© Dmitrijus Matvejevas

Memories in Urban Space


Natasha A. Kelly, visual artist, curator, copywriter (Germany)
Juliant Hetzel, director of the play “Mount Average” (Germany-Belgium)
Eglė Grėbliauskaitė, artist, researcher at VU Institute of International Relations and Political Science

The discussion is moderated by Rasa Antanavičiūtė, an art critic and director of the Vilnius Museum

DATE: 30, September | 17:00
VENUE: Arts Printing House

The discussion will be held in English


The discussion is organized together with the Goethe Institute

Urban spaces speak of memories: We can read the layers of time in architecture, people, streets, businesses, and in public spaces, which are often filled with monuments built to commemorate past events such as victories and defeats, to honor distinguished individuals or display someone’s power. But who gets to decide who is distinguished? Whose stories do monuments and street-names talk about? What powers do they speak of, and whom do they speak to today? Does being a witness to history inherently come with a value? Who remains invisible in the urban fabric?

The manifestations of memories that urban spaces hold, whether openly readable to any visitor or hidden under layers of historical forgetting, have become a battlefield of ideas and values across many cities in the world today. Monuments fall, streets are re-named. Others remain – some beloved as carriers of local identity, some contested signs of unrightful pasts, too sticky to remove. Some both. How does bringing down a monument or changing a street name change our perception of the urban space? And does it usher in a welcomed change of our memory of the past and the perception of the present?