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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.

    More information

    Open Institute

    Open Institute is a place of creative sensitivity and artivist practice. Our socio-artistic programme is aimed at artists, culture animators, social workers and activists of different cultural backgrounds.
    From 2020 onwards, IO is implemented in partnership with Jasna 10: Warszawska Świetlica Krytyki Politycznej.

    About the project

    Several months of collaborative creative work, education in action, exchange of techniques, tools and stories will bring the participants closer to the art based on process and involvement. Our socio-artistic programme is aimed at artists, culture animators, social workers and activists of different cultural backgrounds. During the Open Institute we will go through a training process and artistic activities involving workshops with migrant communities. We will invent methods of creative work with such communities. We will discuss how to initiate artistic events for migrants, refugees and individuals seeking asylum, who are not involved in the arts, by engaging various fields of action. The axis for the project is the art focused on eliminating the distinction between “we” and “them” in regard to non-polish communities as well as building a common social identity by preparing an artistic performance. A collective artistic experience in a multicultural group becomes a dwelling on the social responsibility of staying together.

    The working process of the Open Institute will result in the creation of a performative installation composed of original, often debut, pieces on the crossroad of performative and visual arts.

    Strefa Wolnosłowa has already for eight years organised workshops and artistic events combining art and social actions. Both amateurs and professionals of different cultural backgrounds have been invited to collaborate. The recruitment for the Open Institute is especially addressed to artists beginning their creative journey and those who want to try their hand at creative work with communities.

    Most of the events under the Open Institute will take place in Jasna 10 Centre – a space co-founded by Krytyka Polityczna together with Strefa Wolnosłowa, Automatophone, Kalecki’s Foundation, Widok Magazine and KEM.

    Open Institute 2020/2021

    It is a space where experienced artists, debutants, activists and culture animators of various cultural origins work together on tools from different fields of art and social sensitivity. They listen to the voice of minorities, confront the screams of xenophobia, address the border issues and look for forms of being together where values such as responsibility, respect and care work not only for the imagination.

    The program of The Institute as well as shared artistic activities are aimed at eliminating the distinction between “us” and “them” in relations with migrant communities.

    This year’s group of female artists is diverse in terms of culture and artistic experience. In the project the participants are from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Argentina, Turkey and Kenya. Over the last 7 months they have been developing social and artistic activities in Poland and Greece. This edition of The Open Institute was a real challenge for everyone. From the beginning, we wondered how, in the current situation, we should design the work with communities as the main tool after all is the direct contact, the time spent together, trust and exchange of experiences. The questions were: How to develop a set of alternative support tools? How should we translate co-creation and conversation into the language of virtual meetings? How today can art respond to the needs of newcomers, those in crisis or at risk, even more than before the pandemic, of social exclusion?

    The works that have been created are a record of searching for contact, an attempt to respond to the need of closeness. They target at the acts of solidarity – listening, empowering in order to regain voice, helping people settle in and sharing stories. They are based on shared dreaming, doubting, playing, rewriting experiences into poetry that can transcend the familiar structures of languages and write new chapters of a shared history. The initiatives of the creators of The Open Institute bear witness to the times and tell stories and strategies of survival.

    They are often a long-term process of support and exchange, a reflection to which we get an insight through fragments of stories and snapshots of experience.

    Artists: Agnieszka Artemiuk-Słonecka, Magdalena Barszcz, Maria Beburia, Maximiliano Bober, Agata Cieślak, Natalia Dovha, Hanna Filanovich, Taras Gembik, Veranika Los, Gracie Matu, Alka Nauman, Daga Ochendowska, Aliaksandra Shapialevich, Maja Soś
    Supervision: Alicja Borkowska, Agnieszka Róż, Igor Stokfiszewski
    Content support: Agnieszka Bułacik, Justyna Dąbrowska, Pietro Floridia, Kris Łukomski, Margaret Amaka Ohia-Nowak, Sara Pour, Łukasz Wójcicki, Jaśmina Wójcik
    Production and promotion: Magdalena Duszyńska-Sasin, Weronika Chinowska
    Video production: Wojtek Kaniewski
    Graphic designers: Karo Koto


