OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

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1985

A yard in Dainava district


Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

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IMG 20190517 132233
 

A Monument "We Died for the Motherland"


Stasys: "Since I lived up the hill in the city, in Vaižgantas street, I used to go past the cemetery to work.

Stasys: "Since I lived up the hill in the city, in Vaižgantas street, I used to go past the cemetery to work. This one time, one red-cheeked guy said you can’t walk through here – go around. I say: “Why? How come?” He yelled back to me: “I’m telling you you can’t. Get out of here, it’s forbidden, there’s no path here!” I look past him and I see a crane, some construction workers – they were demolishing the monument "We Died for the Motherland". I felt really bad, I wanted to do something mischievous to them, but I couldn‘t... When I came to take a look at it in the evening, everything was wiped out, there were barely any footprints left of the monument." (2019)

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IMG 3203
1994

Café at Artists' House


Greta: If someone asked which place of student life is the dearest to me, I would say that it's Artists' House.

*Greta: *If someone asked which place of student life is the dearest to me, I would say that it's Artists' House. To be more precise, its café.  When it ceased to exist, I felt like a child that grew up, came back to parents and found its room rented or turned into a storage space. Trauma...

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Prieplauka


Audronė: „Prieplaukos krantinę vadindavom cimbruvka.

*Audronė:* „Prieplaukos krantinę vadindavom cimbruvka. Gyvenimas prie upės vyko pilnu tempu. Buvo ir laivų, ir garlaivių, ir dyzelinių, ir garinių – visokių. Pavasarį atitempdavo dviejų aukštų prieplauką: antrame aukšte – restoranas, pirmame – kasos, aptarnavimas. Buvo du gariniai garlaiviai, su dideliais ratais, plaukdami keldavo dideles bangas – Kęstutis ir Ždanovas. Valtimi nuo tos prieplaukos kilnodavo į Marvelę. Bėgdavome pasitikti garlaivių. Žmonės atplaukdavo su gyvom vištom ir žąsim. Vyko judrus gyvenimas. Vakarais daug kas eidavo į restoraną. Jį atplukdydavo su barža. Rudenį nuvilkdavo į žiemos uostą saloj, kurio irgi dabar nebėra. /..../

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3a
1991

World Lithuanian Games


When I was sixteen, it was the first time, when I brought my photo camera to the Oakwoord Park, Darius and Girėnas Sports Centre, the Hall and the Stadium.

When I was sixteen, it was the first time, when I brought my photo camera to the Oakwoord Park, Darius and Girėnas Sports Centre, the Hall and the Stadium. It was during the World Lithuanian Games in the summer of 1991. I followed the participants marching from the Old Town. There were crowds of people, great mood, no mournful atmosphere. The second day of the Games was coloured in bright green: a boy who carried Detroit Kovas flag gave me five dollars for a photo that I handed him when we met. My first honorarium in cash! As my aunt Zita (currently living in Detroit) found out, his name was Tadas Baukys. The euphoria did not last long. Shots were fired at the Lithuanian boarder and the crowds moved to Vilnius: again, for a funereal.

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Nauja Romuva
1993

Romuva cinema


Vitalijus: I remember Romuva from my childhood.

*Vitalijus: *I remember Romuva from my childhood. A very long time ago, when my brother and I were little, we saw Phantomas here. Behind the cinema, there was an ice-rink, and we would go there to have fun with other children. Cinema was not an expensive entertainment option back then. It would cost 10 kopeks for children, and evening screenings, the most popular ones, would cost 70 kopeks. The room was divided into areas: more expensive in the front and less expensive in the back.

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1956 Arunas Alesius pusbrolis Vytautas pussesere Laimute ir seuo Ruta
 

Lions of the War Museum and Meteorai band


Arūnas: “I spent my childhood and youth in Kaunas.

*Arūnas*: “I spent my childhood and youth in Kaunas. I managed to find a few photos. It makes me happy that people captured in them are still alive and well. So are the lions. The first photo was taken in 1956. From the left: me, my cousin Vytautas, my cousin Laimutė and sister Rūta. The second one was taken in the spring of 1969. While studying in Kaunas Polytechnic Institute (KPI), we had a big beat band Meteorai and before a trip abroad, we decided to shoot our promo photos in the garden of the Museum of War which was dear and interesting for us. From the left: me, keyboard, drummer Antanas Mačys, guitar players and vocals Gerardas Balaišis and Jonas Toleikis. Some of them have not parted with music to this day. We all wanted to be the Beatles in those times. We were restless. So, I am sending you another photo, without lions, capturing the attempt to fire at the central office of KPI with one of the museum's cannons...” (2018)

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Kestutis Jakstas Aleksotas
 

Aleksotas


Kęstutis: „Augau Aleksote, S.

