Fragments of Memory

Lviv, 2017

‘We had been overlooking many things in Lviv, living as if our everyday life had long ellipses in it but we just failed to notice them. We had been living as if we lacked the left hand, the right foot, half the spleen – and failed to notice that. We had been living as if we could only hear about 30 or 40 percent of noises, while the rest was passing us by without us knowing anything. Projects such as this show us that a place is important. This whole writing and life – an unhappy life – happened here, and it had to happen here, and it was brutal, and then there were thousands, tens of thousands, millions of such lives… And now, when we are in this city, when we are peopling it – as guests who have come from afar, as those who seem to be here and to have been here for a long time – we are having a moment of insight, a moment when our hearing returns to us, while Debora is having a moment when her voice is returned to her.’ Iryna Starovoyt – a poet, essayist, and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University

‘This is an important, long-awaited topic. Tactfully done, with a very well measured amount of mourning and sweet sorrow. The reflections of our contemporaries are important.’

‘I’ve felt a living, fading, tragic history of my homeland thanks to the artistic force of the photography.’

‘The exhibition consistently unfolds in time and space. The corridor, the monastery vault makes one walk from a picture to a picture, from a text to a text… Consistently, like in a book.’

‘Walking through the exhibits, one forgets about time, about transience of things; one begins to feel something eternal, something impossible to throw out of memory. One begins to understand that there are people, things, events that will always be with us.’

‘That’s how it works: starting with one trace, at one place, the searcher finds traces, and then – a whole story which is connected to the world history.’

Krakow, 2018

‘Thank you for creating an experience that surprisingly brought back a lot of memories of my own Polish family.’

‘We walk the same path because only memory and love can win destruction and death.’

London, 2018

‘Fragments of Memory skilfully reveals the complex relationships we have with the spaces we inhabit. The footage takes you around the hidden corners of the city of L’viv, places that contain memories, often troubling, sometimes happy, always moving. The voices of three women narrators unravel the multiple layers of these memories: personal, collective, institutional; forgotten, suppressed and cherished. The fourth voice – a revelation itself – belongs to Debora Vogel, a largely forgotten writer, poet and philosopher who wrote in Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish and possessed a complex identity, much like that of the city itself. She perished in the L’viv ghetto during the Second World War. Her words, which appear against the images of the city, are particularly fitting for a film that gently encourages us to remember the lives that were destroyed in the upheavals of the 20th century and to use these memories to rebuild what was lost and to build a new city. As one of the narrators in the film says, ‘only after accomplishing this memory work will it be possible to go further. Memory isn’t an end in itself.’ Fragments of Memory certainly succeeds both in remembering and in encouraging us to go further.’ Olesya Khromeychuk, Teaching Fellow in Modern European History at King’s College London

What is Chats Palace?

London, 2012-2017

‘This archive is a real treat and a true part of East London’s design heritage’ Rob Alderson from “It’s nice that” 

‘The images will fascinate social observers, illustrating not just alternative society advertising styles but reflecting local political and social issues of the time’ David Altheer from Loving Dalston

‘Thanks so much for this video. Was just vaguely watching and then saw my Grandad @ 13 seconds. The one with the white hair. WOW! He passed away in ’84 so, fabulous to see him move again. The research you are doing sounds fascinating!’ Vimeo response to the Queen’s silver jubilee 1977

‘Your project is doing me a lot of good, helping me drag out the past through making contact again with old Hackney friends.’ Mike Gray, Hackney historian and the founding chair person of Chats Palace

I remember writing, directing and producing performances at Chats Palace between 2000-2003. I applied to Chats Palace as an independent creative director after being totally inspired by a director I worked with on a mime anti racist performance in Italy, as I could see how I could utilise my skills and training to encourage people.  That was my aim and passion at the time, coming from another area into Hackney was a clearer insight of how I could genuinely support people. I often reflect on being an aspiring performing artist and getting involved in directing and writing at a young age has helped me transfer my skills on many different levels.  The urgency to support and empower women and artists in the local community was totally needed but very rewarding.’ Iesha Slater

‘These are marvellous. What a nice Friday surprise. I remember some of those gigs. Thanks so much for making me smile today.’ Lesley Allan

Ikakumo Photography School

Nigeria, 2013

‘The pictures are great and expository. The kids did a great job.’ Adewunmi Olujimi, gradnson of Augustine Fajimi, the resident of Ikakumo