7th FestivALT | 23.06–2.07.2023

Welcome to the 7th edition of our festival of Jewish Art and Activism. FestivALT is a Jewish organization that operates at the intersection of art, activism, and education. We utilize critically-engaged contemporary art, performance and activism as tools for examining the complexities of Jewish Poland today.

Schedule of דאָיִקייט | TUTECZNOŚĆ | DOIKAYT


The theme of this year is “doykayt” (Yiddish “hereness” or “the here and now”) – an idea popularized between the wars by Jewish socialists associated with the Bund party, affirming the Jews’ belonging to Eastern Europe and promoting the concept of cultural-national secular Jewish autonomy.

At the top of the poster, there are two Hebrew words, a phrase from the Torah: “Shamor ve-Zachor” – “Guard and Remember.” These are almost iconic pillars of Jewish identity.

Moharan interprets it as follows: “A person should diligently guard the memory so as not to fall into forgetfulness, which is a manifestation of the aspect of the death of the heart” (כִּי צְרִיכִין לִשְׁמֹר מְאֹד אֶת הַזִּכָּרוֹן, שֶׁלֹּא יִפֹּל לְשִׁכְחָה, בְּחִינַת מִיתַת הַלֵּב) [Likutey Moharan, 54:1].

However, on the sides of the poster, there is also Yiddish text from Shalom Ash’s novel “Der man fun Nacares,” which seems to proclaim the opposite: “not memory, but precisely forgetfulness is the condition of our existence” (נישט דאָס געדענקען, נאָר דוקא פֿאַרגעסן איז אַ תנאי פֿאַר אונדזער עקזיסטירן).

The juxtaposition of these two texts in the context of the concept of dojkajt seems to suggest its meaning: every existence, every identity, is a balance between what should be guarded (shamor) and remembered (zachor), and what should be rejected and forgotten.

This is not a new idea. In the Talmud, in Tractate Brachot 32b, it is written, “Before the Throne of Glory spreads Forgetfulness” (יֵשׁ שִׁכְחָה לִפְנֵי כִּסֵּא כְבוֹדֶךָ). However, this forgetfulness is selective. It does not include good things; it does not engulf what makes each being exceptional and unique but rather diminishes everything that appears as an obstacle to reaching one’s own identity.

Finally, there is a third dimension of memory/forgetfulness, which touches the core of doykajt – in a particularly painful way: the places of life or the places where life once flourished. Job’s words, echoing from the depths of despair, become a prophetic challenge to all places abandoned by humans: “even his place remembers him no more” (וְלֹא-יַכִּירֶנּוּ עוֹד מְקֹמוֹ). As a nation of archivists, even if we ourselves preserve the memory of places, we should sometimes restore the memory of ourselves to these places. Places, and even objects, suffer from amnesia – they too need to be protected from ill fate and loved.

Poster design: Jakub Skrzypczak
Open Call 2023

This year, five projects of artists (Dominika Knapik, Gabriel Bielawski, Marcell Szabłowska, Sasha Langford and Daniela Molnar) were selected from over 90 works submitted to our Open Call. The international Jury was comprised of prominent artists and thinkers: writer Louise Steiman (US), anthropologist Sasha Tycko (US), photographer/writer Jason Francisco (US), theatre director Wojtek Ziemliński (PL), musician Natan Kryszk (PL)t, theatre maker Michael Rubenfeld (PL/CA) and dance artist Małgorzata Haduch (PL). The Open Call project was possible with support of the Jewish Hummanitarian Fund.


The 7th edition of FestivALT is organized as part of the MultiMemo: Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice project, thanks to the support of the European Union under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) program.

Partners of the 7th edition:

- Tadeusz Cantor's Centre for Documentation CRICOTEKA
- Hillel Krakow
- Jak Zapomnieć Gallery
- Scena Supernova
- Targowa2

MultiMemo Partners

MultiMemo Project Partners:
- CEJI – A Jewish contribution to an inclusive Europe
- Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries
- Foundation Formy Wspólne
- Urban Memory Foundation
- Zapomniane Foundation
- Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg
- JCC Warsaw
- Würzburg University