The MultiMemo project (2023-2024) proposes an intersectional approach to remembrance – one that underscores the relevance of remembering for social justice and facing contemporary challenges related to human rights violations, military conflicts and violence, social exclusion, and the migration crisis. Drawing from the concept of ‘multidirectional memory’, the project discusses and initiates a variety of forms of active remembrance in the public spheres across several European countries – a remembrance that does not exist in a social vacuum, and instead underscores the urgent need to stand up to contemporary practices of violence and exclusion.
MultiMemo’s point of departure is the troubling legacy of WWII in East Central Europe (ECE). The project focuses on sites and practices of ‘mutliple exclusion’ with respect to remembrance that are problematic or/and overlooked because the trauma of the Holocaust overlaps with other intricate social, historical or contemporary issues. Such sites in ECE also represent a form of legacy of both totalitarian regimes in modern history – National Socialism and Communism. The intersectional approach proposed by the project is relevant now more than ever, when we are experiencing – again, after almost eight decades of peace – a war in East Central Europe, in Ukraine, resulting in massive refugee and humanitarian crises.
The project is funded by the European Union (CERV-2022-REM) and involves nine European partners: FestivALT, UMF, Zapomniane Foundation, JCC Warsaw, the Formy Common Foundation, the Foundation for the Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries, CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg.
1. KICK-OFF – WARSAW
The first meeting of the MultiMemo project took place on February 19-20, 2023 in Warsaw. Together with the partners of the consortium we discussed the project goals and approach and presented them to a larger audience.
We started the event with walks around two Jewish cemeteries of Warsaw, Okopowa and Bródno, focused on the topic of approach to remembrance, the concept of green commemorations and various types of commemoration. Then, the event was focused on project planning, communication and coordination of work for the upcoming months between the partners. The purpose of this meeting was also to integrate project partners and set an efficient and clear cooperation model.
→ Read the Event Description (WP 1)
2. PARTICIPATORY MEMORY WORKSHOP – PAWŁÓWKA
In March, a ceremony was held in Tomaszów Lubelski and Pawłówka to commemorate the burial place of three Jewish children: Rywka, Balka and Jankiel, murdered during the Holocaust and buried near their home in Pawłówka. The highlight of the educational workshops was the ceremony of marking this place with a wooden matzeva. The workshops and the ceremony were attended by students of the 1st High School in Lublin and students of the Primary School in Michalów, school directors, representatives of local authorities, museum employees, several residents, teachers and a local choir. A prayer for the dead was sung in Hebrew and Psalm 23 was read by a student.
These were the first series of workshops carried out by the Zapomniane Foundation as part of the MultiMemo project. We would like to thank the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute and the donor Szlomo-Albam-Stiftung for co-financing the workshops in Pawłówka “Reference Points” – creating a wooden matzevot.
→ Read the Event Description (WP 28)
3. A WALK AROUND THE JEWISH CEMETERY IN BRÓDNO AND PRESENTATION OF ITS RENOVATION PROJECT – WARSAW
On April 23, 2023, another event was held as part of the MultiMemo project, organized by the partner organization Formy Wspólne. The meeting concerned the cemetery in Bródno – the oldest Jewish necropolis in Warsaw, and the conceptual project of its renovation, namely the exhibition of about 40,000 matzevot, which are currently decaying in the heaps in the central part of the cemetery. The first part of the meeting was a walk around the cemetery and getting acquainted with the extraordinary and tragic history of this place, as well as with its actual state. Thanks to this, the participants could better understand the assumptions of the project presented by the architects of the Common Forms Foundation in the second part of the event at the Museum of Warsaw’s Praga.
In addition to the residents, the event was attended by activists from the Forum for Dialogue foundation, researchers from the department of anthropology and cultural studies, engineers, architects, and representatives of the Jewish Community from Warsaw and Sweden.
It was the first event organized by the Formy Wspólne foundations as part of the MultiMemo: Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice project, in which we had the honor to participate as partners.
→ Read the Event Description (WP 27)
The MultiMemo project - Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice, is realized in collaboration with CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries, Foundation Formy Wspólne, Urban Memory Foundation, Zapomniane Foundation, Hochschule fur Judische Studien, JCC Warszaw and Wurzburg University