*Kęstutis*: „Augau Aleksote, S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno gatvėje. Gyvenome kieme, kuriame stovėjo du namai ir vienuolika lietuvių šeimų. Tad vaikų buvo daug, kokie septyni panašaus amžiaus berniukai. Po pamokų kieme daugiausia žaisdavome futbolą. Vakare kieme vyresni žmonės susėsdavo grupelėmis ir lošdavo kortomis. Todėl mes turėdavome ieškoti kitos vietos. Netoli buvo aerodromas, didelės pievos, eidavome tenai. Žaisdavome visokiausius judrius žaidimus: tinklinį, krepšinį, futbolą... Aerodrome prie mūsų prisijungdavo ir kiti vaikai. Visi ėjome į 17-tą vidurinę mokyklą, vieni kitus pažinojome, ne taip, kaip dabar... Buvo laikas, kai S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno gatve nevažiuodavo autobusai. Naudodavomės funikulieriumi, nusileidę pėstute per tiltą eidavome į miestą. Kai buvau paauglys, jau eidavome į šokius Pergalės gamykloje, J. Gruodžio muzikos ir Medicinos seserų mokykloje prie Gertrūdos bažnyčios, Klamkėje – net nežinau, kodėl taip vadinome – prie Muzikinio teatro... 17-toje mokykloje taip pat būdavo šokiai, bet ne tokie įdomūs, nes ten įleisdavo tik mokinius. J. Gruodžio mokykloje visuomet grodavo gyvą muziką, kitur – įvairiai. Žiemą ateidavome su paltais. Turėdavome atsisegti ir parodyti, ar dėvime švarką ir ryšime kaklaraištį. Tuomet įleisdavo. Jeigu būdavai su megztiniu – ne. Eidavau į kino teatrą „Pašvaistė“, kuris stovėjo šalia bažnyčios. Ypač gražūs buvo spalvoti filmai „Vargdieniai“, „Paryžiaus katedra“, „Trys muškietininkai“. Į kiną eidavo labai daug žmonių. Į kavinę užsukdavau retai. Jų nebuvo tiek daug: „Metropolis“, „Tulpė“, „Orbita“. Tai suaugusių žmonių vietos. Nors atsimenu, kad kavinėje „Vakaras“ sukdavosi grindys. Studijų laikais eidavome į Spurginę šalia Senamiesčio, ten būdavo ir skanu, ir nebrangu. Vis dėlto, reikia įvertinti, kad lankymasis kavinėse labai priklausė nuo finansinės padėties. Pokario metais pinigų nebuvo. Būdami vaikai stovėdavome per naktį prie parduotuvės laukdami miltų, cukraus, duonos... Ryte ateidavo tėvai ir mus pakeisdavo. Žaisdavome futbolą prie aerodromo ir matydavome, kaip atvažiuoja duonos mašina. Mesdavome viską ir lėkdavome jos pirkti.“ (2019 m.)

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Movie theatre "Senasis trestas" [The Old Trust]


Elena: "While drinking my morning tea, I read an article about the old Kaunas movie theatres:" It's incredible, but today in Kaunas, out of almost 40 old movie theatres, only one had survived and is still operating.

