June 2013

Workshops in Kėdainiai


The group in Lithuania have been exploring their town and region with the help of Rimantas Žirgulis and Audronė Pečiulytė from the Regional Museum and Multicultural Centre. The gallery of photographs below show their journeys, which began with the complex of former synagogues around the old Market Square. These buildings now house the Multicultural Centre and the Art School. There is a Holocaust memorial in the old square, made by a local artist. (More information about that here…)

They began looking at typical Jewish red brick house from begining of 20th century – at Kranto 2-oji (Bank or Shore 2nd) street, former Jewish quarter of Kėdainiai. They visited the Jewish cemetery of Kėdainiai, which was used from 19th century until the Holocaust. There is a nice website which has a lot of information about the former Jewish community in the town and a database of the graves in the cemetery in English at

They then visited the Mikalojus Daukša oak tree, a very old tree in Babėnai (the northern part of Kėdainiai) – this area was home of this famous translator, writer and Catholic priest. Daukša (1527 or 1538 – 1613)was one of the first representatives of Lithuanian literature. Here also is a memorial stone to the mass grave of 125 Soviet activists, killed by Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators on 23.07.1941. Among the victims were 95 Jews, so sometimes this place is considered a Holocaust site.

The group visited the ruined manor of Sirutiškis, which dates from the 18th century. The park is full of old trees  including oaks, European larch, ash, maple. The manor is linked to both the families of Czeslaw Milosz and Bronislaw Komoroski a (the President of Poland). They went to the mound of Bakainiai, which dates from the 14th century, where there was once a Crusader castle. On three sides of the fort was a river, and the north side was protected by a dike.  Local legend has it that the mound marks the site of a battle and is the burial mound of the commander.

Paberžė was visited, where the January uprising of 1863 began in Lithuania. The church has an unusual and fine collection of folk artefacts. In the photo gallery you will also see the grave of rebels of this Uprising in Šventybrastis made by sculptor Kostas Rameika; the ruin of the  manor house of Counts Zabiello in Apytalaukis from end of 19th century. The set of furniture made from animal horns exhibited in the Regional Museum was brought from here; the monument in Taučiūnai village – place where died the first Lithuanian soldier – volunteer Povilas Lukšys (1887-1919). He was first victim in battles of Lithuanian independence war with Russian Bolsheviks in February of 1919. (The  architect of this memorial is Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis); finally, a monument in Dotnuva street cemetery for Povilas Lukšys and other Lithuanian soldier-volunteers, who died in the battles of Lithuanian independence war with Russian Bolsheviks in 1919-1920 and are buried here. (Author – sculptor Kostas Rameika.)

These explorations have helped the group decide on the touring programme for the residency in Kėdainiai later in the year, where they can share their finding with the other groups.

May 2013


Meetings of the Polish group of participants in the project took place in May at Krasnogruda.

From the very beginning of the project, the participants were divided into three working groups: Augustowska, Sejny and Suwalska. Each group, under the guidance of a teacher/instructor, worked for a month, meeting once a week to develop specific topics of study.

At today’s meeting of all three groups, they each presented in detail the results of their local investigations. The Augustowska group focused on the tradition of Old Believers in the Suwalki region. The Sejneńska group sought out and examined old mansions and old buildings in the area, making an inventory of them. The Suwalska group began its examination of Suwalki multicultural cemetery that holds memory and indicates the presence of six denominations in the old Suwalki. Collected materials will be supplemented and developed in subsequent classes.


Here’s a powerpoint presentation from the Suwalki group, about their investigation into a local graveyard, to unpeel the layers of history evidenced there.  Please view presentation here (in Polish) - grupy z Suwałk.

Other project information in Polish can be found here:,1486.html



Participants learned about the history of the community of Protestant, Evangelical and Lutheran and Reformed Protestants. Evangelical Lutheran priest Arvydas Malinauskas told about the main characteristics of this profession and how it differs from Catholicism. The students visited the Lutheran church inside and out. Then come to know the history of Protestant reformers in Kėdainiai and the main features of this religion, what is similar and what is the different between Catholics and Lutherans. They also visited the Reformed Church to discuss the architecture and visited the mausoleum of the Princes Radziwiłów, whose sarcophagi are buried there, and heard about their life stories.




April 2013



The first sessions of the Polish group of participants were held. A group of eighteen participants and their teachers from high schools in Augustow, Suwalki and Sejny were involved in these workshops.

They were introduced to the concept of the overall project and then learned about the history of the Manor at Krasnogruda and the family history of Czeslaw Milosz.

The second part of the workshop dealt with Geocaching, as a potential tool that we will use to form a cultural trail leading from Sejny and Krasnogruda via Kėdainiai in Lithuania to Kaliningrad in Russia. Geocaching is a field game which consists in finding treasures. With the help of GPS devices or smartphones, players try to find a geocache box, and then share their experiences online. After the lecture, Leo Walotek-Scheidegger presented his ideas about Geocaching and rules of the game.


Our geocaching guide was Leo Walotek-Scheidegger. Leo is a German journalist dealing with maritime and tourist issues. He is a member of the ’68 generation and a logistician of foreign trade specializing in South-East Asia (University of Koeln and Düsseldorf and the Technical University of Krefeld), a member of VEUS, the elite Association of European Shipping Journalists and its only representative in Poland.

