Bat Kama At in Lithuania

Written by author
May 3rd, 2012


OUR ONE WEEK VISIT TO LITHUANIA, IN VILNIUS AND IN TELSIAI

April 23- April 30

1) Meeting again with Kamile Rupeikaite, Deputy Director at Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, we discussed common perspectives on the project. The period of end of spring/beginning of summer 2013 has been envisioned for the exhibition of the works the students of Telšių Vincento Borisevičiaus gimnazija, in dialogue with our own work in process representing the life and education of 500 Jewish girls from the Yavne gymnasium in Telsiai – beginning with around 100 to 125 portraits.

2) Meeting with Jonathan Berger, Public Affairs Officer, and Inga Sydrys, Grant Manager and Outreach Coordinator at the Embassy of the United States of America.
a) We discussed the possibilities of supporting Bat Kama At for the research of new larger grants to develop the project and the exhibitions.
b) They expressed a great interest in screening our film [nemt].
c) After having supported our acquisition of the copies of documents (File 1382-1) at the Lithuanian Central State Archives, further support for the project has been considered on a higher level.

3) Meeting with Audelin Chappuis, Attaché culturel and Directeur adjoint of the Centre culturel français. Demo of the website. Interest in the project and in screening of our film [nemt].

4) In Telšių Vincento Borisevičiaus gimnazija, 4 full cessions of work with the teachers team and large groups of students (2 days) – in the form of conferences and workshops encouraging strong a involvement from the students. Classes of 12th, 11th and 8th grades reprensented and involved. Director Robertas Ezerkis, Janina Bucevičiūtė, professor of History, and Lina Garbaliauskaitė, professor of English were present and involved.

a) We have made a historical presentation of the context of the Jewish society in Telsiai, focusing on social and educational life of young people. Answer to many questions risen by the students.
b) In the workshops, motivated students have proposed many very good projects, among them 2 written scenarii during the cessions:

– One fiction short film (26’ – );
– One short documentary film about the work of the students on Bat Kama At (10’) ;
– One fiction photo novel with some historical reconstitution in costumes (black and white) ;
– One photo reportage team to explore the visual traces in what is left of Jewish places in Telsiai ;
– Different individual drawing and painting projects – some have already been realized at the occasion of the Conference on Holocaust Day under the guidance of the art teacher, Marija Krajinskiene, soon to be presented on this page ;
– Individual writing projects (audio support).

5) We had the priviledge to meet the well known Gemaite artist Romualdas Inčirauskas in the presence of his wife Zita, and son Kazimieras, and presented them the project Bat Kama At and the website.
a) We presented to Romualdas our project of a 24h installation of the 500 portraits (see website) in Telsiai on the Market place and in the streets.
b) We evoqued with him the possibility of his own involvement in the project, individually as an artist, and as professor in the Telsiai Art School.
c) Romualdas Inčirauskas has had a main exhibition in the Gaon Vilna Jewish State Museum, and has many major works of sculpture in the historical Telsiai, related to all aspects of the history of Gemaite, including the door of the Cathedrale. He and his family are profoundly concerned by the future of Jewish memory in Lithuania. They have walked us to the new monument erected to honor the memory of the 500 girls and women of Telz murdered on December 1941.

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