    Agnieszka Artemiuk-Słonecka
    Paradise is not a destination that you reach, but a journey itself

    The project is a collective work of a group of women, most of whom have had the experience of migration. The participants were invited to create a space for exchanging thoughts, stories, and sharing what is fun about being a girl, but also what is difficult. We worked with our voices, but also we were writing, looking for inspirations, listening to each other. The voice became a tool for searching and releasing the strength within ourselves. In our common sound, in all its imperfections and ephemerality, we were looking for moments of harmony, the experience of a girl community, in which our voices mutually reinforce and become audible.
    Singing and voice projection workshops were led by Eliza Paś.


    Agnieszka Artemiuk-Słonecka – an artist, coordinator and feminist who is commited to
    artistic practices in a 1:1 scale. She graduated in Slavic studies from University of Warsaw and in Media art from Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. She is a volunteer in the Rescue Foundation which helps refugees, immigrants and repatriates who are coming to Poland. The artist is interested in the non-hierarchical community processes and artistic practices.


    Magdalena Barszcz

    I know that I am not alone

    I know that I am not alone

    is a series of 15 conversations with people coming from 14 different places all around the world. The conversations took place during Magdalena’s studies, work and travels. The talks are mainly about the pandemia, isolation, loneliness and sounds associated with this extremely difficult time. All these are very personal stories about struggles, big life changes as well as how the politics of the interlocutors’ home countries affect the perception of the surrounding reality. Sometimes we hear the whole conversation, other times we only get to know the sounds recorded by the interlocutors.


    Magdalena Barszcz – a violinist, composer, educator. Graduated in Violin from Conservatorium Maastricht and in Music Leadership from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She specializes in improvisation, artistic cooperation with other fields of art and social work through music (she gained the experience in projects created by the Barbican Center in London, the Music is for Everyone foundation, the New Association -Jeunesses Musicales Poland).


    Maria Beburia, Taras Gembik

    Welcomepack / Ласкаво просимо

    Завдяки проекту Марія Бебурія та Тарас Гембік хочуть боротися зі стигмою та дискримінацією, з якими стикаються мігранти і мігранти після прибуття до Польщі та відчуженням, яке вони відчувають у чужій країні, з економічним відчуженням, котре їм загрожує. Західний вокзал – це символічний простір, де стикаються невидимі державні кордони. Це перше місце, куди прямує мігрант/мігрантка з-за східного кордону Польщі, своєрідна “міні Україна” у центрі Варшави – реклама та оголошення написани лише українською мовою. Саме звідси студенти отримують “передачки” від матері, і саме там передають польські солодощі додому мігранти і мігрантки економічні. Їжа мігрує через кордони звідси і назад. В рамках акції на Західному вокзалі у Варшаві митці, які самі пережили міграцію, підготували “Welcompacki” – жест підтримки та сигнал для людей, які приїжджають через східний кордон: Ви тут не самі.
    У “Вітальній пачці” була страва приготовлена біженцями/біженками, мігрантками/мігрантами з ініціативи “Słuszna Strawa”, а також довідники з інформацією про організації, що працюють з мігрантами та мігрантками у Варшаві.

    BLYZKIST – дослідницький проект, створений Марією Бебурією (нар. в 1997 році в Одесі, Україна) та Тарасом Гембіком (нар. в 1996 році в Камені Каширському, Україна), присвячений розвитку українсько- та російськомовної аудиторії, що проживає у Польщі. Ми займаємось питаннями доступності культурних установ для мігрантів та мігранток, організовуємо багатомовні заняття, співпрацюємо з художниками та художницямии з-за східного кордону Польщі.


