Experience the storytelling power of street art in Kaunas, Lithuania
Lithuania’s second city, Kaunas, has long been famous for its incredible street art.
Its streets are dotted with intriguing sculptures and installations.
The art in the courtyard gallery at Kiemo Galerija on E. Ožeškienės g. 25 tells the stories of people living in the apartments overlooking it.
And murals like ‘The Wise Old Man’, on the side of an old footwear factory, are playful and thought-provoking and famous around the world.
In 2022 Kaunas was a European City of Culture. It celebrated with a program of over 1,000 individual events.
It culminated in the performance of ‘The Contract’, a spectacular kaleidoscope of music, dance and storytelling at the Žalgirio Arena.
But in a city dotted with extraordinary works of street art, the event that will leave the most lasting legacy is the creation of a new ‘Street Art Route’ in Kaunas and it’s surrounding districts.
The development of the route was an integral element of the new CityTelling Festival.
Seven new artworks were commissioned, each one telling a forgotten story of the city.
‘Life Interrupted’, on A. Mickevičiaus str. 30, tells the story of Rosian Bagriansky, a young Jewish girl saved from the Kaunas Ghetto.
‘All Souls Day’ on Trakų str. 35, recalls the time 10,000 people gathered to protest in the old Kaunas cemetery.
And ‘Kačerginė’, on J. Janonio str. 2, commemorates happier times in the interwar years, with an artwork depicting young friends enjoying life on the river.
The hope is that both visitors and locals alike will listen to the stories city walls are telling, remembering the names and fates of those who were born there, particularly amongst the city’s Jewish community.
Kaunas’s tenure as a European City of Culture may be over.
But through the city’s street art, the stories uncovered during the celebrations will continue to be told.
Main image: All Souls Day mural in Kaunas (M. Plepys/Kaunas 2022)