Workshop “Mapping Presence: Jewish Heritage Sites, Initiatives, and Experiences in Ukraine”, that was held on September 4 as a part of the “Space of Synagogues” opening, was modeled as a mutually beneficial platform for practitioners and researchers to discuss issues like visibility of Jewish heritage, Jewish history in art and cultural initiatives and Holocaust commemoration in Ukraine. It took place at the Center for Urban History and gathered a small but highly interested audience of approximately 50 people.
The aim of the workshop was to explore the various ways of engaging with Jewish history, conceptualizing heritage and imagining possible formats to highlight the stories of multiple places in Ukraine, which, for many centuries, had been sites of Jewish culture and life. It brought together activists, managers and artists involved in projects connected with Jewish history and heritage in Ukraine on one side, and academics, researchers and experts – on the other.
The agenda of the “Mapping Presence” workshop was directed into the past by reflecting on what sites and stories are recovered, remembered, and re-interpreted. It also opened up to future by placing initiatives within larger sets of different memory cultures. Inviting practitioners and academics allowed to look into who, how and why engaged with the past and how they could bring change into the ways we conceptualize not only history and heritage, but also society and culture at large.
panel “From Traces to Presence”, “From Borders to Bridges” and “From Sites of Violence to Rites of Mourning”.
Together with academics and researchers from Italy, Israel, Hungary, USA and Great Britain such as Serhey Kravtsov, Vistoria Donovan, Jessie Labov, Ruth Ellen Gruber and Nathan Sznaider, the workshop participants have reflected upon the problems and challenges they have met in their activities.