*Elena:* "While drinking my morning tea, I read an article[https://www.lrytas.lt/kultura/istorija/2017/07/29/news/i-kino-teatra-ne-filmu-o-mesos-ar-teisingumo-paiesku-2075561/] about the old Kaunas movie theatres:" It's incredible, but today in Kaunas, out of almost 40 old movie theatres, only one had survived and is still operating. The rest became ghosts or a place where other activities are being developed. " As I‘ve read those words, an old story came to my mind. I couldn't wait to finish reading and find out what was that small and cozy movie theatre; I was lucky enough to go there once (when I came back, after a while, I didn't find the movie theatre there - there was a court instead). Apparently, the theatre was demolished in 2006, and the court got established here due to its strategically convenient location. Definitely, A. Mickevičiaus Street is in the very heart of the city, and all the important institutions are easily accessible: on the other side of the road - Kaunas interrogation isolator, next to it: Kaunas University of Medicine, where I have studied as well. I remember while looking through a window in a pharmacology laboratory, you could observe isolator‘s post office operations: through a slatted window of the third floor, a rolled paper note tied to a string – slowly moving down, until it finally reaches the window of the second floor. Someone’s hand grabs the note and a few minutes later - ties the answer, pulls the string for a few times, and the message starts traveling up. All-day long: up and down, up and down... And that story about the movie theatre goes like this. Back in 2006, “Vilnius Ghetto“ was released. Since the movie was created by a Lithuanian film studio, and I am really interested in this historical topic, I‘ve decided to go. As I‘ve read in a poster - the film had to be screened in a movie theatre near the university - it so convenient going there after the lecture. I remember it was warm and green. An evening. I took a bus going down the Parodos hill road, got off on Kęstučio Street, turned to Mickevičiaus Street, as I‘ve passed the interrogation isolator - went inside the university. So silent in there. The lecture was canceled. I‘ve crossed the road, bought a ticket, and entered a small, cozy auditorium. It was empty - I could sit wherever I wanted. I chose to sit in the middle of the sixth row. I remember thinking, that I’d never watched a movie being the only visitor in an empty movie theatre. I was ready to enjoy the moment, while a guy came in unexpectedly, a moment later - a girl. That ‘s OK, I thought, they should sit in the last row. They stood next to the entrance. The guy viewed over the auditorium, a moment after – he did hurry to take a seat ... next to me ... in an empty auditorium. I was so surprised, I didn’t say anything, I just smiled with my eyes, while looking at the screen. The girl approached and quietly sat next to him.

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pasivaiksciojimai2
 

Laisvės Ave.


Asija: “In the evenings, Laisvės Avenue was full of people.

*Asija*: “In the evenings, Laisvės Avenue was full of people. Families would go for a walk. It was a magnificent tradition. Lithuanian, Jewish and Russian families were walking in the avenue. The oldest members of the family would be walking in front of everyone else; parents following them and lastly a bunch of children were running after them. Slowly, constantly greeting each other, people passed through Laisvės Avenue and returned home. Women had to have a small handbag and a hat.” (2017).

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IMG 20180721 092452
 

Lions of the War Museum


Žilvinas: “My brother and I, we are twins.

*Žilvinas*: “My brother and I, we are twins. We used to be very naughty children and to get some rest, our grandma would bring us for a walk to visit the lions. On one of such occasion, we found a photographer who took a photo of us all. Later something similar happened when we were 12-year-old. In those times, our parents would work a lot and we would spend a lot of time with our beloved grandmother. When we grew up and started living our own lives, we still have not been able to forget the wonderful times of youth and childhood. Because of this, when brother’s daughter Monika comes from America, I always say to her that she is always a Lithuanian and a Kaunasian. And I also go for a walk in Laisvės Alėja with my little son Nojus quite often. Every time, we visit the Museum of War for a meeting with lions. :) I have taken the last photo with lions in 2013, capturing my brother’s daughter Monika. I was born in 1966 in Kaunas and I am not planning on leaving it no matter what. :)” (2018)

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Kauno zenklas
1993

The sign of Kaunas


Neringa: Yesterday, while driving from Vilnius to Kaunas, I saw the “new” sign of the city of Kaunas and realized that the old sign was a really special place.

*Neringa:* Yesterday, while driving from Vilnius to Kaunas, I saw the “new” sign of the city of Kaunas and realized that the old sign was a really special place. We would stop next to it every time we came back from Vilnius, even if relatives from America came to visit us. This was the first stop after Vilnius Airport, where we would all take photos with guests we haven't seen for a long time (or saw for the very first time). Even though the sign was a relict of the Soviet times, but compared to the “new” one, it had certain image and uniqueness to it. From my childhood, I remember those steps up to the sign and the red brightness of its background, that would contrast to the light blue summer sky. In this picture, it's me, my mother, and guests from America: Debbie and Ramutė in 1993. (2014)

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All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 114 11 Routes
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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.
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