By Downend School, Bristol
Students across the whole school worked in many different mediums to respond to the story of Hasan Hasanovic, which you can read here.
From the outset our central task was to try both emotionally and creatively engage with Hasan Hasanovic’s story. We worked across the whole school, all ages and with all faculties to make sure that copies of Hasan’s story were available and were discussed by staff and students. Our students researched the background to the story and began to put together a visual library that was to help inspire their work. The students also came up with a series of words that would become a thread throughout our work, ‘RUN, RESIST, DEFY, SPEAK OUT AND ACT’.
Hundreds of art works were created in many different forms, and Head of Art Mr Campbell was commissioned to paint 2 portraits of Hasan. A level photography students’ made Hasan’s story the inspiration for their work. ICT students based their Photoshop work around it and the art club created powerful images from lino cuts.
The culmination of the project was a whole day of activities where students from across the school took part in a series of tasks designed to focus on the root causes of genocide. We looked at the history of the Holocaust, the idea of ‘other’, how language is used within the media and within propaganda. We specifically looked emotionally at Hasan himself throughout his journey, and talked about how this would inspire us to curate the art. Students then put the finished piece together choosing from a wide range of sources that had been created by many different people in the school. We tried to tell a story and certain visual themes grew out of the work including the hand in prayer, in openness, helping, and sign of peace. Images of grieving, escape, the woods as hiding place and refuge but also of fear, constant movement and constant threat. We also imbued the artwork with a sense of destruction, attack and corruption where images are eroded and decayed.
Mr Nick Smith, HLTA Innovation Centre Manager
Thea Kelly, Art Teacher
And special mention to the year 12 photography group and Thursday art club for their photographs and lino prints.