    Max Bober
    Telling is Listening

    From February 2021, every Saturday, Max Bober initiates open meetings in Haller Square. Telling is Listening is an activity open to passers-by, strollers and all residents of Warsaw. During the first weeks, the participants read poems in Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian which the artist prepared. Over time people themselves have begun to offer poetry for reading, also in different languages. The action is an act of building relationships in public spaces through collective reading and exploring the effect of active listening.

    Max Bober – a Polish-Argentinian composer who has been living in Warsaw since 2017. He collaborates with the experimental music scene. The act of listening is always present in his artistic explorations. The artist focuses on creating activities that help build relationships in public spaces.


    Agata Cieślak, Daga Ochendowska

    Daga and Agata from Elbląg and Anastazja and Alina from Brześć met with each other in Gdańsk at the time when they were all struggling with difficult personal experiences. Typiarki collective was formed a year later out of the need to transform emotions into action, but also, and above all, to find a sense of agency and to speak out in a more and more confusing reality. Agata Cieślak, using her experience as a curator and visual art creator, engaged herself in supporting the group in building a unique language of expression and in helping with the formal issues related to film and artistic production.
    Together, the group searched for tools to translate the energy and sensitivity of its members into social-artistic projects. The group made an educational short film. Its narrative focuses on the situation of Eastern European migrant women living in Poland and publicizes the problems faced by women living there.

    Typiarki – is a neo-Slavic feminist collective that uses mainly performative photography and film. It was established in Gdansk in 2019 by Daga Ochendowska, Agata Kot, Anastasia Shelegova and Alina Suhoveyko.

    Typiarki – is a neo-Slavic feminist collective that uses mainly performative photography and film. It was established  in Gdansk in 2019 by Daga Ochendowska, Agata Kot, Anastasia Shelegova and Alina Suhoveyko.

    Agata Cieślak – in her recent works, she focuses on the issue of class in art and the examination of the control mechanisms and sovereignty of contemporary art. Despite many doubts, she still believes in the essence of art.

    Daga Ochendowska – an art critic, curator. A part of Typiarki collective. The mother of Dbam label. She lives outside the city and dreams of leaving Poland.


    Natalka Dovha

    Motanie – Gadanie

    Motanie –  Gadanie is a series of meetings aimed at women in the age group of 7-107. It is a space to meet with the slavic folk doll – Motanka and with neighbors from the area.
    Motanka accompanied our ancestors from birth to death. It fulfilled many functions: the doll was protection, help, and consolation.
    To make Motankas, our ancestors mostly worked with fabrics from used objects. We too, following the reuse-rethink-recycle philosophy, make the dolls from scraps and from what is found in the wardrobe.
    At meetings at the Neighborhood Center for Creative Work in Mokotów, we focus on the magical Power Dolls, traditionally made only by women. Making dolls is a pretext to meet in the circle of women, get to know them better, talk deeply and make intergenerational friendships.

    Natalka Dovha – a visual artist, curator, cultural animator, journalist of Ukrainian origin. She graduated in Journalism from the Kyiv International University and in Photography from The Warsaw Academy of Photography. Awarded the scholarship of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Gaude Polonia 2010. As a photographer, she participated in various collective exhibitions in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Georgia and Germany. At the center of her artistic projects are questions about memory, trauma acceptance and the role of rituals in the modern world. Since 2020, she has been running Motanie-Gadanie meetings aimed at building intergenerational women’s communities.


    Hanna Filanovich

    Вместе против выгорания

    Вместе против выгорания is a Facebook group which brings together Belarusians who have been experiencing a burn-out as a result of the current political situation. People who belong there are sharing their experiences and feelings with each other. Within the group there are organized online meetings , during which everyone has a permission to propose any form of support for the others. For example, through a conversation, meditation, yoga or breathing exercises.

    Hanna Filanovich –  comes from Belarus and has been living in Poland for 7 years now. An activist and feminist who collaborated in the organisation of the woman march in Warsaw. She engages in various social activities.


    Veranika Los
    Settling Down

    For many people forced to leave Belarus, Warsaw has recently become a new home. For my mother too. The Settling Down project is an attempt to create a space to meet and bring support for mature people who come to Poland. It builds a place to connect and talk about difficulties, needs, and hope.

