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Research and revitalization of urban folklore as the main element of festivities in former Jewish townships





Project type







1.1 Promotion of local culture and history




State Institution of Additional Education "Children and Youth Creativity Center of Barysaŭ District" (Minsk Oblast, Belarus)


"Teatr Latarnia" Foundation (Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland)

TOTAL BUDGET 46 027.17 € ENI CO-FUNDING 41 424.45 €
DURATION 24 months 01.09.2020 - 31.08.2022

Project description

Due to the historical events of the last century, the migrations of rural residents to towns and the disappearance of the Jewish population traditional for the city (town, shtetl), the shtetls also disappeared. And with them, urban folklore and traditional celebrations, as a symbolic value that unites a diverse urban community, vanished as well. At the same time, Jewish urban folklore is poorly known and hardly available due to the events of World War II, mass emigration of Jews and the closed nature of the Jewish community, which before the war accounted for about half (in some places up to 80-90%) of the population in the Programme area.

Fortunately, nowadays ethnographers and cultural activists from the Programme area collect and promote rural folklore, which is confirmed primarily by the development of the traditional dance movement, a publication of folk songs, the emergence of musical bands, as well as creation of ethnographic communities and festivals related to traditional Belarusian-Polish culture.

The idea of the ShtetlFest project will create an international ShtetlFes BY-PL route, which includes 6 former Belarusian-Polish Jewish shtetls. This route will promote tangible and intangible Jewish heritage. Project partners will organize an expedition to study and collect photo-video-narrative ethnographic objects. As a result of the expedition, the “Shtetl Fest” manual, with the collected high-quality visual, text and audio materials, will be designed and used for the promotion of touristic route. One of the places will be presented during an interactive event, an open-air festival “SHTETL FOLK FEST” in the former Izabielin shtetl (Belarus). This event will take place every year and it will change location.

This way, the project will positively influence the quality of cross-border intercultural communication and develop cultural communities in the municipalities. As a result, it will contribute to the promotion of urban culture as a symbolic value that unites the multi-layered urban community through the shtetl folklore.

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