Bałuty-Bałuty ( March-May 2010)

project leadership: Rob Houkes
cooperation: Agnieszka Pomorska-Struszczyk, Małgorzata Martynelis, Maciej Jakóbczyk, Monika Krzesiak oraz kilka rodzin z Bałut

photos : Rob Houkes, Agnieszka Pomorska-Struszczyk

Who are the Balutians?

Bauty-Bałuty is a project running in the two months before the start of the Photofestiwal Lodz.

It’s organized and driven by the Dutch photographer Rob Houkes in cooperation with Agnieszka Pomorska-Struszczyk, Malgorzata Martynelis, Maciek Jakóbczyk, Monika Krzesiak and several families from the Bałuty district, and supported by some social and cultural organisations in and around Bałuty.

Bałuty-Bałuty is a documentary project which focuses on the life, relationships and love in families living in Baluty.

Bałuty is an old (probably the oldest) district in Łódź. It became a Jewish quarter with the first and by that reason oldest synagogue in the city of Łódź (Altshtot synagogue), and turned into a notorious ghetto during WW II, Europe’s second largest ghetto exeeded only by that of Warsaw. In the five year the ghetto existed, 60,000 people died of diseases, starvation, execution or suicide. Hundreds of thousands, most Jews and Roma, ‘passed’ and disappeared in extermination camps. About 10,000 people survived through interruption of their deportation, another 877 survived by hiding inside the getto just before the arrival of the Soviet troups.

Bałuty was partly rebuilt in the fifties and sixties. Some of the old buildings are still there, though. Partly impoverished, Bałuty is sometimes still seen as a ghetto, which – as reasonable as it may sound in respect of the past – is highly exaggerated.
Bałuty-Bałuty is presented at Fotofestiwal Łódź as an accompanying exhibition.

The blog is part of the project.

8.05 / saturday, 18.30
Łódź Art Center, Tymienieckiego 3

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