    Veranika Los – an improvising vocalist and performer from Belarus. She graduated in Music from the University of Warsaw. She is a part, among other things, of Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, Sound in Space Orchestra, Cicha woda, Viktor Siamaška, and Fantastic Swimmers and also collaborated with Paprykalaba collective, Andakali Goveyu, Edka Jarząb, Kawalerowie Błotni.


    Grace Matu

    In my lonely

    In my lonely  is a short documentary-style film that highlights the individual life stories of two foreigners, filled with adventures, struggles and everyday migrant life.

    Grace Wanjiku Matu  – is a filmmaker born in Nairobi, Kenya. Grace is the founder and C.E.O of Mawingu Production which is a start-up independent film and media company. Grace is living with disability and draws inspiration from her own life experiences as well as others living with different impairments around the world. She is currently a student at the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland pursuing a Masters degree in Management. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and Film studies from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been actively involved in the making of several film projects in the role of director, script writer, editor and continuity person. Grace enjoys watching a good story and she dreams of becoming the first renowned film director with disability. She is resilient and unafraid to occupy spaces, enjoys networking and meeting new people, loves learning new things and broadening her mind.


    Alka Nauman


    Laba is an action that began in February 2021 and consists of weekly creative meetings of Alka Nauman with six Polish children living next to each other in a small town in Crete. At the beginning, the children hardly knew each other. However, they have quickly formed a harmonious group of friends which they called „Belielementa”. One of the goals of the project is to create a group of friends that could help them to survive the difficult and lonely time of the pandemic. During the classes, Alka and the participants mainly devote themselves to LABA which means being together and doing whatever you need and feel like doing. That’s why the classes do not have any predetermined program but are planned together with children each and every week. To the „Belielementa” group, the most important values are fun, spontaneity, freedom, tenderness, care, respect and solidarity. In this difficult and uncertain time, which is the pandemic, the „Belielementa” group allows to create a space where children have control and agency over their world.
    The group meets in a “park” located between their houses, where swings, bars and ladders were installed spontaneously by a neighbor from Sweden at the end of February. Thanks to fun games such as running, dancing, chasing, painting, talking, building robots from cardboard boxes from nearby Lidl, picking flowers, climbing trees and, most of all, hanging out – the “park” is full of life. Other children from the neighborhood also started to come there, for example children from Greece, Sweden and Hungary. Even the local mayor paid a visit and said that he had never seen so many children in this place.
    Alka sees her role primarily as a companion who is supportive to children by being present, following their games and helping them to build relationships and their self-agency.

    Alka Nauman –  a choreographer, social activist who works between London and Warsaw. A feminist, anti-fascist and lesbian. She graduated in Choreography from the London School of Contemporary Dance (The Place) and in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Warsaw. In her artistic practice of combining choreography, dance, activism and visual arts she is most concerned with building safe and non-hierarchical spaces based on empathy, care and fun. She considers children to be the best guides in the world.


    Aliaksandra Shapialevich
    Animated Belarus

    After the protests that erupted over the fraud in Belarus’ presidential election, during the summer of 2020, a lot of people have escaped to Poland. Among them, there were many families with children. The idea for the project Animated Belarus was born out of a desire to support Belarusian children who suddenly, as a result of turbulent events, found themselves in a new country. Four children participated in the activity. The starting point of their meetings was building group relations, talking about Belarus and feelings related to staying in a foreign country and how to cope with the existing reality. At the same time, the group worked on stop-motion animation, created a script, and prepared scenery for it. The children built the heroes and heroines for the animation, made of Lego bricks. Together they entitled the finished film The Belarusian Peanut.


