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FestivALT 2023 in Brief


FestivALT will open with a special Shabbat evening in the former ghetto, open to all. The evening will also be the opening of the exhibition of Gdańsk artist, Jakub Skrzypczak, entitled “Pani Loda”. He is also the creator of this year’s poster. After the meal, there will be a concert of improvised music performed by Alex Roth (UK/Poland), Rafał Mazur (Poland) and Sasha Langford (Canada).

The FestivALT program will have no shortage of events for lovers or performance. The world premiere performance of “Vos Heylt Yeden Kerper” (“The One Who Heals All Bodies”) by Sasha Langford will be a musical experience presenting a contemporary arrangement of ritual music. Using traditional music heard in Ashkenazi synagogues, Langford interweaves liturgical composition with electronic music, enriching the melody with piano and his own voice. In addition, the dance performance “VALESKA VALESKA VALESKA VALESKA” by Dominika Knapik, will be receive its Krakow premiere. The piece is inspired by the story of the life and work of Jewish artist, Valeska Gert, the precursor to avant-garde performance. We also invite you the Polish premiere of Living the Dream with Grandma, by Hungarian artist, László Göndör. It is a performance about a Grandson and Grandmother trying to grasp each other’s pain and trauma, as well as their profound mutual love.

This year’s FestivALT will also place focus on exposing stereotypes: we invite you to the Lucky Jew Shop, a satirical response to the appropriation and commodification of Jewish culture in Krakow. This is a continuation of the original FestivALT project responding to the problematic practice buying and selling images of Jews with “lucky” coins. After the initial FestivALT intervention, the City of Krakow limited the sale of these items in public space. However, the streets of Kazimierz and other cities are still flooded with visions of quasi-Jewishness: restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, events and tours.

The FestivALT program will also focus on historical memory, exploring alternative  commemoration practices related to the Holocaust. Guests of FestivALT can listen to history during the event:  “Listening to the past: listening to non-sites of memory” with Rafał Mazur, or visit the site of the former KL Płaszów concentration camp and take part in the workshop “Creating pigments from a place of extermination” with Daniela Naomi Molnar.

There will also be discussions on  “Communities of Difficult Heritage?” and a “Green Commemoration” panel on ecological, non-invasive commemoration practices. FestivALT also invites you to the “Long Table” – a performative discussion where the issue of diversity and multiculturalism in Krakow and the city of Krakow’s 2030 strategy on diversity will be debated.

We look forward to welcome you to FestivALT 2023.

2023 LineUp