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Talk: In Search of Amnesia

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The Wiener Library

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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In this lecture, photographer Barry Falk will talk about his ongoing photography research project In Search of Amnesia, which looks into the Jewish narrative in south-east Poland and north-west Ukraine, the area formerly known as Galicia.

This project is concerned with memory, how we both remember the past, how it is framed through media and tourism, and how it is also forgotten through collective amnesia. Specifically, it is concerned with how Jewish memory is held within places that suffered atrocity and immense loss. Though the Holocaust looms large, casting its shadow backwards and forwards, this is not specifically about the Shoah. Within Poland and Ukraine, there is a historical narrative of a vibrant Jewish culture that developed within Galicia, an area of the Habsburg Empire of Austria established in 1772. Within this narrative is the birth of Hassidism, a spiritual reform of the Orthodox tradition, and the rise of Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, an intellectual reform of Jewish tradition. Poland had for centuries been a haven for Judaism and the centre for European Jewish settlement. Poland and Ukraine’s cities, towns and villages once had sizeable Jewish populations, active in trade, commerce, and politics; this was destroyed by antisemitic German policies and actions designed to deal with the ‘Jewish problem’ and clear the way for the German Volk.

The task of this project is to find traces of these once vibrant communities, through photographs taken on site, archival images, ideas, conversations, and shared collective memories.


About the Speaker

Barry Falk is an artist photographing people and places that have undergone a process of displacement and loss. He has also documented the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, at the University of Sussex.

His work has featured at the Regency Town House in Hove, the ONCA Gallery in Brighton, the m2 Gallery in Peckham, the London Photo Festival and at the DdA Factory in Cagliari, Italy, amongst other venues.

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Date and Time

Location

The Wiener Library

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

View Map

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