Already since 2017, the Memory Office programme team is actively telling stories of the multi-ethnic past of the city. We were patiently breaking the stereotype of the “most Lithuanian city” and sought to open the rich layers of our multi-coloured past. We wanted to remind you of the fates of our predecessors. To bring back the faces of those from whom we inherited this city and whose names have been so ruthlessly erased by History.
During the European Capital of Culture Forum, we will not only present the work done, but also reveal the most important projects of the 2022 programme, which have strongly marked the overall programme of the title year of the European Capital of Culture. The programme will cover projects and themes of Litvak artists from around the world, telling the complex events of the city’s history from different periods, such as 1972, to which the entire programme for May is dedicated.
Hosted and moderated by: Daiva Citvarienė, Justina Petrulionytė-Sabonienė
In addition, during the presentation of the Memory Office 2022 programme, we will offer two short but memorable excursions in the centre of Kaunas, where the language of art will help us to cast a glance at the forgotten stories of Kaunas. When registering, participants are asked to indicate which of the excursions they will take part in.
I. Tour “Tokens of the Jewish memory”. From the monument to Jan Zwartendijk to Rosian and poet Leah Goldberg.
Although before World War II a third of Kaunas residents of Jewish origin used to live in Kaunas, the traces of their former life are almost unseen today. However, during recent years, the names and faces of those who have lived here, their stories and destinies, have returned to the city’s public spaces. The tour will start next to a light installation by the Dutch artist Giny Vos, dedicated to the savior of the Jews – Jan Zwartendijk. This excursion will lead to the street artworks initiated by the “City-telling Festival”, reminiscent of the stories of interrupted lives.
On the way: performance by the pupils taking part in one of the Memory projects. Patris Židelevičius’ soundtrack with poems created by Leah Goldberg will be playing near the painting dedicated to Leah Goldberg.
Place: near memorial of J. Zwartendejk (Laisvės al.)
II. Tour “Ramybės (Serenity) park – an island of the multinational history”.
Ramybės parkas or Kaunas Old Cemetery – is a unique city place with its history and remained signs of a multinational past. A Mosque and an Eastern Orthodox church built between the wars still stand next to the former Russian, German, and Polish gymnasiums. During the Soviet era, this place inspired thousands of protests for the freedom of Lithuania.
Prepare for the authentic stories of the park and their inspired street artworks. The tour will be complemented by a musical record of the cantata “Ramybės, ramybės…”(“Peace, peace…”) playing at the locations of the four historic religious confessions.
Place: Ramybės park, near A. Pushkin Gymnasium ( Vytauto pr.)
The finale of this event will take place at Kaunas Cultural Center terrace at 11a.m.
We expect each guest to come earlier than the estimated time to check-in and get the full event experience from the beginning.