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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » May 27, 2011
Exhibitions
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Karaim in Photographs
May 27, 2011   
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Karai yollary—Karaim Ways. Karaim in Old Photographs is the title of an exhibition on the Karaim, the smallest ethnic group in Poland. The exhibition, organized jointly by the History Meeting House and the Polish Association of Karaim, consists of photographs from 1864-1960, borrowed from Karaim families. The pictures include portraits, scenes of everyday life and family celebrations, social get-togethers, work and leisure time.

The images tell a dozen or so stories of individuals and families who used to live in former Karaim settlements in Vilnius, Trakai (now in Lithuania), Halych and Lutsk (now in Ukraine). The exhibition’s section on World War II is illustrated with photographs taken by Jerzy Łopatto, a soldier in the Anders Army, and Szymon Pilecki, a World War II photographer.

The final section consists of photographs taken after the war and depicting Karaim in their new homes in Lower Silesia, Warsaw and the Tricity area in northern Poland. All photographs come with detailed descriptions and quotes.

At a mere several hundred people, the Karaim are the smallest ethnic group to inhabit Poland. They originally come from the Crimea region and their language belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic family. It is traditionally believed Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania brought the Karaim to Poland to guard him and his residence in Trakai.

M.R.

Open through June 30
History Meeting House, 20 Karowa St.
tel. +48 22 255-05-05, www.dsh.waw.pl
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