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How can one remember a place which exists in many memories, in many stories?

A project by Sophie Dixon

Srbská, previously Wünschendorf, is a village in the present day Czech Republic, on its northern border with Poland.

Following World War Two, almost the entire  population of the village was forced to leave in a deportation which affected an estimated 3,000,000 ethnic Germans living in Czechoslovakia. Afterwards, Wünschendorf was renamed to Srbská. It declined rapidly from a community of over a hundred houses and businesses to the handful of buildings it is today.

My interest in Srbská's past was kindled after a chance meeting in 2011. While living there, I encountered a group making their annual visit from Germany to the village they were forced to leave as children. Now, well into their seventies, they return each year to remember - a desire I have explored in my artistic practice within the themes of memory and place.

I have travelled to Germany and the Czech Republic to film this group and others who remember the village of Srbská and Wünschendorf. Through looking for a single story of this place, I have found that each voice casts its own unique perspective upon the past. This archive is an attempt to create a space for those voices I have encountered, and to give wider prominence to the artefacts and stories so generously contributed by those involved in this project.

If you would like to get involved with this site by contributing materials and stories, please visit the ‘Contribute’ page.

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