the litvak legacy in South Africa & contemporary culture
Date: Wednesday 6th October - Thursday 7th October 2021
On 6-7 October, the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the UK will host its annual Litvak Days for the 10th time. Litvak days embody the Lithuanian Jewish legacy in various spheres such as architecture, music, culture, arts and society as a whole.
To mark the 10th anniversary this year’s events are dedicated to the South African Litvak community and will explore the history, legacy and art, which distinctively connects Lithuanian Jews to South Africa and the UK and promotes the incredible diversity and vibrant narratives of the Litvak community. It will also present an exceptional opportunity to reflect on the significance of the Jewish legacy in Lithuanian, South African and British culture, which is especially important in the current context of historical misrepresentation, denial and oblivion.
The opening of the 10th Litvak Days will welcome two world-renowned Lithuanian musicians Gleb Pysniak (cello) and Rokas Zubovas (piano) who teamed up especially for this event and will perform music pieces by Anatolijus Šenderovas, Vidmantas Bartulis and Faustas Latėnas in a programme they titled Legends.
The event will also feature two in-depth discussions with prominent academics and artists: Gavin Morris (director of the South African Jewish Museum), John Schlapobersky (physiotherapist at Traumatic Stress Clinic, London), Albie Sachs (activist and a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa), Shimon Lev (curator and researcher in Indian and Jewish studies), Virginija Vitkienė (curator of the William Kentridge exhibition as part of Kaunas2022), Jilian Edelstein (South African and British photographer), Karina Simonson (scholar of the South African Litvak photography history), Philip Miller (South African composer), Rosie Goldsmith (founder and director of the European Literature Network) and Ūla Tornau (curator and the Lithuanian Cultural attaché in the UK), who will explore the topics on history, art and cultural heritage. 10th Litvak Days will also welcome two keynote speeches by Prof Antony Polonsky from Brandeis University and Dr Kamilė Rupeikaitė from Vilna Gao Museum of Jewish History dwelling deeper into the connections between South Africa, Lithuania and the UK. The programme also includes the premiere of a new audiovisual project The Music Shell by Chromatikon which is part of “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022" memory programme.
The Litvak Days in London are organized by the Lithuanian Embassy in the United Kingdom, in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Attaché in the UK, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian Cultural Institute, Kaunas2022, Jewish Music Institute, Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, European Literature Network, South African Jewish Museum, Traumatic Stress Clinic (London).