Procession of Light marks launch of Holocaust Memorial Week 2023

  • Date

    Thu 26 Jan 23

Students and staff taking part in Procession of Light 2023

The University of Essex came together for a moving and powerful lantern-lit procession to mark the start of Holocaust Memorial Week.

A large group of students and staff walked around our Colchester Campus in a display of unity and act of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.

A lantern-making workshop was staged ahead of the Procession of Light, with the lanterns and candles taken on the walk to provide symbolic light in the winter gloom.

Musicians from the Don Kipper Quartet accompanied the students and staff, with the walk ending with a pause for reflection outside the Lakeside Theatre.

Procession of Light 2023

Dr Marian De Vooght, a Visiting Fellow from the Department of Government and co-editor of Poetry of the Holocaust: An Anthology, also read a poem to the crowd to mark the end of the event.

The Lakeside Theatre later hosted a concert by Don Kipper Quartet, which put on a special show celebrating the world of Eastern European Jewish and Roma music-making.

Reflecting on Wednesday’s Procession of Light, Joanna Rzepa, co-chair of the Holocaust Memorial Week organising committee and Senior Lecturer from the Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies, said: "It was uplifting to see so many students, staff, and members of the community join the Procession of Light.

“It is imperative that we come together to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides to raise awareness and combat the rise of antisemitism and human rights violations.”

Don Kipper Quartet

The procession forms part of a wider series of events lined up for Holocaust Memorial Week.

The sombre Reading of the Names and a special memorial service will both take place on Holocaust Memorial Day this Friday (January 27).

Further details and a full list of events are available via our events page.