Does Memory Sprout?

Babyn Yar, 2020, photo by Yevgen Nikiforov for
Photo source / author: Babyn Yar, 2020, photo by Yevgen Nikiforov for

Project objectives

In 2021, the cultural memory platform Past / Future / Art launches an international program on the Holocaust tragedy commemoration. The project takes place in Ukraine and Poland. It includes the art & science exhibition Trees of Memory: Roots and Runners, accompanied by public discussions.

Project description

Nowadays, Babyn Yar is almost a forest. One can wander there, mesmerised by the breath-taking beauty of the place. But its name makes people shudder all around the globe. In the fall of 1941, the Holocaust drama unfolded there. The people whose lives were irrelevant to the Nazi authorities were murdered in the ravine. The post-war years brought another totalitarian state, the Soviet one, which established a regime of organised forgetting around the tragedy site.

Meanwhile, trees have been growing in Babyn Yar, covering up the space of former atrocities for decades. They have always been here, on their duty, immersing their roots into the past, stretching out their runners into the future. Perhaps, only the trees in Babyn Yar have the right to vocalise the tragedy that happened there. We attempted to hear their voices.

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