    Aliaksandra Shapialevich – she comes from Belarus and has been living in Warsaw for 7 years. For years she was associated with the third sector, today she works for the independent channel Belsat TV. In Minsk, she worked at the University in the Department of Culture. She performed in a student theatre and took part in many theatre festivals as a part of it. She organized the first edition of the International Festival of Student and Youth Theatres “Teatralny Kufar” in Belarus. In Warsaw, she worked at the Belarusian House, where she was responsible for social and cultural projects.
    For several years she has been associated with Strefa WolnoSłowa, where she participates in workshops, performances and initiates projects.


    Maja Soś

    A big teddy bear in a small house

    A big teddy bear in a small house is built of audiovisual interpretations of Maja Soś’s meetings with her blind interlocutors. It is a dialogue full of curiosity and willingness to understand each other, many hours of establishing closer contact with the blind, getting to know their world and perspective. The project is only partially finished because the process of discovering the other person’s sensitivity and trying to describe it is not something that can be put in any time frame.

    Maja Soś – was born in Kielce in 1995. She graduated in Korean studies from the University of Warsaw , then started and suspended her studies at Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.  She is professionally involved in photography, privately also in moviemaking. Recently she has been experimenting with sound, more specifically with the read word. Most of all, she values words.


    Instytut Otwarty jest współorganizowany przez Strefę WolnoSłową oraz Warszawską Świetlicę Krytyki Politycznej w ramach programu „Centrum Jasna” finansowanego ze środków Miasta Stołecznego Warszawa.

    Open Institute 2019

    The installation showcased during the Forum for the Future of Culture 2019 (FPK) sumed up this educational and artistic experience. Ten works prepared by the participants were the product of their musings on how to run art projects in cooperation with various communities and, drawing inspiration from different fields, organise art events together with minorities and people who have no professional experience in art. 

    Creators: Sara Bagdi, Marta Bogdańska, Antonina Dukowicz, Karolina Gembara, Krystyna Jedrzejewska-Szmek, Jan Jurczak, Tomasz Kawecki, Olga Klochko, Pat Mic, Katarzyna Rychowiecka, Masha Zhuk
    Curatorial care: Alicja Borkowska, Agnieszka Różyńska, Igor Stokfiszewski
    Production: Weronika Chinowska, Magdalena Duszyńska-Sasin
    Instructors: Alicja Borkowska, Pietro Floridia, Krzysztof Łukomski, Sara Pour, Agnieszka Różyńska, Igor Stokfiszewski, Annelys de Vet, Łukasz Wójcicki
    Graphic design: Karolina Kotowska


    Generation U

    We left in our early 20s. We’ve got our whole lives ahead of us. We are here with no plans of leaving. Can we stay here? Do you want to? We like it here! We’re sure it’s better. We guess. Unless it could be different? But how? Sometimes, we try to picture it in our minds. This is when we get lost. In our fantasies. But maybe we have been lost all along? Is this normal? Who can we ask? Maybe you know? That’s too bad.

    The stories I gathered are the voices of young Ukrainians. Including mine. We moved to Poland in search of a better life and opportunities. It was our own initiative. It was our family’s. It just turned out this way. My installation presents the stories of our generation. The stories of generation U. In tens, hundreds, thousands. Ordinary stories, each just like the other. Only their beginnings and ends are different. 

    OLGA KLOCHKO I travel the world both physically and mentally. I like dresses but sometimes go around in skirts and pants. My love language is touch. I like dancing and often think of the time and its passing. I am a wind, a human, a sun, a cookie, and anything else I fancy, all at once.


    Tomasz Kawecki

    I want to create a trust-based interaction with the other person. And I try to present it through gestures, figures created by human bodies in space, common performative actions. People invited by me to this experience feel that they belong to more than to the one place. They are both my close friends and people I have met in recent months.

    Tomasz Kawecki – completed courses at the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology and Landscape Architecture (2012–2015) and graduated from the Academy of Photography in Cracow (2017). In 2019, Tomasz started studying at the Institute of Creative Photography of the Faculty of Philosophy and Science at the Silesian University in Opava. In 2018–2019, a photographer of Islanders in Reykjavik and a volunteer working with refugees waiting to be deported from Island. Interested in drawing, painting, art, film. Working in the medium of photography. Since his teenage years, he has been travelling across France, Spain, Germany, England, Island, Malta etc., observing migrations of his close ones. 


