Open Museum – Education in Action

 The Museum hosts Polish and foreign artists who deal with the themes of Jewish heritage and multiculturalism in their work. During three-week residencies, artists develop their own projects. The resulting works are displayed in the Museum and other spaces. 

  • Open Museum – Education in Action / 2016–2017

With the second edition of the program (20162017), we wish to continue the previous strategy of working with the history of Polish Jews. We are interested in a critical analysis of contemporary public debate, social memory, Jewish cultural inheritance, public knowledge and imagination. But also transnational remembrance practices and alternative policies of history.

Within these topics, we are looking for projects focused on the most recent history, i.e. post 1989. We wish for the last few decades and the local Polish context to be the starting point for the projects accomplished under the artistic residencies. We encourage artists to establish relations and cooperate with local communities – with the assistance of the project curators.

Each stay concludes with an open meeting with the resident demonstrating the artist's creative practices and the project realised in the POLIN Museum to the public. It is held by an expert, who additionally comments on the artist's work by publishing a brief critical text.

Some works created under the program may be included in the POLIN Museum's collection and join our Core Exhibition, which includes contemporary Jewish life in Poland.

2016 – 2017 Residencies:

Open Museum – Education in Action / 2014–2016

By April 2016 POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews had realized thirteen projects related to Jewish heritage in the context of the space of the Museum building and the entire city of Warsaw. Projects dealt with history and adopted it as an object of debate, while actively involving the inhabitants of Warsaw.

Presence, Absence, Traces – these are the categories that the artists adopted as the point of departure for their projects. They define the history of Polish Jews, not as a period locked in the past but as something that develops and has significance “here and now”. Apart from references to different epochs of Jewish presence in Poland, we were also interested in critical analysis of the contemporary public debate, social memory, common knowledge and imagination.

We wanted the intercultural discussion on these themes to emerge from the local Polish context, but at the same time to acquire a universal meaning owing to the perspectives of the invited artists, hailing from different cultural backgrounds and employing a variety of artistic means. We wanted to reflect together on the importance of Jewish heritage to us, its place in the contemporary era, in collective and individual memory, and in everyday experience; we also wanted to ask whether the perspective of the Other can teach us anything about Polish­–Jewish relations and our very selves?

In spring 2016 an exhibition Presence/Absence/Traces. Contemporary Artists on Jewish Warsaw of the works created during the first edition of the program (13 artistic residencies) was displayed at POLIN Museum.The artists addressed the subjects of Jewish identity and related autobiographical stories, spoke about remembrance of the Shoah and its traces in the tissue of Warsaw, and also re-interpreted the Polish-Jewish cultural legacy. 

20142016 Residencies


Contact and information: [email protected]


The activity Open Museum – Education in Action is carried out within the project Jewish Cultural Heritage, component Faces of Diversity. 

Supported from the Norway and EEA Grants by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
More about „Jewish Cultural Heritage”