2022 Warsaw 22nd to 29th October

2nd International Interdisciplinary Seminar

“This seminar was probably the most intense seminar I had until now. Not even a week, a lot of input, getting to know each other, working in international and interdisciplinary groups, finding common ground, getting along with your ideas not working, deadlines, drama and the surprise how well everything worked out in the end.”

Stefan, Freie Universität Berlin, 2022

The second of three international and interdisciplinary seminars with the topic “Memory Dialogues on Antisemitism and Racism” was held in October 2022 in Warsaw, Poland. 26 students and 9 experts from Germany, Norway and Poland participated from 22nd – 29th October 2022.

DAY 1 [Sunday] The workshop officially began on Sunday morning at the POLIN Museum’s education center after a welcoming dinner and introductions on Saturday. Participants, lecturers, and coordinators introduced themselves, sharing their educational backgrounds and motivations for engaging with antisemitism and racism topics. The goal was for an interdisciplinary, productive process with valuable outcomes for POLIN. We received brief introductions about both the POLIN Museum and the Falstad Center in Norway. The POLIN Museum’s focus is on the history of Jews in Poland, including anti-discrimination programs. We had the afternoon to explore the museum’s exhibitions, with a specific focus on “storytelling in museum contexts.” We examined our impressions, emotions, and reasons for these reactions, later discussing our findings in groups for presentation the next day.

DAY 2 [Monday] In the morning, we discussed our impressions of the POLIN Museum, focusing on the design and interactive elements. Curator Małgorzata Bogdańska-Krzyżanek introduced us to contemporary artists collaborating with the museum, many of whom draw inspiration from its collection. We had the opportunity to view unique items from the museum, such as a silk a tie named “Polish tie [Christian] Company” from the 1930s, and a brooch made from a coin from the Łódź ghetto in the 1940s. We also learned how to use the museum’s digital collection and online archive. We received a professional guided tour by Dagmara Manka-Wizor through the POLIN Museum’s permanent exhibition, focusing on the presentation of antisemitism. We explored how anti judaism and antisemitism has evolved over time and how to effectively present them. Given our interdisciplinary and international group, we shared country-specific perspectives on antisemitism, racism, and hate speech through short presentations from each university. Prof. Dr. Michał Bilewicz also discussed how various Central European countries address prejudice against Jewish individuals and highlighted the interconnectedness of sexism, racism, antisemitism, homophobia, and anti-Muslim attitudes. Additionally, we delved into the prevalence of conspiracy theories in Polish politics.

DAY 3 [Tuesday] We discussed both the guided exhibition tour and the workshop as a whole. Participants shared their thoughts on the tour, what stood out to them, and any preferences for improvements. Overall, the workshop received positive feedback, especially regarding lectures from individuals connected to the museum and the topics of antisemitism, racism, and hate speech. Following the discussion, the final lecture was delivered by researcher Jacek Mazurczak, who presented three examples of actions against hate speech. Two of these examples had a comedic twist, such as turning a neo-Nazi demonstration in Germany into a charity walk against hate speech. The third example involved a video featuring individuals affected by hate speech, including a mother who lost her son due to hate speech-induced suicide. We then engaged in small group work using the Gamma method, analyzing the goals, audience, message, messenger, media, and monitoring/evaluation for the last example.

DAY 4 [Wednesday] We formed mixed groups comprising students from various disciplines and countries to embark on the primary workshop task: generating project ideas centered around racism, antisemitism, and contemporary prejudices. The project could take various forms, such as an area, virtual space, educational material, or a campaign within or for the POLIN Museum. Following initial brainstorming within the groups, we engaged in a coaching session with our supervisors to address challenges and refine our project ideas.

DAY 5 and 6 [Thursday and Friday] On Thursday, two groups each presented their preliminary results and challenges to one another and the supervisors, seeking input and feedback. Finally, on Friday, after additional group work, students presented their project concepts in its final version.

“The mission of the POLIN Museum is the promotion of “understanding and respect”, and the vision includes “critical examination, accessibility, and collaborations”.”

Xenia, Freie Universität Berlin, 2022


Recognizing, dealing with, and preventing hate speech, antisemitism and racism is a growing concern for contemporary societies and communities. As brutalization in our society seems to increase in both the physical and digital world, the number of discriminating incidents related to hate speech, racism and antisemitism seems to grow accordingly. This comes not only from private persons, but also from public people, as we could currently see and hear. In this workshop, the students were asked to research on this topic, observe relevant societies and communities, and develop adequate concepts.

Group 1 (Alicja Polak, Liv Tveide Lilleslett, Julia Radzikowska, Ida Hattenberger, Linda Karia Løvheim, Xenia Rachmann) developed «Mymate», a project featuring a photobooth to be placed at the POLIN Museum. Visitors can take a photo and answer questions about their interests. Based on their responses, the booth suggests a “partner” with similar interests, allowing visitors to learn more about that person’s life story. These “partners” are volunteers from specific groups. The project aims to connect people and share their stories through photos and narratives.

