OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

About the project


We live in a world ruled by memory. Pierre Nora

www.atmintiesvietos.lt is an interactive archive of Kaunas city collective memory dedicated to those who love this city, history buffs, students, scholars, everyone interested in both the history and the present of Kaunas, as well as those who find this city an important part of their life. In this website, the urbanscape of Kaunas is presented as a map of collective memory, where the physical forms of memory – buildings, streets, courtyards, squares, monuments, museums, public spaces, etc. – reveal the forgotten or hidden past.

The website stores scientific, popular, literary texts and research studies, artistic and research projects, photos, audio and video recordings and the continuous updates of the virtual map of memory places. However, the greatest value of this database is related to the personal memories and stories by city residents. These “mini stories” that usually emerge from strong emotional sources can bring us together with the city, local history, as well as join the past with the present. Only through the stories, the city becomes the living memory and its spaces become inhabited. These material places shape our collective memory; the secret of our identity is hidden in it together with the response to the question: who we are? In this specific project, we are more interested in “I remember, when...”, rather than historical facts and “I know that...”.

Many cities, neighborhoods and communities unified by shared history, collective, cultural and other memory have databases of memory and interactive maps thereof. Development of such a digital memory platform in Kaunas will not only allow its users to create connections between personal experiences and cultural heritage of the city, but also promote interest in its memory and pride in its history. We expect that this project will become not only a place to immortalize the memory of our city and archive the accounts about its past, but also serve as an active platform inspiring changes in the city, visions, public initiatives, expectations, stimulating the imagination of its residents, thus contributing to the future of the city.

Our memory is framed by spatial reference points: places, sites, buildings, and streets give us our bearings and enable us to anchor and order our memories. So, the material alteration of these places can lead to the substantial modification of our memories, and even their disappearance. Gérôme Truc

This project is not finite, so its organizers are continuously contributing to the virtual memory archive of Kaunas city with photos, filmed footage, resident interviews, scientific publications, documentation of artistic projects. But the most important thing in it is the entries of residents. We hereby invite you to become the co-authors of the virtual archive and send your memories about places, events, celebrations and other moments important to you. Memories can be sent to info@atmintiesvietos.lt or using a specially designed virtual form.

We are also inviting scholars, researchers, artists and memory institutions of Kaunas city – museums, archives, libraries, etc. to join the development of the website.

Project team:

Daiva Citvarienė, head of the project

Ana Čižauskienė, project coordinator

Justina Petrulionytė-Sabonienė, project coordinator