what they have to offer the wider community.  .  

This is a fascinating tour through our own history here in Northeast England and timely reminder of the terrible suffering the Roma went through during the Holocaust and how they are still a very marginalised group today.

Genocide in Bosnia; A Warning from History

This is a fascinating film featuring an interview with Smajo Beso, from the Northeast Bosnian community, filmed by Smajo in which Smajo talks about his early life in Bosnia, how he had to flee during the war in 1990’s and how he and his family, along with other Roma

There is also a reflection on the causes of the war in Bosnia and what lessons we can learn from what happened there for our lives today here in Northeast England.

A People Uncounted

This is an excellent film, effortlessly weaving stories from the Porajmos (devouring) - the Roma word for the Holocaust - with those about discrimination facing the Roma today. Anybody watching the film, can come away with a deeper understanding of both what happened to the Roma during the Holocaust/Porajmos and is happening in many parts of Europe today.  Please note that, due to the nature of the subject matter, the film is suitable for over 16s only.

Looking at Roma Holocaust Poetry

Roma are a people known for having a vibrant culture.  Part of that is the poetry that was written in response to the Porajmos or Roma Holocaust. This event sees a film specially made by Northeast based poet Jo Clement, who is from a Roma background.   The film also features Nicu Ion from the Newcastle Roma community and Peter Sagar from A Living Tradition.   There is also a short written examination of some of the poignant and deeply felt poems written by Roma in response to the terrible events of the 1930’ and 1940’s.   The film and the writing amount to a moving and informative survey of the experience of the Roma during the Holocaust.   


Peter Sagar, Company Secretary, A Living Tradition CIC February 2021



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