On May 19, as part of the International Museum Day program in Lviv, we met at the Lviv Municipal Art Center to discuss the new realities and challenges during the pandemic and war for museums. We talked about the power of innovations and digital projects, the need to develop digital ideas and new strategies for the teamwork of museum workers in online and offline formats. At the same time, we presented our project in cooperation with the Czech NGO Post Bellum (Paměť národa) – the platform “Lost Childhood”.

“Lost Childhood” is a project that the “Territory of Terror” and Paměť národa worked on in 2021 under the COVID circumstances, and we were forced to present the platform during the war. This, however, only adds to the relevance of this project, which tells the stories of repressed and deported children, the so-called enemies of the nation, mostly from the west of Ukraine during the late 1940s – early 1950s.

The online platform “Lost Childhood” contains stories of those who were repressed as children and suffered severe trauma of deportation.

The platform is built on the principle of “Here” – a big move – “There”. The key visual element of all materials is a map and a cattle wagon – as the means of forced deportation. The visual elements contain references to the memories of our heroes – witnesses of terrible historical events.

In addition to biographies and oral testimonies of 30 heroes of our project, the platform contains 12 thematic online lectures, artistic reflections, methodological recommendations for educators who work on relevant topics, and also a digest of major events during the project.

Here is a link to a video of the meeting, as well as a direct link to the platform “Lost Childhood”:

By the way, one can see the exhibition in the Museum square in front of the entrance to the Museum. The stands present photos of narrators, their biographies, visualizations of memories, and fragments of stories. Very often they represent not only the private experience of one person but can serve as a common narrative for many who experienced the terrible events of the twentieth century. By scanning the QR code on each stand, you can find out the details of the stories of the participants of the project that are placed in the international archive Memory of nations.

The project was supported by the European Union under the House of Europe program.