Concert pianist and award-winning actress Mona Golabek will speak at The Pureland Series at China Exchange on 10 February 2017.
Golabek is not only noted for her artistry as a musician but also for her humanitarian work in disseminating the story of child refugees from Nazi Germany via educational programmes in schools.
Her knowledge of the subject is based on hearing her mother Lisa’s stories of growing up in Willesden Lane, London, having been sent to safety via the Kindertransport scheme from Vienna in 1938. This arrangement saw thousands of Jewish children saved from almost certain extinction by allowing them safe passage to foster homes in the UK up until 1940.
Golabek was so inspired by her mother’s story she wrote a best-selling book The Children of Willesden Lane on the subject. That work has now been turned into a one-woman show The Pianist of Willesden Lane.
She knows that her story is immensely relevant even now. Golabek says: “I’ve seen young people of the 21st century overcome by the story of a Jewish teenager in the Second World War, because they relate to it.
“We’re living in an almost broken world, in many senses. The tragedy of what we see repeating itself in the Syrian refugee crisis is heart-breaking, and the tragedy of seeing disenfranchised people join movements to bring such sadness to others is just terrible. I think we really need these kinds of stories to remind ourselves of man’s humanity to man.”
The Pureland Series at China Exchange curates innovative programmes with the aim of enriching lives through creativity, spirituality and self-expression.