Field Ethnographic School in Smolenskaya Oblast (July 5-12th, 2016)

This school was a continuation of ethnographic research organized by “Sefer” Center in Smolensk district in 2015.

In 2016 the participants worked in Roslavl, Smolensk and small former shtetls of the district: Stodolishche, Pochinka and Shumiachi. The curators of the expedition were Svetlana Amosova and Mariya Kaspina. Together with the students they recoded 50 interviews. In all the towns the participants communicated with the people from local Jewish communities. They recorded memoires about Jewish life before the WWII and after it, about evacuation; family stories, stories about Jewish traditions, that were preserved in the families during the Soviet period. There were narratives about baking matzot, Pesakh celebtrations and other Jewish holidays, burials, secret minyans in Roslavl and Smolensk and others.

Besides it, this year the participants worked together with youth group from Smolensk Jewish community and researched its contemporary situation.

The interviews with ethnic neighbors of Jews were also recorded in Shumyachi, Roslavl and Pochinka. These interviews contained stories about the Holocaust, the creation of ghetto and life inside it and mass executions, about the Jewish life before WWII and return from evacuation. Different ethnic stereotypes and folklore about Jews were recorded too.

The materials of this expeditions are planned to be published in the collection of articles and on the web-site www.sfira.ru

Photos