ALT Talks is a series of critical conversations focussing on the intersection of Jewish memory in contemporary Polish contexts.

FestivALT goes GlobALT

During the cultural-educational Shavuot marathon organized by JCC Warsaw, in an interview with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Chief curator of the POLIN Museum, entitled “FestivALT goes GlobALT” the co-directors of FestivALT Adam Schorin, Michael Rubenfeld and Magda Rubenfeld Koralewska talk about how they’ve adapted their programming for the COVID era. Learn about FestivALT’s ongoing initiatives and virtual projects in an exciting conversation about critical and experimental Jewish art in Poland.

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ShabbatstivALT, was our introduction into contemporary Jewish Poland at The Great Big Jewish Food Fest. With special guests Maja Luxenberg, Betty Q, and Magdalena Maślak. Give it a watch!

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Complexities of memory I: local dimension

Join experts Roma Sendyki (Jagiellonian University), Piotr Kwapisiewicz (Czulent Association), Agnieszka Jabłońka (Urban Memory Foundation) and Karolina Jara (Univeristy of Wrocław) as the discuss the way memory works in the public space of Kraków and Wrocław.

Revitalization or gentrification? Commemoration or appropriation? Or perhaps digital reconstruction? How does Jewish memory function in the spaces of the city and how does it impact the city’s identity?

On the table for discussion are several places:

  • Kazimierz, Kraków’s historical Jewish quarter, in which the processes of revitalization and commercialization have long been underway
  • The site of the Płaszów concentration camp, which is currently on the threshold of change, facing a debate about a museum and memorial that may be built there
  • The site of a Jewish cemetery in the center of Wrocław, on Gwarna Street, today entirely unmarked and unrecognized
  • A Wrocław/ Breslau New Synagogue alive only in the digital realm.

We discussed the Jewish identities of Kraków and Wrocław, as well as how those identities are perceived in the larger context of the cities. Is it possible to reconcile the processes of commemoration and heritage revitalization with the mass consumption and commercialization of that heritage? And what does the digital reconstruction of Jewish heritage mean and how does it contribute to the Jewish identity of a city?

Watch it on Facebook [in Polish]

Complexities of Memory – Digital Diasporas

Join FestivALT co-director Magda Rubenfeld Koralewska, cultural anthropologist and curator Erica Lehrer and artist Jaqueline Nicholls to discuss their approach to a new critical intervention around Jewish subject matter in the Krakow Ethnographic Museum, and the ways it has changed and evolved as a result of the global pandemic. The event was part of the Digital Diasporas series of the Jewish Museum of Montreal.

Video coming soon 


Complexities of memory III – international dimension

In this next ALT Talks we focused on perceptions of the local Polish Jewish heritage from international perspectives. We will have four experts with us: Jason Francisco (USA), Edyta Gawron (Kraków), Jonathan Webber (Kraków), and Daniel Ljunggren (Sweden). We looked at how Jewish memory intersects with Polish approaches, as seen by foreigners coming to Poland.

The panelists unpacked the complexities of Poland’s Jewish and non-Jewish histories and heritages, discussing both positive and negative examples of present-day realities that often surprise visitors, and sometimes even shock them. Some aspects have become so normalized that locals are unaware of their impact, especially on foreigners.

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Lucky Jew, Black Peter and Chicago Redskins:  exploring ethnic stereotypes

With cultural antropologist Erica Lehrher and her guests: Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu (European University Institute), Monica Patterson (Carleton University), Nicholas Boston (City University NYU), Dorota Głowacka (University of Kings College), Lorena Fontaine (University of Winnipeg), and Shelley Butler (McGill University Canada) & Norman Ravvin (Concordia University) we dived into a dicussion about comparative ethnic stereotypes.

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Postmemory of Genocide

Postmemory of Genocide: Land, Inheritance, and Artistic Response is a collaboration between Polish Jewish artists in Poland and Indigenous artists based in Canada. This project grew out a desire to parallel these two spaces of genocide – Poland and Canada – and examine how Jews and Indigenous peoples are operating in relationship and response to their respective genocides. Representing Canada (Turtle Island) are Barry Biliński, Debby Wilson Denard, Andrea Menard, Monique Mojica, Tamara Podemski. Representing Poland are Maniucha Bikont, Maria Magdalena Kozłowska, Paweł Passini, Zuza Srebrna, Mikołaj Trzaska.

Day 1 – Watch it on Facebook

Day 2 – Watch it on Facebook


In cooperation with  Allianz Kulturstiftung

This project was co-financed by the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund

A public project co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland through the competition “Public Diplomacy 2020—A New Dimension.” The talk reflects only the views of its creators and holds no bearing on the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Individual partners:
JCC Warsaw for FestivALT goes GlobALT
Musuem of Jewish Montreal for Digital Diasporas
Żydowskie Muzeum Galicja and Urban Memory Foundation for Complexities of Memory – international dimension.