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Memory in Transition. Community Archivists on Untold Stories

01.07.2023 - 12.00 / Galicia Jewish Museum, ul. Dajwór 18, Kraków

Katarzyna Winiarska, Marek Chmielewski, Kamil Kmak, prowadzenie: Karolina Sakowicz
Organizator: Centre of Community Archives

They collect stories, take care of old graveyards and organize cultural events. Together with local communities, they discover histories of the Jewish inhabitants in their regions and neighborhoods. Community archivists – what motivates them, what challenges they face, and how do they and their surroundings change?

A discussion with Katarzyna Winiarska (Virtual Museum of Jewish History in Białowieża), Marek Chmielewski (the village mayor of Orla) and Kamil Kmak (Saga Grybów) will be held by Karolina Sakowicz (Centre of Community Archives).

Katarzyna Winiarska – culture animator and educator connected with the Białowieża Forest. Creator of the Virtual Museum of Jewish History in Białowieża ( She has created and led the Theatre in the Barn in Teremiski, a village in Białowieża. She researches the history of Jews in Białowieża and acts to reestablish their memory. For her work, she has received numerous awards, including the Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN Award (2019), the Preserving Memory diploma for her merits in saving and commemorating Jewish heritage in Poland (2020), an honorable mention in the 3rd edition of the Karta Foundation Award for work in historical memory that serves the community (2022).

Kamil Kmak – social activist, regionalist, project manager, founder of the Polish-Jewish group “Gribov” (yid. Grybów) and the Grybów Community Archive, chairman of the Saga Grybów association. He has initiated and implemented projects to re-establish memory about the Jewish and Lemko communities, bringing together people of different cultures and religions. He is the recipient of the 3rd edition of the Karta Foundation Award for work in historical memory that serves the community (2022).
Marek Chmielewski – farmer and social activist; the mayor of his village, which is crowned by a magnificent synagogue. He calls himself the ‘self-proclaimed custodian of the synagogue’. Preserver of memory, engaged in the Polish-Israeli dialogue.

Karolina Sakowicz – culture animator and culture manager. She initiated, among others, the POLIN Award granted by the POLIN Museum since 2015. Head of the Cultural Projects Team at the Centre of Community Archives.


An archival photograph courtesy of Grybów Community Archive, gifted by Esther Gilboa. One person was recognized in the picture — Feiga Riegelhaupt from Grybów (second from the right in the last row).