Garden opening: Thursday, June 27 – 15:00 – 17:00
The site of KL Płaszów, in the Podgórze district of Kraków, is a former concentration camp site unlike most others: it exists today primarily as a public park and recreation area, with a smattering of monuments and markers of memory. The site’s use and misuse, the remembering and forgetting of its history, have preoccupied members of the FestivALT collective for years. Medicinal Plants of Płaszów is an experimental answer to the questions: “What forces of healing is the genocidal earth of Płaszów itself generating?” and “Is it possible to harness the power of that natural healing for social healing?” As it turns out, all manner of medicinal plants and herbs grow in the site. During last year’s edition of FestivALT, Jason Francisco and Magda Rubenfeld worked with ethnobotanist Karol Szurdak and Miejski Ośrodek Pomocy Społecznej, a local social welfare center, to create a garden of Płaszów’s medicinal plants. The garden is an unusual place where difficult history, the strength of community, and the genocidal earth itself join to form a powerful experience.