COMPLEXITIES OF MEMORY II: THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION
In the second part of our “Complexities of Memory” ALT Talk, we will focus on the perceptions of local Polish Jewish heritage from international perspectives. Together with experts: Edyta Gawron and Jonathan Webber from Krakow and Jason Francisco from the United States.
We will look at how Jewish memory intersects with Polish urbanity as can be perceived by foreigners coming to Poland.
The panelists, all of whom are associated with Poland, will unpack the complexities of Poland’s Jewish and non-Jewish histories and heritages, discussing elements of it’s contemporary presence that often surprises and even shock visitors. These are aspects that have often become so normalized that locals are unaware of their impact. They will discuss both positive and negative examples of working with a memory from around the world and from Poland.
This conversation will also be important from the point of view of the ongoing debate in Krakow and Poland regarding the commemoration of the victims of the former KL Płaszów camp. The unsuccessful public consultations, strong polarization of residents’ voices, and the controversial project of building the Museum will be a bridgehead for an in-depth discussion of heritage.
Join the conversation with the experts!
Digital Diasporas with FestivALT
Join us to discuss this unfolding activist provocation!
About the speakers
Erica Lehrer: cultural anthropologist and curator, teaches at Concordia University, Founding Director of the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab (CaPSL).
About Digital Diasporas
Much as a diaspora describes the dispersal of a people across space, this series explores the new movements artists are taking away from their practice in the digital world or how they are working in ways that forge new communities and connections despite geographic distance. In short, it’s a series about being apart, together. Join us each month as selected artists take us through their practice prior to the pandemic, their innovations in response to social distancing, and their visions for the future.
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
ALT TALKS realized 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.