His only hobby is geocaching, a mixture of alternative tourism and treasure hunting with a GPS in hand. He has co-created a few hundred geocaches in the land of Rhineland Palatinate under the regional economic revitalization projects. He co-authored a similar project in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province with the crowning it Megaevent in Górzno (24-26.05.2013), the first Polish international meeting gathering geocachers from a few countries. The outcome of the project was creation of nearly 1000 caches in the province. During three weeks, the caches were logged over 30,000 times (as opened). In recognition of his activities, Leo Walotek-Scheidegger received a letter of thanks from the Management Board of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province.

He has published in German, Polish, Swiss and Korean press, and co-operates with such titles as Spiegel, Stern,  Hamburger Abendblatt, and German TV stations: ARD and NDR and the Deutschlandfunk radio. In Poland, he has collaborated with, among others, the  National Geographic Traveller, Fokus Śledczy, Przekrój, Nasze Morze, Jachting and with the Polish TV (TVP).


Here’s the powerpoint presentation about geocaching (in Polish): Pogranicza – geocaching


In Kėdainiai, the selected participants presented their creative work, meeting with their local project coordinator, Mr. Żirgulis Rimantas, Director of the Regional Museum in Kėdainiai, and the manager of the Multicultural Museum, historian Ms. Audronė Pečiulyte, and the archaeologist of the museum Mr. Algirdas Juknevičius. These first sessions outlined the programme and agreed on a series of topics and activities.

In the second session, the group looked the most important historical facts of Kėdainiai and surrounding areas. They looked at the most valuable exhibits collected in the Regional Museum, expressing their opinion about what the current exhibits should emphasise. They learnt about the story of the Carmelite Order, whose original building now houses the museum.

In the third session on April 27th, they explained about the creation of Kedainiai and the surrounding area based on data from archaeological research. Particular emphasis was placed on the geographical location and natural accents and highlights the emergence and development of the city.




March 2013

The first working meeting of the project partners took place. The meeting was set the timetable for the project, and the planned actions and the recruitment of participants in the three countries laid out in detail.

The meeting was attended by:

Rimantas Zirgulis (Regional Museum Kedainach), Boris Bartfield, Igor Belov, (Kaliningrad Association of Writers), Krzysztof Czyżewski, Margaret Sporek-Czyżewska, Ksenija Konopek, the Foundation and the Centre for Borderland.

Recruitment of participants for Poland.

What follows is the information circulated locally by partners, inviting submissions from local young people who wish to participate.

This route has not yet set on any map.

That’s why you have to discover it and create your own interpretation, sharing with other young people from the Poland, Lithuania and Russia.

You have to decide which places, people, habits, activities, songs and images are particularly important for the culture of your region and which ones you need to save for the future.

The project assumes that you will be prepared to take on creative tasks, meet special people, survivors and guardians of tradition, artists and cultural experts.

You and your peers will decide which texts, drawings and photographs will be included in the project guide ‘Atlantis’, and your investigations during the project will help us construct shape exhibition material.

What will be the results of our joint activities?

The establishment of cross border cultural trail “Borderland Atlantis’, spaces and places that your generation deem important.

The trail guide will be released – inviting you to travel through time and space, to help you explore your identity through immersion in the cultural heritage of the region. The Trail can also exist in the virtual space. In what way? Blog ? Fanpage ? It also depends on you…

You will be the co-author.

We will present in each of the countries an exhibition documenting the creative activities of the project participants and your actions.

You will be able to integrate with your peers from the three countries and improve your language skills.

You will expand your world of new knowledge and skills. You may find new forms of artistic activity that will become your passion.

You will experience unique travel.

How will the project work?

The project lasts for two years (through 2014).

There will be three groups of (a minimum of) ten young people working simultaneously in Poland, Lithuania and Russia. They will meet twice a month to explore the cultural heritage of their region.

There will be workshops including photographic, ceramic, archaeological , theatre, music, poetry. Each workshop will lead to the development of materials for the guide.

The main place of work in Poland will be the International Centre for Dialogue in Krasnogruda, but for a large part of the programme, meeting will be held in diffferent locations.

There will be three residencies, one in each geographic location, where all participants come together for a common ten-day workshop.

Important information:

Participation is free for participants. You will not pay for your participation in the workshops, for the materials, transportation, etc.

Your parents and schools (where applicable) must agree to your participation.

You will have a basic knowledge of the English language.

How do I qualify to participate in the project?


1. You have be sixteen or seventeen.

2. You live in the northern part of the region of Podlasie.

3. You will make a piece of work (a photograph, an artwork, text, video, presentation) that is your interpretation of these words: Is there anything you would like to / would like to save …

Jest coś, co chciałabym/chciałbym ocalić…

There is something I would like to save from oblivion…

For photographs or artwork, attach a brief comment.

4. Write about your passions, plans for the future, interesting activities which you attend – favourite books, movies, music you listen to, etc.

5. Work and characterisation of looking after the emblem.

The envelope with the emblem of inserting card with your details: name and surname, date of birth, grade and school where you learn, address, email address, telephone contacts and consent of your parents or guardians to participate in the project.

6 Send your application by 12 April 2013 to the following addresses:

Secondary School in Sejny, ul. Meadow 1, tel 87 516 21 67.
Co-ordinator: Jolanta Olsztyn

Suwalki School No. 1, ul. Noniewicza 83, tel 87 566 66 07.
Co-ordinator: Eva Sidorek
E-mail: ewa.sidorek @

Augustow, School of Social STO, ul. Zarzecze 17a , tel 87 643 27 29.
Co-ordinator: Joanna Denert

7. The list of persons eligible for the project will be selected by April 17.

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