During May 10-15, the Spring School of Cultural Practices “From the First Person: Memory” was held in Kharkiv. It’s an educational program for cultural managers and curators from organizations or initiatives in different regions of Ukraine who want to generate discussions on complex issues of the past and apply a participatory approach to their projects. The focus of the school was, inter alia, on the opportunities offered by the interaction of public history and cultural and artistic projects.
Two researchers of the Center for Urban History, Iryna Sklokina and Natalia Otrishchenko, gave lectures during the school. Iryna Sklokina’s lecture “The Political Cult of Fallen Soldiers: Between Memorialization and Community Building” focused on the commemoration of fallen soldiers in the 20th century and its link with political community building and legitimacy of elites, as well as on the role of artists in this process. Natalia Otrishchenko gave a lecture and a practical workshop entitled “Community Projects and Oral History” using interviews from the collection “The Search for Home in Postwar Lviv: The Experience of Pidzamche, 1944-1960”. During the workshop, apart from getting practical tips on the use of oral history methods and implementation of their own projects, the participants worked on various formats of memory presentation in urban space: street exhibitions, sound installations, artistic campaigns, community building events, etc.
The school was organized by CSM/ Foundation Center for Contemporary Art and Korydor, a magazine on contemporary culture, as part of the educational and practical project “From the First Person: Memory. Voice. Dialog” aimed at strengthening the role of cultural institutions and media in countering discrimination, intolerance, and stereotypes through cultural practices and critical texts.