(un)overcome and (un)divided: on Artistic and Historical Re-Thinking of the 20th Century Mass Violence

(un)overcome and (un)divided: on Artistic and Historical Re-Thinking of the 20th Century Mass Violence

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6.9.2017, 18:30

Center for Urban History, Lviv

This panel seeks to highlight the imaginable ways of making public narrations about the contested past – through art, exhibition, or books. We designed the exhibition to combine reflections of an artist and academic researchers, who work with the topics of challenged past, such as issues connected with the crimes of Nazism and Stalinism, ethnic cleansing and other acts of violence in the 1930-1940s. In this talk, we intend to demonstrate what happens when one takes a look on the past not from a political perspective based on stereotypical categories, but through the history of the locality, of cities, and of people, in the first place.

Moderated by Bohdan Shumylovych

Sofia Dyak

project curator

A historian based in Lviv, director of the Center for Urban History. She received her Master’s degree in history (MA) in Central European University in Budapest, and a PhD in Sociology in the Institute of Sociology and Philosophy of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She is finishing her book with the provisional title “(Re)imagined Urban Space: Lviv and Wroclaw after the Second World War” about the transformations of cities upon the crucial change of population and political orders. She had held a scholarship in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center in Amsterdam, Institute for Humanities in Vienna and the Institute for the Study Human Rights at Columbia University. Her research interests include the topics on the post-war history of cities, such as heritage practices, promotion and representation of cities; actors and concepts of Soviet “historical cities” and engagement of local experts from the “Soviet West” in the infrastructural projects in the Second World cities. She participates in implementation of projects for public history, such as in the fields of re-thinking the 20th century legacy and heritage.

Nikita Kadan


Based in Kyiv. In 2007, he graduated from the National Academy of Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. Painter, graphic artist, author of objects and installations. Was nominated to the Award of PinchukArtCentre in 2009. In 2011, was awarded with the First Prize. His works were represented in Ukraine and internationally, including the Index Contemporary Art Centre, Stockholm (2008), First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art “ARSЕNALE” in Artistic Arsenal and the “Lavra” Kyiv City Gallery of Arts (both in 2012). Nikita Kadan combines intellectual reflections with ongoing social activism. He uses his artistic practices to engage in sociopolitical discussions in Ukraine. He most often works in painting and sculpture, uses abstraction and modelling as art strategies referring to Russian avant-garde movements of the early 20th century.

John-Paul Himka


Since 1977, he has taught in Alberta University. In 1992, he became professor of history of East Europe and retired in 2014. John-Paul Himka was awarded with several prizes and scholarships, such as the Rutherford Prize for excellence in teaching basic studies in 2006, Philip Lawson Award for higher education in the field of teaching and the J.Gordin Kaplan Award for excellence in research. He was a co-editor of the “Encyclopaedia of Ukraine” for three volumes on history. In his academic interests, Himka focused on the history of Greek-Catholic church and socialism in the Habsburg Galicia, the religious culture of East Slavs (such as iconography) and the Holocaust in Ukraine. Since the late 1990s, his deconstruction of Ukrainian “nationalist historical myths” has become widely known. Himka disclaims the stance that Ukrainian nationalism and nationalists had not played or hardly played any role in the history of the Holocaust in Ukraine.

The open lecture is part of the public program for the exhibition "(un)named".


Сover Image: Photo by Jason Francisco "On the Playground In the Unmarked Area of the Ruined Synagogue Or Shemesh, One of the Dozen of Synagogues in the Pre-war Lviv."

Gallery Image by Iryna Sereda