(un)named: Public Program
September 6, 2017

The series of lectures and discussions accompanied the (un)named exhibition running in September and November 2017 at the Center for Urban History.

"... Is the history of victims possible? Where and how can it be read? What hand was writing it down?... In order to read the inglorious history, one needs to know the ABC of tortures and beating. One should be able to read the maps of scars on the bodies of the subdued. The reader to such a story should become a short-time autopsist and forensic investigator, a connoisseur of the language of radical evil…."

From the text by Mykhaylo Minakov at the (un)named exhibition


The (un)named exhibition and the accompanying program with lectures and discussions welcomes general audiences to talk about the complex and contested topics of the past, about different experiences and memories, about search for different ways and formats to comprehend, speak through and reflect on the 20th century history of mass violence within the territory of present-day Ukraine. The program focuses, among others, on the use and manipulating with the past in present-day societies.

We are going to take three months to discuss these and other topics with researchers, artists, and experts in the formats of lectures, conversatuins, presentations, and performances. The program starts with the conversation with the exhibition curator, a historian Sofia Dyak, an artist Nikita Kadan, and one of the authors of texts, a historian John-Paul Himka. We shall talk about how to combine art and research formats discussing the sensitive and hard-hitting issues of the past. Our lecturers will be researchers such as Karel Berkhoff (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Netherlands), Piotr Wawrzeniuk (Swedish Defense University), Taras Martynenko (Lviv), John-Paul Himka (Alberta University, Canada), and Małgorzata Radkiewicz (Jagellonian University, Poland). Along with the participants of the 83rd Congress PEN International, we shall discuss on the ways that contemporary literature addresses memory and responsibility of a writer who deal historical topics. The guest of our program and the Tetramatyka Festival is a sculptor and a video artist Mirosław Bałka (Warsaw/Otwock). He will share his experience on how a contemporary artist approach contested historical subjects. The performance "East-West Street: The Song of Good and Evil," with a lawyer Philippe Sands, actor and musicians from Germany, France, and the USA, combined classic music, literature, poetry and narration into a story on the crimes of the Nazism, on local dimension of mass violence, on personal responsibility, and on the place of Lviv in the history of international law.

Some events were organized jointly with the 83rd Congress PEN International, the Tetramatyka International Festival for Audio-Visual Art and Lviv Philharmonic