The Kaunas Requiem | International Centre for Litvak Photography
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The Kaunas Requiem

The First Movement of The Kaunas Requiem performed live inside an abandoned synagogue. Kaunas. September 2016.

 

‘Each photograph is a return of the dead.’
Roland Barthes

The Kaunas Requiem is the collective name for an increasingly diverse range of projects whose origins lie in the discovery by our Creative Director in 2013 of over 100 photographs and other personal documents that had been smuggled out of the Kaunas Ghetto during the final months of the Holocaust in Lithuania by an at the time unknown family who realised they weren’t going to survive the Holocaust. Initially leading to the commissioning of a 75-year-long piece of experimental music by the young Ukrainian composer and electronic musician Anton Dehtiarov from which the project gets its name, which in turn led to a six-day live musical performance inside an abandoned synagogue in Kaunas in September 2016 (pictured above), the project is currently in the early stages of being developed into a multidisciplinary education pack for young people both in Lithuania and abroad. For readers unfamiliar with the project, clicking on the links below will provide some background reading on the complicated story of the project so far.

In the press

  • Uriel Heilman’s Jewish Telegraphic Agency article on the extraordinary story behind the photographs
  • The same article in Yiddish
  • Lowfield Heath’s quirky interview with our Creative Director in The Baltic Times
  • Another article in English from The Lithuania Tribune
  • Kauno Diena article in Lithuanian, published on the Good Will Foundation website 

On Facebook

  • The Kaunas Requiem Facebook page is here
  • The original photographs that inspired the project are here
  • A short photo essay covering Anton’s first visit to Kaunas and the live performance in the synagogue can be found here

The music

We recorded more than a day of live audio and several further hours of video from the First Movement of The Kaunas Requiem. It’s currently all sitting on our hard drive and awaiting a budget so we can turn it into a coherent body of work for public release. Until such a time arises, we can offer you the following. Die-hard followers of the project who don’t mind wading through countless Facebook posts to find something of interest are more than welcome to scroll through our dedicated page (link above). Alternatively, have a look at and listen to the following links.

  • A collection of miscelaneous early pieces on our SoundCloud presence
  • Listen to one of our unusual spin-off projects, The Aniushka Variations, on Spotify

Education pack

We’re currently in the early stages of developing an international education pack based around the story of The Kaunas Requiem. Our Fifty Schools project is being used as one of the testing grounds for the ideas and we also recently completed our first creative workshop with a group of students from abroad. We’re now looking for an international partner to work on a bid with us to fund the necessary work to bring the education pack to completion. Updates coming soon.

Sponsors

The First Movement of The Kaunas Requiem was made possible with the kind and generous support of a wide range of individuals, organisations and businesses. A huge thank you to each and every one of you.