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Accepted Paper:

The 'Various Others': managing Jewish cultural heritage in post-1991 Ukraine  
Anastasia Felcher (IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca)

Paper short abstract:

The paper addresses differences in treatment and managerial strategies applied to Jewish heritage sites in four oblast of post-1991 Ukraine. It also discusses if Jewish heritage in Ukraine fall into theoretical categories of 'dissonant', 'difficult', 'uncomfortable' or 'critical'.

Paper long abstract:

Starting from the late 1980s, grass-roots initiatives devoted to articulation of Jewish identity by representatives of local communities took place across Ukraine in the forms of 'Societies for Jewish Culture'. Followed by the giving back of some former communal property and reparation performed with financial support of international Jewish organizations, this marked beginning of Jewish renewal or Jewish renaissance in post-1991 Ukraine. It was as well primarily concern of Jewish organizations and communities to commemorate the sites of anti-Jewish violence across the country. However, by 2016, on the one hand thanks to rising influence of local oligarchs of Jewish descent mainly in Eastern Ukraine and, on the other hand, to rise of the tourism industry, as well as religious pilgrimage and Jewish heritage tourism, the topic started appearing in academic and media discourse, coupled with cases of 'rediscovery' of Jewish past and related sites across the country as the concern of both Jews and non-Jews alike. Still, the dynamics and level of tension surrounding these processes varies across the regions. The paper discusses the dynamics of 'rediscovery' of Jewish heritage sites in post-Communist Ukraine from the vantage point of politics of memory. Theoretical contribution of the paper focuses on the discussion of the differences between 'dissonant', 'difficult', 'uncomfortable' and 'critical' heritage, as well as applicability of those terms to management of Jewish heritage sites in present-day Ukraine.

Panel P138
Managing Jewish heritage assets in European urban landscapes
  Session 1