14th of September 2023

Memory Activism: the report

The premiere of the final report summarizing results of an exploratory study on Memory Activism in Poland


The project proposal emerged out of the need to address the lack of information about the current status and scope of work of memory activists involved in Jewish heritage initiatives in Poland. This pilot study allowed us to map and estimate the scale of their work, the level of engagement and their motivations as well as good practices, challenges they’re facing and their needs against a backdrop of European activism.

In Poland, over 30 years after the fall of Communism, the civic society is stronger and more mature, and there are many local, regional and national actors willing to take action. The civic society in Poland has been growing and there are more and more NGOs, local community leaders, local policymakers and grass-root initiatives that recognize this difficult heritage as part of their local memory cultures and are willing to act and take responsibility. All these memory activists conduct important grass-root work. Small local institutions and organizations often have very limited project-based resources to carry out very ambitious tasks.

The study was an attempt to learn more about the scale and scope of memory activism in Poland.

Goals of the study:
- Mapping the landscape of memory activism related to Jewish heritage, history and Holocaust remembrance in Poland,
- Understanding the motivations of memory activists, their needs and scale of their activities,
- Verifying the scope and scale of memory activists for Jewish heritage in Poland in order to plan a larger study in the future.

The future use of the study’s results:
- Providing activists with necessary support, networking, information about funding opportunities - local, national and European, knowledge & guidelines.
- Fostering exchange of know-how and integration of memory activists community across Poland and Europe and encouraging future cooperations, building synergies, networks and coalitions between dispersed memory activists and memory initiatives.
- Recording and learning more about the already mapped sites of Jewish material heritage and about the new ones that need protection, restoration, etc or where potential mismanagement took place.

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