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The memory train in Krakow

The memory train in Krakow
The memory train in Krakow
20 young Francophones from five continents reflect on the issue of transmission

The participants in this ambitious project organised by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) arrived by train from Brussels, after spending a day in Berlin. In Krakow, they visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and museum and Oskar Schindler's factory and presented the results of their months-long work on the transmission of memory at a conference held on 3 September in the magnificent hall of the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University on the theme of "Memory in the French-speaking world and its transmission to future generations".

Professor Dorota Malec, Vice-Rector of the Jagiellonian University for International Cooperation, opened the conference by recalling with emotion the fate of the University's professors deported by the Nazis during the Second World War. Jacques Krabal, Secretary General of the APF, and Professor Wacław Rapak, Director of the Institute of Romance Philology, also spoke. The speeches underlined the important role played by the "messengers of memory", who are the young people participating in the project. They presented their work in a variety of carefully crafted forms: videos, interviews, declamations, slams and personal testimonies. Each presentation showed the extent to which these young Francophones have taken ownership of the reflection on the work of memory by questioning the notion, deconstructing it and reconstructing it on their own scale. Their messages, resolutely turned towards the future, highlighted all the accents and colours of the French-speaking world, without forgetting its ambiguities. The conference continued with speeches by the two experts who accompanied these young people in their work: Soko Phay, University Professor of History and Theory of Art at the University of Paris 8, and Emmanuel Maury, historian and Administrative Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF). Jean-Charles Luperto, in charge of the APF's European mission, noted the adoption of the Declaration on the transmission of memory within the Francophone space, which was signed by all those present.

The whole event was accompanied by musical interludes performed by soprano Małgorzata Dębowska and pianist Anna Guja. The discussion was moderated by Fatmir Leci, advisor for the Europe region and the network of women parliamentarians at the FPA. Marcin Eckstein, teacher at the Institute of Romance Philology, played the indispensable role of interpreter. The event was honoured by the presence of H.E. Mr Papa Diop, Ambassador of Senegal in Warsaw.



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