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2016-12-28

Olga Markowska. Topography of Memory.

In her project, Olga Anna Markowska takes on a topic of Gdańsk cemeteries that no longer serve their sepulchral role. She recounts the history related to the places which are disappearing in the memory of contemporary Gdańsk dwellers, who very often don’t realise the value of these areasThis stroll through the former necropoles of Gdańsk is, unfortunately, a tale about oblivion. 

 

After World War II, the community of Gdańsk was almost entirely exchanged – the new city dwellers had to get used to old heritage, which they came across in the surrounding space. What followed was a process of identifying with the new place of residence, often accompanied by repression of its heritage. Nevertheless, collective memory present within the streets, buildings, walls and cemeteries constituted a bridge between the past and the present. Accepting this heritage was the condition leading to consolidating and stabilising the new, post-war identity of Gdańsk.

 

Unused cemeteries are an important part of the meaningful mental map of the contemporary dwellers of Gdańsk. They now belong more to the sphere of symbols than to real urbanism, as they play role of nonmaterial forms in the city space that commemorate its former citizens.

 

Project co-financed by the City of Gdańsk.