Traditionally, The Festival of Tolerance – JFF Zagreb brings not only top films but also very unique cultural events. This year’s ancillary programme also includes the guest visit named They Fill No Space from the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, displayed in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.
The exhibition revives the memory on Polish Jews by way of reproduction of murals that appeared in 2000 in Polish cities with a significant pre-war Jewish population. The murals are made by several groups of urban activists with an intention to remind people of their former Jewish neighbours whose existence had been eradicated from the Poish national conscience. The very title of the exhibition, They Fill No Space, is a symbolical comment of the current political situation in Poland and heated discussions about Polish-Jewish relationship despite the fact that there are almost no more Jews left in that country.
“The POLIN Museum has been relentlessly looking for partners sharing the same views and that is how we initiated the collaboration with the Festival of Tolerance in Zagreb with great pleasure. Our two institutions are bonded with the sense of mutual understanding of the modern world and a wish to speak about topics such as respect, cohabitation in a multicultural society, and a sense of belonging to a community. Poland and Croatia share similar and very complicated histories having an impact on all their citizens and incessantly changing our present and shaping out future. That is one of the reasons why we are so glad to be here in Zagreb”, Zofia Bojańczyk, educational programme specialist at the POLIN, said.
This museum is a modern cultural institution with the task to present and preserve 1000 years of the history of Polish Jews but it is also a place of encounter for all those wishing to learn more about Jewish culture and confront stereotypes, xenophobia and nationalistic prejudice. The Museum won many prestigious international awards, including the 2016 European Museum of the Year and the European Museum Academy Award.
The opening ceremony gathered the Polish Ambassador, Mr Andrzej Edward Jasionowski, Israeli Ambassador, Mr Ilan Mor, Austrian Consul, Madame Doris Fida-Šrajner, Dražen Klinčić from the Ministry of Culture and the Zagreb Mayor’s Envoy Laura Topolovšek, who is the head of the Sector for Culture.
The exhibition will remain open until 17 April and it has been organised in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute from Warsaw.