Places of Remembering and Forgetting – a project for the Jewish cemetery on Gwarna Street

 

“THREE EARTHS” BY ANNA SCHAPIRO

 

 

For almost two months, the artwork by Anna Schapiro “Three Earths”, an artists from Berlin, will be with us in the city space, referring to the history of the Jewish cemetery in Gwarna Street. We invite you to see two locations with Anna’s works revealing the topography and history of this forgotten place. Start your visit from Pl. Konstytucji 3 Maja, and there you will find further information. Come visit!

 

Anna Schapiro’s visual works move between sculpture and painting. Contrary to the classical idea of an artistic work with a fixed form, her works are flexible and often adapt to the selected location like a second skin. The given space is not only the place of appearance of her works, it also becomes an active carrier of the work.

 

In Wrocław, Schapiro uses mainly natural earth pigments when creating Three Earths, temporarily marking in two places (see dots on the map) the still visible borders of the former Jewish cemetery on Gwarna Street (former Claassenstrasse). In this way, the work brings out the previous historic and topographic layers of the place and shows its transformation in time.

 

Photo: ©Kremer Pigmente, Iris Schmidt

The pigments show the colorful spectrum that can be found within the earth – from yellows, greens, and reds to browns and more. Schapiro uses a fresco technique that she intentionally exposes to natural and urban forces: rain, wind, interacting with pedestrians and more.

 

Anna Schapiro is a visual artist and writer based in Berlin. Her works have been shown in Basel, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Łódź, Lublin, New York, Porto, Stuttgart, and Wrocław among other places. To learn more visit: www.annaschapiro.com

Wrocław: outline of the former 18th century Jewish cemetery on Gwarna Street (former Claassenstrasse) in the current urban fabric of the city.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

 

In 2021-2022 we are implementing our first project – Places of Remembering and Forgetting – planned in two cities, Wrocław and Kraków, for two places recognized as sites of Difficult Heritage.

 

Together with partner organization FestivALT, the Urban Memory Foundation will employ the mechanisms of civic engagement and will work through tensions around the revitalization and commemoration of two sites in Poland – the Jewish cemetery on Gwarna Street in Wrocław and the former Nazi concentration camp in Płaszów, Kraków. UMF will lead and coordinate activities in Wrocław in partnership with the Wrocław House of Culture OP ENHEIM and Dom Pokoju Foundation. To this end, we will conduct a social and information campaign for local residents about the Jewish heritage in their neighborhoods, and raise civic competences of local youth – two peer groups in Wrocław and Kraków cooperating with each other – who will conduct and record conversations with the key stakeholders, especially local residents. We will make every effort to create conditions for building mutual trust and dialogue. The purpose is to provide foundations for developing a common vision for revitalization and commemoration of the two sites of Jewish heritage. The results and conclusions from the activities in both cities will open a new chapter in the dialogue with local authorities and will allow the creation of a toolkit and good practices recommended elsewhere in Polish cities dealing with similar challenges.

 

The project is financed by Norway Grants from the Active Citizens – National Fund, a program financed by the EEA Grants, and it has received honorary patronage of Hans Jörg Neumann, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Wrocław.