MEMORY – PLACE – PRESENCE Program
Since 1994, Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre Center in Lublin, Poland, has been running the MEMORY – PLACE – PRESENCE program, which aims to preserve, commemorate and disseminate knowledge about the Jewish heritage and history of Lublin.
Using the most innovative artistic, educational and technological means such as exhibitions, performances, multimedia libraries, Internet platforms, etc. the center wishes to widen the exposure of both the local community and a broader audience to Jewish heritage and culture in order to develop the potential of this region. Within this project, we collect oral history testimonies of witnesses to history, organize Polish-Jewish youth meetings and implement educational activities such as workshops and seminars.
After over twenty years of this work, the Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre Center in cooperation with the WSPA University College in Lublin and the Panorama Kultur Association has opened a new Summer School Program within the MEMORY – PLACE – PRESENCE project designed for students and professionals (educators, teachers etc.) who are engaged in the field of Jewish studies and/or are of Polish-Jewish descent.
The summer school program is created for all those who want to experience and explore the lost Yiddishland and its fascinating history, the forgotten continent of shtetls and cities, the cradle of the Jewish diaspora, a source of inspiration for countless writers and artists, and a mute witness to the Holocaust.
The program offers a unique, complex 10-day seminar on the Jewish cultural heritage of the Lublin region – located in the heart of Yiddishland. We will focus on the following topics:
The history and specificity of the Jewish community in Lublin
We think that the history of the Jewish community in Lublin brings into focus major issues relevant to the history of Polish and Ashkenazi Jewry. Using the example of Lublin we will show the diversity within the prewar Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and the specificity of multicultural provincial centers of Jewish life. We will also highlight some aspects of local culture that made Lublin a distinguished center of Jewish religious and cultural life.
Jews in Lublin - The Gate of Memory →
The heritage of the shtetls
Lublin is situated in the heart of the historic Yiddishland, surrounded by hundreds of small towns that before the Holocaust were vibrant centers of Jewish life. Through our program, including visits to some of these towns, we will help you discover both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage related to the shtetls (architecture, film, literature, etc.).
Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism →
Jewish biographies of the 20th century
Using the examples of well-known Lubliners, we will familiarize you with the identity problems that shaped the lives of many Polish Jews, especially in the prewar and postwar period. We will give you the opportunity to meet members of the Jewish community and to discuss with them the opportunities and challenges that Jews in Poland are facing nowadays.
The Holocaust in Lublin and the Lublin Region
The city and region of Lublin became the center of the Operation Reinhardt, which was to be a final solution of the Jewish question. In this special place we will invite you to face the issues of physical and cultural extermination, to become familiar with the personal stories of the victims, to reflect on the diversity of the attitudes of the Holocaust-observing bystanders and to meet the Righteous among the Nations.
Memory work and education
Is it possible to live where the Holocaust happened? How should we commemorate the victims? Was the Holocaust only about physical annihilation? What can we do not to forget? We will encourage you to discover the educational and artistic initiatives that aim to commemorate and preserve the Jewish cultural heritage in Poland. We will also encourage you to reflect on the multiple narratives related to the memorial sites and the city spaces that have become places of memory.
Witold Dąbrowski - Deputy Director at "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center
Graduated from Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Lublin. Witold Dąbrowski is a manager, actor, singer and storyteller at the Grodzka Gate. He has organized and coordinated many events at the NN Theatre Center and has been with the Grodzka Gate since its beginnings in 1990.
Works at Education and Animation Lab at the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center. Engaged in educational projects and workshops for young people concerning the Shoah issues and the Jewish heritage of Lublin and the Lublin Region. Moderator of Polish-Jewish youth meetings; coordinator of Polish-Jewish youth meetings for Lublin and the Lublin region (cooperation with the Center for Education Development in Warsaw).
PhD, educator, employee of the „Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Center, headmaster of Education and Animation Lab, works in non-formal education in the field of the history of Jews in Lublin and the Lublin Region, conducts educational workshops for young Poles and Jews.
graduate of the European Studies in philosophy and history at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and Postgraduate Studies in journalism at the Warsaw University. Has been working at the "Grodzka Gate-NN Theatre" Center in the Education and New Media Labs since 2003, realizing the educational and oral history projects (eg.: “Magic eye. Stories from the Lublin radio”, “Lights in the Darkness - the Righteous among the Nations”, “100. anniversary of the birth of Stefan Kiełsznia. Educational-artistic activities”, “Polish-Jewish youth meetings”).
Graduated in the History of Art from the Catholic University of Lublin. Participant of volunteer programs in Israel. From 2013 has been working at BRAMA. Education and Animation Lab at the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center.
Marcin Skrzypek - the editor of 2 issues of "Scriptores" devoted to Jewish Lublin, publishing coordinator of "Lublin. Cultural Monograph" by Adina Cimet. At the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre Center" deals with urban space culture. Musician of St Nicholas Orchestra folk group.
President of the Panorama of Cultures Association, leads guided tours of shtetls. Works at New Media Lab where he coordinates the project "Shtetl Routes. Objects of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism Polish, Belarus and Ukraine". Graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science and East European Studies at Warsaw University.
Coordinator of the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Center's Department of Iconography. He studied archaeology at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and has worked at Grodzka Gate since 2005. He specializes in pre-war Lublin photography, especially pictures of the former Jewish district and identifying places in old photographs.
Oral History Program
Graduated from Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Polish Philology. She has worked at the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center since 2005. She is responsible for video documentation.
Coordinator of the New Media Lab in the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center. He graduated from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University and completed postgraduate studies at the Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology. He is the author of numerous publications and presentations on selected aspects of the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Center.
Edition and translations
Graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin where she worked as English writing and literature teacher. Specializes in Holocaust Literature. Engaged in intercultural educational projects and creative writing workshops commemorating the Jewish inhabitants of pre-war Lublin.