2019 Production-in-Residence

By Michelle Levy in collaboration with Patrycja Dołowy

PAULINA” is a research and performance project confronting challenges of translation, memory, and identity.  It is centered on the discovery of a text: the Holocaust testimony of a woman named Paulina Hirsch, and on a growing exchange between artists Michelle Levy (New York) and Patrycja Dołowy (Warsaw).

Michelle is a granddaughter of Polish Jewish immigrants to New York. She was searching for records on her great-grandmother in Poland when she found her relative Paulina’s testimony and met Patrycja. Patrycja is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors in Warsaw. She draws out marginalized stories – often of women – connected with Jewish memory in Poland. She helped Michelle decode Paulina’s testimony, becoming an integral part of this story. 

“Paulina was a wife and mother who lost her family and had to fend for herself in occupied Poland. Her testimony is an impersonal, official document that is both specific and vague. As much as we try to know her, the heroine remains absent from her story. What we do know are the details of where she went. Guided by happenstance and the continual reminder that things are not always what they seem, we are taking a journey together to see what we may discover by revisiting Paulina’s story in the places where it happened.”

Piecing together the clues Paulina left behind, Michelle and Patrcja’s research will culminate in a physical retracing of her route throughout Poland and Ukraine, April 25 – May 26, 2019. You can follow this journey here:

Paulina’s Journey April 25 – May 26 | 1945 / 2019

FestivALT is very pleased to be able to support Michelle and Patrycja’s research and public showings leading into and during the 2019 Festivalt.


On May 6th we invite you to join Michelle and Patrycja in Krakow at Apteka pod Orłem / Muzeum Krakowa for a public sharing of the testimony.




More information on the project, please visit.