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80 Candles for 80 Years

80 Candles for 80 Years

To mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2025 we are inviting communities across the UK to take part in a special nationwide arts and education project – 80 Candles for 80 Years.

What is the project?

For Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2025 we will create a digital exhibition of 80 bespoke candleholders that will be designed and created by communities across the UK – details on how you can be involved are below – that highlight the life of an individual or a community persecuted by the Nazis. This could be someone Jewish or someone from one of the other groups persecuted by the Nazis, such as the Roma, disabled people, or gay people.

The final 80 candleholders will be showcased in a digital exhibition and can also be part of your local HMD activities. This project will give communities the chance to come together to create something bespoke, meaningful and memorable to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex.

What support will HMDT provide?

The project combines art, learning and community collaboration. The 80 communities selected to take part will be provided with £40 in vouchers to aid in the creation of their candleholder. They will also be provided with a list of suggested individuals or communities whose life stories they can learn about and use to provide inspiration for the look and design of their candleholder – this will not be a finite list and groups will be able to choose individuals or communities who were persecuted by the Nazis that are not on the list. Information and ideas on materials and sizes and weights for your candleholder will also be included to help you plan and decide what type of candle your candleholder will hold i.e., wax or battery powered.

Finally, the communities selected will each be asked to collaborate not only in the creation of the candleholder but in committing to undertaking two acts of social good. These acts of social good will support the theme of HMD 2025, For a Better Future. We will provide a range of possible actions to take to stand up to bigotry, racism and hatred, or to support individuals who have experienced persecution just for being who they are.

How can my community take part?

We want communities from across the UK to apply, whether you’re a school or university, a faith community or a workplace, a local authority or a museum, a sporting community or a gallery, the project is open to anyone.

If you want to take part, simply complete the application form below and email it to [email protected] by no later than 23 June. The 80 communities chosen to be part of the project will be selected by a panel. All applicants will be informed of whether they have been successful in the first week of July 2024.

Download application form

If you are unfortunately not chosen to be one of the 80 communities, we would still love for you to be involved by designing your own candleholder and sharing it on social media for HMD 2025 using the hashtag #80Candles and tagging us.

If you have any questions or queries about the project please email them to [email protected].

HMD 2025 theme

HMD 2025 theme

The theme for HMD 2025 is: For a Better Future. Read our theme vision to learn about how you can incorporate the theme into your HMD activities.

Read theme vision