Still Standing is a performative action in which human body is treated as a living sculpture created in relation to its location. The performance enters into dialogue with the historic choreography by Israeli artist Noa Eshkol created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and performed at the kibbutz Lohamei ha-getaot (Ghetto Fighters) in Israel in 1953.
This year, 70 years on, POLIN Museum, FestivALT, Mazovian Institute of Culture and PERFORM have developed a new take on Eshkol’s choreography to mark the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It’s been conceived as both a commemoration of blowing up the Great Synagogue which took place on 16 May 1943, and a gesture of opposition against the Nazi perpetrators’ intentions which resulted in this barbaric act.
By using movement, choreography and narrative, Still Standing poses a question on caring as a possible reaction to whatever has remained of history – caring which not only takes us back to the past, but also to the present-day and towards the future. Through the performers’ moving bodies, the action also poses questions on how ephemeral forms may be used as commemoration strategies? What can a movement draw from a given location and its history?
Still Standing has been developed since 2020 by Weronika Pelczyńska and Aleksandra Janus in cooperation with Monika Szpunar, thanks to the support of FestivALT.
- concept: Weronika Pelczyńska, Aleksandra Janus
- implementation: Weronika Pelczyńska, Aleksandra Janus, Monika Szpunar
- music: Natan Kryszk
- cooperation: Omer Krieger, Klara Łucznik
- voice-over: Agnieszka Grochowska, Michael Rubenfeld
- project curator: Ewa Chomicka
- project producer: Alicja Kaczmarek-Poławska
- performing: Małgorzata J. Berwid, Halina Chmielarz, Amok Choreomaniak, Viera Hres, Agnieszka Górska, Klara Ignut, Urszula Iwińska, Ada Majchrzak, Ewa Mazgajska, Aleksandra Olszowska, Natalia Osiatynska, Weronika Pelczyńska, Hela Rakovich, Paulina Rozmus, Kinga Senczyk, Małgorzata Sielińska, Olga Skrzypek, Krystyna Słowik, Weronika Solarek, Urszula Strych, Monika Szpunar, Julka Tomiczek, Katarzyna Ubysz-Piasecka, Patryk Wancerz, Dorota Warecka, Ewelina Wegner, Marzena Wiaderkiewicz, Jakub Wichowski, Magdalena Wilicka, Anna Wiśniewska, Robert Włodarczyk, Aleksandra Zagroba i inni.
The event is accompanied by an audio track you can listen to below, read by Michael Rubenfeld. You can read the transcript of the recording here.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews: project realised as part of the Jewish Cultural Heritage program
FestivALT: Project "MultiMemo. Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice" (European Union, CERV: Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values)
Central Dance Scene in Warsaw, 4th edition
Organizer: Mazovian Institute of Culture, PERFORM Art Foundation
Curator: Paulina Święcańska
Co-financing: City of Warsaw