Culture at the Crossroads of Cultures: Challenges and Experiences in Approaching the Past
August 3, 2013
Center for Urban History, Lviv
The aim of the workshop was to discuss how contemporary culture and art use, reflect and refer to the multicultural heritage, and what is the role of contemporary culture and arts in "coming to terms with the past," and dealing with "difficult history."
The participants and guests of the workshop were searching for the answers to the questions like: What is the place of culture in contemporary societies where heritage is recognized as a profitable industry and diversity as a value? In particular, how do different formats, such as theatre, literature, festival or film, shape our understanding of the multiethnic past and of conflicting narratives? How can we reach the critical re/consideration and emotive re/creation of the complicated past? What does culture offer in contrast to the historical – academic and traditional – interpretation?
The workshop was divided into four panels. Each panel was focused on a specific genre: literature, theatre, festival, and film. The panels examined how each genre deals with topics related to diversity and the contested past as well as how they incorporate findings and questions from scholarship or public discourse. Especially, how does each of them contribute to our understanding of the past and of the borderland culture?
The workshop was conducted in conjunction with the summer school "Jewish History and Multicultural Past of East Central Europe: Societies, Cultures and Heritage" and the festival LvivKlezFest: Jewish Culture Festival in Lviv. It will also include the exhibition of Olena Fridman "Ukrainian ornament and Jewish symbols" (at the conference room of the Center for Urban History).
To discuss these questions, the workshop brought together artists and cultural activists involved in various initiatives dealing with the past and heritage of borderlands and multiethnic communities that lived there.