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    August- November

    Free Polish lessons!

    Classes are intended for beginners with knowledge of other Slavic languages. The lessons will be held in the Old Town Cultural Centre (Rynek Starego Miasta 2 in Warsaw. The course will last from August to November.

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    Hear React

    The project theme is violence against cultural, national and religious minorities. In our creative work we reflect on how violence manifests itself in public space and debate, and how it manifests itself in our everyday lives. We ask questions about being alert and sensitive to verbal and non-verbal aggression and about our reaction when someone in our presence is attacked.

    About the project

    December 2020 – March 2022

    In the project, we talk about topics related to violence against cultural, national and religious minorities. We wonder how violence manifests itself in public space and debate, and how it does so in our everyday lives. We ask questions about being alert and sensitive to verbal and non-verbal aggression and about our reaction when someone in our presence is attacked.
    From March to June, four multicultural groups will reflect on these issues during the Asylum Warsaw 2021 workshops. Using artistic tools and cultural texts, the multicultural groups will reflect on how to mobilise themselves and other witnesses of aggression and discrimination based on nationality to react and counteract such acts. The final of the workshop work was an interactive performance in the urban space with musical accompaniment by the Sound in Space Orchestra, which took place on 20 June, which is World Refugee Day.

    The materials collected during the research phase, the created texts and sounds will be used in the second half of the year, when, together with Tok Fm, we will prepare a radio podcast based on them.

    Parallel to the workshops and artistic events, we organize regular consultations for newcomers to Poland.

    Artistic initiatives within the project are accompanied by a series of activities supporting the team of Strefa WolnoSłowa in further development of the organisation: training courses and a fundraising campaign Garażówka WolnoSłowa.




    Theatre workshops
    Two workshop groups took part in the meetings – intergenerational groups of migrants .The work of the theatre workshop focused on writing texts, creating choreography, preparing monologues and scenes for the performance Water is very cold, but I can’t stay on the shore.

    Running: Alicja Borkowska, Katarzyna Stefanowicz

    Fot. Magdalena Duszyńska-Sasin

    Choreography workshops
    Meetings were held on selected weekends from March to June 2021.
    Multicultural and multigenerational choreographic workshops were based on the method of movement improvisation and elements of contact improvisation.

    Running: Katarzyna Stefanowicz

    Fot. Weronika Chinowska

    Playwriting workshops
    The participants of the workshop were responsible for preparing the texts that were included in the script of the performance Water is very cold, but I can’t stay on the shore (20.06.2021)

    Running:  Joanna Mueller, Artur Pałyga

    Fot. Magdalena Duszyńska-Sasin
    The water is very cold, but I can't stay on the shore

    The water is very cold, but I can’t stay on the shore
    20 June 2021, at 5 pm

    “It’s approaching midday. On my smartphone screen I follow the route of the delivery man who will leave my food at my door. I can see where he is, I can see how he turned the wrong street, I can see how he waits at the traffic lights. The delivery man is a moving dot on the map.
    I wonder how often the dot disappears. Somewhere in the middle of the road, an emergency, someone ran a red. My food doesn’t arrive, the dot disappears, the app returns my money and sends me an email apologising for the situation. Or maybe in place of the dot signed Ivan the same dot will appear with the signature Mykhailo.
    The doorbell rings. The food is waiting at the door. I don’t even see Ivan or Mykhailo. He disappears before I can open the door.
    He is just a dot, nothing more.”

    Violence can be blatant, loud and visible to the naked eye. But it can also be transparent – present in language, hidden in everyday behaviour, reactions or comments. How to spot it? Often so deeply rooted that it is difficult to bring it to light and – it would seem – impossible to name and fight?
    Over the past months, in a group of artists from different cultural backgrounds, we have been looking closely at the different forms of violence in our biographies, from the smallest symptoms to those that define our identity and our place in society and the world. We drew a line from our memories of school times, through stories of migration, war, oppression, to our personal everyday experiences of encountering violence, discrimination, exclusion. We reflected on possible forms of noticing, signalling, responding and publicising. On 20 June 2021 – World Refugee Day – we invited you to continue this conversation with us during an interactive performance-walk Water is very cold, but I can’t stay on the shore.

    Valeriya Baradulina, Agnieszka Bąk, Ivanka Berchak, Lizaveta Bibikava, Alejandra Castelblanco, Dorian Czapla, Ludmiła Dąbrowska, Olha Derlicka, Magda Derrien, Marlena Dudzic, Jacek Filc, Katarzyna Galon, Beata Godlewska, Rita Guretskaya, Barbara Herman, Viera Hres, Kamil Hyszka, Mahina Isaeva, Karolina Kaczorek, Volha Kalakoltsava, Marika Kamler, Bogumiła Karbowiak, Kendall Kartaly, Olha Klochko, Oksana Kolisnyk, Wiktoria Konwent, Paulina Kowalska, Alina Kręcisz, Oksana Kuzhel, Veranika Los, Pavlo Luhovyi, Weronika Madejska, Varya Magomedova, Olesya Malyugina, Dorota Markiewicz, Ián Abel Castillo Martínez, Emilia Pijanowska, Piotr Podworski, Ina Sazon, Bazhena Shamovich, Polina Sivets, Viktor Troyan, Hanna Trubicka, Lena Tschauder, Катерина Твардовська, Ada Tymińska, Iryna Sylinnyk, Magdalena Wojno, Anna Zalevska, Alicja Borkowska, Joanna Mueller, Katarzyna Stefanowicz, Artur Pałyga, Ray Dickaty
    Production: Magdalena Duszyńska-Sasin
    Promotion: Weronika Chinowska


    We invite you to take part in Garażówka WolnoSłowa! Until the end of September we will be auctioning, sharing skills, exhibiting workshops and items, supporting the continued Strefa’s work.


    Consultation and assistance for foreigners

    If you need legal assistance, help with a case in the office, advice on legalising your stay or work – get in touch with us! Write to a.borkowska@strefawolnoslowa.pl giving your contact details and telephone number and briefly describing the matter in which you need help. We will get back to you and try to help!


    A meeting with Professor Lech Nijakowski on the subject of violence against cultural, ethnic and religious minorities, its consequences and methods of counteracting it. The lecture and the accompanying discussion officially inaugurated the new Free Speech Zone project “Hear react”. At the same time, it was an inspiration to work on a performative event prepared since March by our four workshop groups for World Refugee Day 2021.

    Lech Nijakowski – PhD, university professor, head of the Department of General Sociology at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, permanent advisor to the Commission on National and Ethnic Minorities of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, member of the editorial board of “Przegląd Humanistyczny”, “Sociological and Political Studies. New Series” and “Sentences”. Areas of expertise: genocide studies, sociology of ethnicity, sociology of conflict, historical sociology, memory studies, discourse analysis, contemporary sociological theories.




    Hear React Project is funded by the Active Citizens – National Fund programme, financed by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.