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We are proud to share the heart-warming story of School of Dialogue alumni from Płock, who participated in the program in 2017 and now continue their involvement in preserving the memory of Jewish community of their town. Inspired and supervised by Dorota Cieślik, Forum’s educator who conducted workshops in Płock in 2017, they collaboratively painted a mural marking the place of Jewish cemetery, established in the end of 16th century and destroyed by Nazis during the war.

“Am I afraid that the mural will be vandalized by chauvinistic graffiti? Well, I’m afraid it’ll appear,” Dorota admits. “Such is the fate of street art pieces, they interact with the street and people using it. However, I know for sure that it will be well taken care of – it’s close to school and it will have its own guardians.”

Photo by D.Cieślik

Another mural was painted by the School of Dialogue alumni under the supervision of the local Leader of Dialogue, Agnieszka Mysakowska. Students from Wieluń affiliated with the Szlakiem wieluńskich Żydów / History of the Jews from Wielun initiative run by Agnieszka cooperated with the Fundacja Młodzi Propagują Sztukę – warsztaty djembe i graffiti, an organization promoting alternative art, and received support from local authorities. The newest street art piece is located between the buildings of the former synagogue and cheder, not far from the Lutheran parish building.

“The idea for a mural commemorating our Jewish neighbors was born in 2015,” says Agnieszka. “The first generation of School of Dialogue students started to look for the right spot, and their efforts were continued by the second generation of students. The third generation finally succeeded.

The mural is not a simple recreation of a pre-war photo, but rather a powerful symbol. The walls represent the war, the figures symbolize the residents of what was once a diverse society, the synagogue stands for the Jewish community and the sun represents the rise of awareness of Wieluń’s Jewish past among the town residents, while the city hall serves as an icon of Wieluń itself. The piece is supposed to inspire a reflection on today’s world. The past has already happened and we cannot change it, but it is up to us how the present and the future will look like. Will we try to fix the world just a little bit? Will we respect each other?”