Search results

Your search found 24 items
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year
Home  / Search Results
Author(s): Wróbel, Karolina
Abstract: Over the past three decades, a renewed interest in Jewish heritage in Poland has emerged. This phenomenon has its origins in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has since developed into a recognizable trend often described as the "Jewish revival" or "Jewish renaissance." The annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow is the most prominent manifestation of this movement. Every summer, Krakow is turned into a stage by performances of Klezmer music, theatre and art exhibits dealing with Jewish culture. Workshops on Jewish traditions intend to educate the participants about the century-long presence of Jewish life in Poland and Polish-Jewish co-existence. Despite its popularity in Poland, the Festival has met with criticism and skepticism internationally. The most vocal critics are members of Jewish communities across North America and Western Europe, who accuse Poles of misappropriating and misrepresenting Jewish culture. Many commentators point to the antagonistic nature of Polish-Jewish relations suggesting a lack of historical sensitivity on the part of the Poles and question the motivation and sincerity of the Jewish culture revival. This point of tension reflects the existence of two opposing narratives which have come to dominate Polish and American/Western European historical discourse respectively. This dissertation aims to dissect the root and explain the cause of these competing perspectives. To achieve this goal, this study investigates the renaissance of Jewish culture through the lens of the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. In reference to Pierre Nora's concept of the lieu de memoire, it examines the value of the Festival as a site of memory and analyzes performance in relation to the specific space and time in which it occurs. More specifically, it contests the nature, popularity and educational value of the Festival within the discussion of cultural ownership.
Author(s): Sandri, Olivia
Date: 2013
Abstract: Throughout Europe products of Jewish culture – or what is perceived as such – have become viable components of the popular public domain. Jewish-themed tourism has emerged since the 1990s in a number of European cities after decades of “collective amnesia”, and some of the Jewish areas have recently undergone a ‘Jewish-thematisation’.

The focal point of this article is the usage of heritage in former Jewish areas. The aim is to understand in which ways and to what extent Jewish heritage is used for tourism purposes. A comparison between Krakow and Vilnius underlines what this difference in usage depends on, in the context of increasingly popular cultural and heritage tourism. In order to understand how Jewish-themed tourism has developed an inventory of Jewish heritage and Jewish-themed events in the two cities is made, showing that Jewish heritage is mainly used for economic development through tourism as well as commemoration in Krakow, whereas in Vilnius, it is used for commemoration and for the needs of the local (Jewish) community. The complexity of the topic and the importance of various local factors in the usage of Jewish heritage are shown. There does not exist, neither in Krakow nor in Vilnius, any specific public policies regarding Jewish heritage that can explain the ’degree’ of touristification and ’heritagisation’ of the areas.

Furthermore, a range of connected theoretical issues, such as authenticity, commodification of culture, or ownership of heritage, is raised.
Date: 2013
Author(s): Gruber, Ruth Ellen
Date: 2009
Abstract: This essay explores two “real imaginary” worlds in Europe -- the “virtually Jewish” and the “imaginary wild west.” The author describes some of the ways that European non-Jews adopt, enact and transform elements of Jewish culture, using Jewish culture at times to create, mold, or find, their own identities. She also describes a surprising and remarkably multi-faceted Far West subculture in Europe that, stoked, marketed and even created by popular culture, forms a connected collection of “Wild Western spaces.” There are major differences between the “virtually Jewish” phenomenon and the “virtually western” European response to the American Frontier saga. One has to do with a real, traumatic issue: coming to terms with the Holocaust and its legacy of guilt and loss. The other is the embrace and elaboration of a collective fantasy and its translation into personal experience. But in certain ways they can be viewed as analogous phenomena. Both have to do with identity, and the ways in which people use other cultures to shape their own identities. In addition, in both “virtually Jewish” and “imaginary western” realms, the issue of “authenticity” is involved, as well as the distinction between creative cultural appropriation and mere imitation. Both entail the creation of “new authenticities” -- things, places and experiences that in themselves are real, with all the trappings of reality, but that are quite different from the “realities” on which they are modeled or that they are attempting to evoke. The process has led to the formation of models, stereotypes, modes of behavior and even traditions.