Postcolonial Readings of the Archive: Early Local Commemorations of the Shoah and the Romani Holocaust in Poland

The presentation is dedicated to two archival exhibitions showed in the Regional Museum in Tarnów and curated by Adam Bartosz: Gypsies in Polish Culture from 1979 and Jews in Tarnów from 1982. Although ethnographical in principle, both expositions covered also the topic of genocide and tragic fates of Polish Roma and Jews in the 20th century. Based on archival materials documenting the two shows and interviews with the people engaged in their production, the presentation investigates visual imageries and regimes of representation of Roma and Jews that they employed from the perspective of global Holocaust memory and postcolonial reflection. What had been the means of rendering the Shoah and the Romani genocide before the main Western paradigms of commemoration were established? What were the affinities and differences in representing Romani and Jewish fates at these two exhibitions? What are the intersections of local and global memory of the Holocaust? Can we discuss non-Western ways of representing the Shoah and the Romani genocide? And how to approach the exoticizing representations of Jews and Roma on the grassroots level from the postcolonial perspective?

Scroll to Top