Shalom Ukraïna – exhibition (english)

French-Ukrainian Project | Photography, video and setups | 2009-2012

The project Shalom Ukraïna is a multidisciplinary work about the Holocaust in Europe, and more precisely, about the tormented history of a Central European town, Lviv in the 20th century, through the history of its Jewish community. 

The project Living Memories (Mémoires Vives)

Born in 2009, the project, at first called Living Memories, was aiming at colleting testimonies from the last survivors of the Holocaust in western Ukraine. Matthias Crépel and Blandine Scrève left, through a European Voluntary Service, in order to work on the subject, during 6 months on the field, to discover Lviv and its region, to understand the complex history of this area and to look for witnesses and archive documents.

Back in France, the idea of creating an exhibition on the subject has quickly become a reality. The only imperative need was to be innovative in order to raise awareness on this difficult period of European history. After two years of work, analysis of data and promotion of the action…the exhibition Shalom Ukraïna has been presented at the Gare St Sauveur in March 2012, within the Europa hotel. It has proved particularly successful, as more than 6000 visitors over a month came, thanks to the exhibition’s works, setups and source documents, innovative and carefully displayed.

The exhibition hence presents the tormented history of a Central European town, Lviv in the 20th century, through the history of its Jewish community. Polish during the 1920s, she faces wars the hard way, first under soviet rule, then under Nazi rule. After the war, the Jewish population is decimated, Poles are forced to leave. This is how half a century of soviet rule begun in Ukraine. In 1991, Lviv turns the page and tries to revive itself.

Discover the booklet of the exhibition (French) Livret d’exposition Shalom Ukraïna

The exhibition wished to be a travel through time during which you will discover historical information and archives papers, video testimonies and short movies, photographic series and works of French, Polish and Ukrainians artists.

Discover the brochure (French) Brochure Shalom Ukraïna

The exhibition has been presented at the Gare St Sauveur, in Lille, in March 2012. When it was opened to the public, several events have been organised in parallel. An opening concert has been held at the Bistrot Saint-So the 9th of March, Ukrainian folk group Ludy Dobri and Thalweg Orkestra being present. An exhibition of Ukrainian icons from Yura Rafaliuk has been presented in la Treille cathedral. A debate/presentation has been launched at the Resistance Museum of Bondues, with the participation of Meylakh Sheykhet, religious leader of Lviv.

©Photo credits: Matthias Crépel / Graphic Design: Nicolas Sekulak