Stories of Generations in Kaunas
It is the début of a creative duo by Raminta Garbuzaitė and Ala Raguzina, 2nd course Master’s students of Creative Industries at Vytautas Magnus University. “Stories of Generations in Kaunas” is a community project, gathering people who live / used to live in Kaunas and placing them in a single memory map capturing the history of city. The aim of the project is to use different experiences, impressions and memories related to Kaunas, as recalled by different generations of the residents, who grew up in one city, but were not acquainted with one another. By employing reflections of different generations, the intention is to reveal a different picture of Kaunas that we know and encourage interest in the city and its history.
It has been accepted that city residents are the face of the city, but the city itself contributes greatly to the development of identity and consciousness of its residents. Urban community is a formation that enables social development of the society, where a person gains the foundation, understands himself /herself and others as much as during the learning process taking place in his / her family. Different generations recognize social changes differently, they see and read signs in a different way; however, people who grew up in one environment, even if they do not know each other, usually understand symbolic signs similarly and also have similar values. Despite these similarities, through experiences of different generations, we can find signs revealing the changes in a place and distinguishing how generations perceive a specific location. By different participants telling about the same places, not only the identity of these place is created in the minds of the residents of Kaunas, but a person hearing those stories will be able to compare the stories, and thus understand more clearly similarities and differences of the residents of Kaunas.
Project participants are random residents of Kaunas of various age. Each participant reveals his / her experiences related to a specific place of Kaunas significant to him / her and visiting which evokes good memories. During individual interviews, in order to find out the symbolic meaning of every location, each participant and storyteller is asked to share his / her experience, reflect on inner and symbolic memories and symbols thereof. Also, these verbal pictures will not only allow understanding the symbolic meaning of these places for the residents of Kaunas, but they will also contribute as new pieces of a puzzle, piecing together the image of this location throughout various periods of time.