Litvak Days in London is an annual event that has been organized by the Embassy of Lithuania in the United Kingdom since 2011.
The afternoon will include a discussion panel chaired by Clive Lawton with Laimonas Briedis, author of 'Vilnius City of Strangers', Professor Laima Lauckaite and Professor Michael Berkowitz.
The panel will be followed by a performance by the incomparable Maria Krupoves, accompanied by the violinist Borisas Kirzneris.
In 2023, the 12th Litvak Days Event is dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius, which for many generations has been the wellspring of the Litvak identity. This noteworthy event is at the heart of the Embassy’s priority to deepen understanding and appreciation of the multicultural traditions of Lithuania, including the life and cultural legacy of the Lithuanian Jewish communities and their global reach. With this in mind, we hope to reflect on the significance of Vilna, the Jewish city that helped define Lithuania as a storied part of the world.
In partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in The United Kingdom.
NB: This event will take place both in the building and online. To attend in person, click the "Book Now" button on this page. To watch online, click the button below.
Click below to download the event programmes.
Laimonas Briedis is a writer and scholar of the history, literature and geographical imagination of Vilnius, Lithuania. He is the author of Vilnius: City of Strangers, reviewed by The Economist as being a “subtle and evocative book,” where “vanished civilizations and lost empires leave a city stalked by horror and steeped in wonder.” The book has been translated into several languages, including German, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese (Brazil). Laimonas is the global ambassador for the 700-year anniversary of the founding of Vilnius.
A native of Vilnius, Laimonas has lived for most of his adult life in Vancouver, Canada, where he completed a doctoral degree in cultural geography at the University of British Columbia. His creative output stretches from charting a GIS anchored digital map of the multilingual literature of Vilnius to examining the ramifications of being bi-local; placing questions related to belonging, migration, the diaspora, translation, poetic vision and memory at the core of his work.
Maria Krupoves is an artist and folklorist, internationally acclaimed as a singer and interpreter of the folksongs of Eastern Europe, especially those of her native Vilnius with its multicultural heritage.
In 2001, Dr. Krupoves was awarded a Vladimir and Pearl Heyfetz Fellowship at YIVO (Institute for Jewish Research) in New York. While in the United States, she has lectured and performed at YIVO and various universities. The singer has published seven albums with a multicultural repertory in collaboration with klezmer, jazz and classical musicians. Her album Without a Country: Songs of Stateless Peoples got an enthusiastic review in the Billboard Magazine. Recordings from her album Songs of the Vilna Ghetto have been used in the numerous documentaries about Vilna’s Jewish history.
Professor Michael Berkowitz
Professor Michael Berkowitz is UK-based American historian and professor of modern Jewish history at professor of Modern Jewish History at UCL (University College, London). He is the editor of Jewish Historical Studies. Dr. Berkowitz is a prolific writer and scholar. He is the author of five monographs, including his most recent title Jews and Photography in Britain (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015). He is the co-editor of “We are Here”: New Approaches to Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany with Avinoam J Patt (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2010). He has been the winner of multiple awards, fellowships, and grants.
Professor Laima Lauckaite
Professor Laima Lauckaite lives in Vilnius and is an art historian and curator of exhibitions. Her books include ‘Seventeen Rendezvous in Vilnius’. She is currently the leading researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute.
Educated at Vilnius Art Institute (MA), University of Moscow (PhD), and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich (Postdoc), her research focuses on the art history of Vilnius during the early 20th century. She initiated a study on the multicultural artistic scene of the city revealing activities of Polish, Jewish, Lithuanian, and Russian artists.
Lauckaite is the author of the books: Art in Vilnius 1900-1915 (Biennial Book Prize of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies in 2009), Art in Vilnius during the First World War (in Lithuanian), Rafael Chwoles: the Search for Jerusalem, and albums on iconography Vilnius. Topophilia (vol. I, II). She is the curator of the exhibition “Vilnius Forever. Dialog of Artworks and Guides to the City,” at the TARTLE Art Center in Vilnius in partnership with YIVO.