PUSH Opera: Finale with giant choir
Epilogue from the opera PUSH, based on the story of Simon Gronowski, an 11 year old Jewish boy who was pushed from the train (Convoi XX) on April 19 1943 by his mother, on the way to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. His survival and ability to forgive has inspired him to share an optimistic message for humanity “Ma vie n’est que miracles” (My life is only miracles).
A virtual performance during the April 2020 Coronavirus lockdown by members of the casts from previous productions of PUSH in Battle, Chichester, Salisbury, London and Brussels. Written and composed by Howard Moody
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of WW2 British refugee internment, featuring interviewees interned in mainland Britain, the Isle of Man, Canada, Australia, Shanghai (Japanese internment) & North Africa. Visit AJR Refugee Voices Microsite.
Film: Ernö Goldfinger’s Glenkerry House
The focus of this short film is the Glenkerry House tower block in Poplar, which marries brutalism with its architect Erno Goldfinger’s utopian housing ideals. Built in east London in 1977, Glenkerry House is a 14-storey residential tower that functions as a housing cooperative. It forms a part of Hungarian architect Goldfinger’s Brownfield Estate – a group of concrete tower blocks and low rise housing at the north entrance of the Blackwall tunnel.
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His Majesty’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens
Internment documentary, 1991
Refuge and Renewal – Migration and British Art
A film tour of an exhibition that explores the influence that artists who came to Britain as refugees have had on the development of art practice here over the past 150 years. This important exhibition opened at MOMA Machynlleth on the 14th of March 2020. It was to run until June but due to Covid-19 lockdown it was only open for a couple of days. Curated by Peter Wakelin, this exhibition is a partnership with MOMA Machynlleth and RWA, supported by the Richard and Ann Mayou Fund and the Lambert Family Trust.
This is the film version of a site-specific performance that took place at Trent Park, Enfield, in 2012. It was created by the Pascal Theatre Company, working with the Jewish Military Museum, the Wiener Library and the Jewish Museum.
Between 1942 and 1945, this magnificent stately home housed high-ranking German POWs, who to all appearances were treated handsomely. Little did they know, however, that in the basement, their conversations – which were of huge importance to British Military Intelligence – were being recorded (and translated) by the ‘secret listeners’, nearly all of them Jewish refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe. Nearly seventy years would elapse before this extraordinary story could begin to be told.
Plans are now afoot to turn part of the building into a museum commemorating its remarkable and still too little-known wartime history. See Trent Park Museum for further details.
The Ballad of the Cosmo Café
A taster clip (filmed by Andrew Snell with Eileen Hughes) from the sell-out production at St. Peter’s Church Hall, Belsize Park, November 2019.
Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees From Nazi Europe & Their Contribution to British Culture
Filmed as part of Jewish Book Week, featuring Monica Bohm-Duchen, Anna Nyburg, Daniel Snowman.
King’s Place, London on 6 March 2019
The Émigrés who transformed the British Art World: Brave New Visions
Interviews with the descendants of three émigré art dealers filmed by Andrew Snell
Interviews conducted by Sue Grayson Ford
Crane Kalman Gallery
Andrew and Sally Kalman describe their father’s brave attempt to open a modern art gallery in an old air-raid shelter in Manchester in 1949. In the early days, Andras Kalman used a sandwich-board for publicity and strapped Sutherland paintings and Moore sculptures to his car roof but with the timely support of L S Lowry he eventually made a success of it. He opened the Crane Kalman Gallery in Knightsbridge in 1957 featuring mainly modern British artists like Ben Nicholson. Kalman, who lost most of his family to the Holocaust, was also a pioneering collector of early British Folk Art and this collection is now housed at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.
René Gimpel tells the story of his family’s remarkable exploits during the second world war with the British Army at El Alamein and Monte Cassino and, undercover, with the Special Operations Executive, The Baker Street Irregulars. He reveals how the Gimpel Fils gallery was set up in 1946 using proceeds from the sale of old master paintings that had amazingly survived the Blitz hidden in a garage in Paddington. René believes it was precisely because they were outsiders with a different cultural heritage that so many Jewish émigrés from Europe chose to champion modern art after the war. He describes the privilege of working with artists, who, he says, have a different way of “reading images” and of working with clever, knowledgeable collectors like David Bowie.
Annely Juda Fine Art
“Hitler was a painter, but not a very good one.” With these words, perhaps not surprisingly, David Juda’s grandfather found himself imprisoned and his business appropriated by the Nazis. Annely, David’s mother even heard Hitler giving a speech at her school in Kassel in Germany but, David says, she was always eager to embrace the future and in later years showed no bitterness towards her homeland. She set up Annely Juda Fine Art in Soho with David in 1967 and they established a reputation for championing Central European Modernism and the new generation of British abstract artists. “Bad figurative art” said Annely “is a lot worse than any abstract art” and she earned in David’s words a reputation for being “honest, knowledgeable and correct,” a legacy he seeks to continue.
Brave New Visions: Opening Panel Discussion
This video, from Sotheby’s in London, celebrated the exhibition Brave New Visions, which paid homage to the pioneering émigré dealers who revolutionised Britain’s art world.
The panel discussion features Sir Nicholas Serota, Gill Hedley and René Gimpel, and moderator Monica Bohm-Duchen.
Hans Feibusch Interview
Interview by Prof. Vaughan Grylls, Kent Institute of Art & Design (1995)