Fragments of Memory reflects on history and memory in Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv, a city in present-day Western Ukraine what was formerly Austro-Hungarian Empire, Eastern Poland, Soviet Union. The film features the voices of three women from three generations as well as the words of Debora Vogel, an intellectual, writer and art critic of the inter-war Lviv, in her letters to Bruno Schulz. The derelict building of the former Jewish Museum is another character as is the city itself.
The project started as an investigation into the circles of Debora Vogel, an overlooked intellectual, writer and art critic of the 1920s-30s Lviv, this inspiring metropolis for modernist thought in arts, literature and science, as well as a place of social and ethnic conflicts. It was among Lviv intellectuals and artists, during the period of rising chauvinism and anti-semitism, that the idea of an inclusive and open culture was formed. Their redemptive and progressive vision was brutally squashed in the Holocaust, and yet not entirely extinguished. Fragments of it survive to be discovered through scavenging, collecting and juxtaposing.
Throughout 2015-2017 Asya Gefter and Olesya Zdorovetska walked the places Vogel inhabited and wrote about, met people who survived the war or who were born long after and reconnected with the vanished world. They encountered the story of the former Lviv Jewish museum (1934-1939), a derelict building at risk at the time they documented it in the Summer 2016.
Will be history obliterated and all memory erased yet again by the recent 2017/18 controversial renovation that might result in turning the building into a hotel? What is remembered and what is forgotten? How do you talk about what you can’t know? The work that resulted from this voyage is concerned with the fragmented nature of memory, with the presence and absence of people, with personal stories pointing to Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv for present and future generations.
The project was launched at Lviv’s Museum of Ideas in September 2017, took part at Dash Café: Lviv on the borders of Europe at London’s RichMix in January 2018 and at Krakow’s FestivALT in June 2018.
More here - asyagefter.com/fragments-of-memory
Related 'Visual poetry' video - vimeo.com/250958731
Camera and editor: Asya Gefter
Co-writer, producer and director: Asya Gefter
Co-writer and composer: Olesya Zdorovetska
Double Bass: Mark Tokar
Translator into English: Asya Fruman