Pawel Sawicki, Press Office, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (Poland)


Pawel Sawicki has worked as a press officer and a guide of the Auschwitz Memorial for almost 12 years, and among many other duties, he is the main coordinator for the Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away exhibition. This included overviewing and leading the work of all the different departments and staff members from the Memorial involved in the project, from historians and researchers to conservators and curators, and their coordination with the team in Musealia.

Description of the session

Pawel and Luis will present the story of how the largest travelling exhibition ever created about Auschwitz was made possible, as well as the different aspects of how both institutions collaborated in its narrative, content, design and general layout.
The session will deal with the following topics:
1.- Phase 1: from an idea to a reality.
This part will try to tell the story of how, in the course of years of work, both institutions were able to come together to create something that had never been done before: a monographic travelling exhibition about Auschwitz that displayed a large collection of original objects from the Memorial Archives.
2.- Phase 2: designing and producing the exhibition.
From the moment both parties agreed to create the exhibition to the moment, it was opened, the speakers will explain the different key aspects of the exhibition and how each one of them was developed. Special focus will be delivered on the narrative chosen, the content and selection of objects/pictures/videos, the design/layout created for the exhibition, the audio-tour or the production of all the exhibition material.
3.- Phase 3: managing the exhibition.
The final part of the panel will deal with the different situations the entities had to work on after the opening of the exhibition to the public. We will speak about the press and PR management, the vision for social media, the everyday visitor´s flow or how the tour of the exhibition is managed.

Benefits for the participants

Participants will be able to understand the very complex nature and different aspect of creating one of the most important travelling exhibitions in the last years, with a special focus on:
- Understanding the process behind complex projects that involve a tight collaboration between public and private entities.
- Discover the how and why of exhibitions narrative when they have to deal with very complex and delicate subjects, such as Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
- Understanding key aspects of the decision-making process in a wide team of experts in different fields: curators, conservators, educators, designers, architects, managers, etc.
- Understanding the importance of the human factor in any project.

Format of the session

Conversation and presentation by the speakers, including the use of videos and pictures. Q&A and discussion.
1h 30m.