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Complexities of Memory I: The Local Dimension

A conversation about how Jewish memory functions in the city—a case study with Kraków and Wrocław

Revitalization or gentrification? Commemoration or appropriation? Or perhaps digital reconstruction? How does Jewish memory function in the spaces of the city and how does it impact the city’s identity?

On the table for discussion are several places:

  • Kazimierz, Kraków’s historical Jewish quarter, in which the processes of revitalization and commercialization have long been underway
  • The site of the Płaszów concentration camp, which is currently on the threshold of change, facing a debate about a museum and memorial that may be built there
  • The site of a Jewish cemetery in the center of Wrocław, on Gwarna Street, today entirely unmarked and unrecognized
  • A Wrocław/ Breslau New Synagogue alive only in the digital realm.

We’ll discuss the Jewish identities of Kraków and Wrocław, as well as how those identities are perceived in the larger context of the cities. Is it possible to reconcile the processes of commemoration and heritage revitalization with the mass consumption and commercialization of that heritage? And what does the digital reconstruction of Jewish heritage mean and how does it contribute to the Jewish identity of a city?

Join the conversation with experts Roma Sendyka, Piotr Kwapisiewicz, Agnieszka Jabłońska and Karolina Jara. The more questions, the better!

“Identity is built on the foundation of memory, both individual and collective. But memory is inherently selective. In order to remember certain things, we must forget about others. Most often, we remember what we want to remember. Sometimes we remember the things we cannot forget.”
Henryk Halkowski

In cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung.

This project was co-financed by the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund and Asylum Arts.

A public project co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland through the competition “Public Diplomacy 2020—A New Dimension.”

The performance reflects only the views of its creators and holds no bearing on the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.