MAISEH: When it is hard to find the words, we tell stories
In times of political upheaval, emotional hardship or social isolation, stories arm us with humor, hope, courage and love. They are vehicles to grapple with the unspeakable: loss, misfortune, betrayal and broken hearts. They bring us together.
During the 31st edition of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, we wanted to tell you stories. In the frame of “Maiseh”, which is the Yiddish word for tale, seven legends unfolded in the streets of Kazimierz. Whether they are about a restless phantom roaming the streets, a hidden treasure or the guardian of an ancient synagogue – these stories say more than it seems. Although rooted in Krakow, city of legends, they are meaningful beyond their local and historical context.
Traditionally passed on orally, legends were told over a meal or next to the campfire in almost all known human societies. Tales transform as they are shared, slightly altered by the storyteller each time they are told. It is in the nature of the story to be adapted. The act of passing on stories creates continuity between generations, communities and genealogies. That is what the spiral stands for.
We told you our version of these legends, and invited you to share your tales with us – an exchange of stories that needed to be told in this particular moment.
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