The Art of Memory – second panel discussion within the framework of the series On Polish Jews: Whispering and Shouting

fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN

The second panel discussion in the series On Polish Jews: Whispering and Shouting will be held at POLIN Museum on Thursday, April 23rd, at 6 PM. This time we will examine the links between art and culture and Polish collective memory.  

Over the course of the last two decades Polish artists – visual artists, writers, filmmakers – have increasingly drawn on Jewish themes. This has given rise to both serious, realistic works such as Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness or Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida and projects bordering on kitsch in which Jews return as zombies (Igor Ostachowski’s Night of the Living Jews), possess the living as dybbukim (Pożar w Burdelu), or inspire nostalgic graffiti (Rafał Betlejewski’s I Miss You, Jew project).

Jews are mentioned either as victims or within the context of their absence, the void they have left behind. The everyday, ordinary world of Polish Jews is at most an object of stereotyping, reduced to the image of Jew-with-coin figurines or idealized representations of prewar Polish multiculturalism. What does this tell us? Why is the history and culture of Polish Jews in art, literature and film still something to “come to terms with” rather than merely a source of inspiration.  

Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett – Chief Curator of POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition, cultural anthropologist Prof. Sławomir Kapralski, photographer Wojciech Wilczyk and museologist and cultural scholar Prof. Anna Ziembińska-Witek will talk about Polish memory culture and the role of POLIN Museum.

Hosted by Grzegorz Chlasta (Polskie Radio RDC) and Małgorzata Pakier (POLIN Muzeum)