Group 2 (Stella Hag, Signe Wohlfeil, Aleksandra Mikołajczyk, Gabriela Cieślak, Merle Kluge, and Stefan Strietzel) developed a participatory exhibition «Everyday Relics» to showcase contemporary Jewish life in Poland. They noted a gap in the POLIN Museum’s existing exhibition, which mainly featured a video about Jewish life today. This highlighted a global issue where Jewish identity is often reduced to the Holocaust and antisemitism, neglecting the diverse aspects of contemporary Jewish culture. Initially, their plan involved conducting video interviews linked to museum objects to illustrate their ongoing significance for Jewish individuals. However, recognizing their limited knowledge of present-day Jewish life in Poland and potential question biases, they transitioned to a process-oriented approach. They assumed the roles of facilitators, allowing members of the Jewish community to curate the exhibition themselves. Workshops with around 20 Jewish participants covered topics like museum objects, storytelling, and exhibition curation. Participants were encouraged to share personal items with meaningful stories, even if unrelated to Judaism, resulting in an evolving, community-driven exhibition. One of the project’s objectives is to raise awareness among viewers, particularly bystanders, about the prevalence of multiple forms of discrimination in Poland. The campaign encourages viewers to challenge their own biases against the featured groups. For those experiencing discrimination, the interactive map on the website provides a platform to connect with others facing similar issues, offering a first step toward empowerment.


“Everyday Relics”

Group 3 (Mohamed A. Abukar, Malgorzata Kopycka, Anna Reinert, Liska Toppe, Kaja Wojciechowska) launched «diverSEEty» to spotlight Poland’s cultural and ethnic diversity throughout history. The project addressed concerns related to stereotypes, taboos, and inadequate education about cultural and ethnic minorities, which fuel social polarization and discrimination. Their primary objective is to enhance high school students’ awareness of cultural diversity in Poland. The project comprises three components: a traveling exhibition, workshops, and a video project. Scheduled from March 21, 2023, to March 21, 2024, with the POLIN Museum as the start and endpoint, the video project features interviews, lifestyle portraits, and dialogues with individuals from diverse minority communities in Poland, including Jewish, Roma, and Ukrainian groups. These videos are integral to workshops and a social media campaign, employing the hashtag #diverSEEty and Instagram takeovers during the exhibition. The traveling exhibition, extending to various Polish regions, particularly rural areas, aiming to educate about historical and general aspects of minority life in Poland, underlining the nation’s diverse heritage. To make learning engaging, the “actionbound” app would be utilized. Workshops would complement the main exhibition, empowering students to creatively showcase cultural and ethnic diversity through object creation, guided by local experts, professionals, and historians. Ultimately, the comprehensive exhibition, featuring the main exhibit, videos, and student-generated objects, will be showcased at the POLIN Museum as a temporary exhibition.

Group 4 (Bethel Britto, Thale Meisfjord, Kalina Zalewska, Maria Olech, Phoebe Genschow, and Ines Schröder) developed the «bez szuflad» project, translating to “not labelling.” This initiative encompasses a nationwide poster campaign in Poland, addressing various forms of discrimination, including racism. The campaign directs viewers to an interactive website where they can either share their experiences with discrimination on an interactive map or explore different forms of discrimination. The website offers definitions of racism and delves into the history and daily life of discriminated groups in Poland. Animated video interviews with discriminated individuals in Poland cover topics such as discrimination and daily life, featuring Jewish people, Roma people, LGBTQI+ individuals, BIPoC, and refugees. The project’s focus on showcasing diverse forms of discrimination is grounded in scientific data revealing that those who propagate racism often exhibit other discriminatory tendencies. Consequently, the campaign addresses multiple forms of discrimination beyond racism, antisemitism, and homophobia. One of the project’s objectives is to raise awareness among viewers, particularly bystanders, about the prevalence of multiple forms of discrimination in Poland. The campaign encourages viewers to challenge their own biases against the featured groups. For those experiencing discrimination, the interactive map on the website provides a platform to connect with others facing similar issues, offering a first step toward empowerment.


“Bez Szuflad”

Group Photo at the POLIN Museum (all images by memorydialogues.com)

Students 2022: Bethel Britto, Liv Tveide Lilleslett, Mohamed A. Abukar, Stella Sofia Hag [Volda University College] Thale Meisfjord, Signe Wohlfeil, Linda Karia Løvheim [University of Bergen] Aleksandra Mikołajczyk, Kalina Zalewska, Julia Radzikowska, Małgorzata Kopycka [University of Warsaw] Kaja Wojciechowska, Gabriela Cieślak, Maria Olech, Alicja Polak [SWPS Wrocław] Liska Toppe, Phoebe Genschow, Stefan Tobias Strietzel, Merle Alisa J. Kluge, Ines Schröder, Anna Reinert, Xenia Rachmann, Ida Hattenberger [Freie Universität Berlin]

Supervisors 2022: Irmgard Zündorf [Freie Universität Berlin], Krzysztof Moszczyński [SWPS Wrocław], Hilde Kramer [University of Bergen], Kamila Zochniak [University of Warsaw], Jon Harman [Volda University College], Thomas Lewe [Volda University College], Sebastian Klein [Falstadsenteret], Magdalena Dopieralska [Polin Museum], Joanna Longfors [Polin Museum], Małgorzata Waszczuk [Polin Museum]