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“Staging Difficult Pasts” at Muzeum Etnograficzne in Kraków

Michal Kobialka will be curating and hosting a panel discussion in Kraków about World War II objects
February 13, 2019

Widok zza bliska. Inne obrazy Zagłady” is a new exhibit at Muzeum Etnograficzne in Kraków which showcases "objects which tell the story of World War II". The exhibit was created in collaboration with Cricoteka and the exhibit curatororial team, Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, Wojciech Wilczyk, and Magdalena Zych. The research team invited Ludmila Ryba to conduct a week-long workshop about objects. Ryba visited the University of Minnesota in Fall of 2018 to work with UMTAD students and Professor Michal Kobialka on "Lament of the Dead Things" through our BA Theatre Arts program. 

UMN Professor Michal Kobialka will curate and chair a public panel discussion on "the workshops and the performative action, with reflections on the function of the object, its objectness, and the staging of difficult pasts across theatrical and museal frames." Panellists include curators Erica Lehrer and Roma Sendyka, theatre makers Ludmiła Ryba and Wojtek Ziemilski, and scholars Katarzyna Fazan and Anna Róża Burzyńska. 

The workshop and discussion will take place February 18-23, 2019 in Kraków.

“Staging Difficult Pasts” is a research project that develops collaborations between theatre makers and museum curators. Over the past few decades, widespread attempts to expose or reinterpret public memory have been determined and shaped in theatres and museums, where formerly taboo historical narratives of difficult pasts have come to public concern for live audiences. This research project considers how theatre makers have innovated narrative forms and reframed theatrical and artefactual objects, and analyses curatorial approaches to the “staging” of historical narratives and performative encounters in the museum.


Michal Kobialka is Professor of Theatre Arts at the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, University of Minnesota. He has published over 75 articles, essays, and reviews in academic journals in the US and Europe. He is the author of A Journey Through Other Spaces: Essays and Manifestos, 1944–1990 (University of California Press, 1993), This Is My Body: Representational Practices in the Early Middle Ages (University of Michigan Press, 1999), and Further on, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre (University of Minnesota Press, 2009); editor of Of Borders and Thresholds: Theatre History, Practice, and Theory (University of Minnesota Press, 1999); and co-editor (with Barbara Hanawalt) of Medieval Practices of Space (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) as well as (with Rosemarie K. Bank) of Theatre/Performance Historiography: Time, Space, Matter (Palgrave, 2015).