    Karolina Gembara
    New Varsovians Studio

    A photographer’s studio is a place of meeting and exchange. On one hand, every visit becomes the ritual which we accustom ourselves to since childhood and which we associate with new documents or ceremonies. On the other, it is an intimate encounter where we trust a stranger with our image and agree to be observed by unfamiliar eyes. The image of migrants is usually shaped by people from outside of their community. In our studio, we reverse those dynamics – it is the migrants who have the necessary skills to take the photos – it is them who shape our image. 

     Karolina Gembara – photographer and educator. Member of the Sputnik Photos collective. PhD student at SWPS University. Instructor during photography workshops for migrants @nowi_warszawiacy. 


    Speed mapping

    Our project is a symbolic act, an attempt to put us on the map and grant us citizenship. It is a space for sharing knowledge and experience relating to the city. A simple tool for mapping the evolution of the local identity – both from the perspective of newcomers and native citizens. It shows how many small, simple, often intimate gestures make up the feeling of belonging to a place. 

    Sara Bagdi – graduate in Art History and Aesthetics at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Since the beginning of 2019, she takes part in a social research project which involves mapping eight districts of Budapest and aims to challenge prejudice against local residents. Currently based in Warsaw.

    Masha Zhuk – has recently moved to Warsaw. Does trivial things to live and enjoys non-trivial things to feel alive. Likes theatre, writing, and looking strangers in the eyes. Participant in drama workshops organised by Strefa WolnoSłowa and the play entitled “Turn on the boiler so at least warm water waits for me”.


    Love Songs

    What does it mean to fear? In a specific political situation, a growing atmosphere of exclusion, during persecutions and hate campaigns? And finally: what does it mean to fear in love? For the past few months, I have worked with people from the LGBT+ community. I have asked them to describe love that is constantly accompanied by fear. I have asked about the place of fear in the body. Where do we feel fear and does it leave a permanent imprint on our bodies, love relationships, intimacy, affections, perspective on the world and others? My explorations and discussions were reflected in the form of a game that exploits patterns of love and behaviour instilled in us from childhood by love songs. The songs we had never related to because they are not about us and never have been. What could give us a sense of security and belonging is representation. Is it the lack of representation that fuels fear, need for isolation and escape from the society, inspiring the desire for inner emigration?

    PAT MIC – theatre and portrait photographer documenting the Warsaw theatre, dance, and performance stage. Affiliated with: Komuna Warszawa, Studio Teatralne, Sztuka Nowa Association, Strefa WolnoSłowa, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw Dance Days, Teatr Studio, and others. Laureate of the 3rd edition of the Theatre Photography Competition. Since 2017, involved with the action collective Czarne Szmaty, where she creates the visuals. In 2006–2012, she worked on her independent projects at the juncture of documentary and staged photography, including most importantly “Ctrl C + Ctrl V” and “00:12 sec.”. She has pursued studies in multiple disciplines such as the media, reportage, graphic design, and typography.


    Cold Blue Light

    Cold Blue Light alludes to the oral tradition and knowledge transfer to the next generation through storytelling. The custom has a rich history in the Arab world and the Far East; suffice it to mention One Thousand and One Nights or storytellers performing on squares (such as the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh). The word of mouth rekindles the memory of important events and family history. By using recorded sounds of the city, nature, machinery and appliances, as well as the sounds found on the Internet, I would like to translate the tradition of oral narratives into a contemporary audio recording. During the workshops which I conducted in the Open University, our group created a soundscape of the legend of Danko and his burning heart, basing on a story told by one of the participants. 

    MARTA BOGDAŃSKA – photographer, visual artist, cultural manager, director of the “Next Sunday” documentary film. Graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw. Participant in the Home Workspace Programme with Anton Vidokle and the editors of the e-flux magazine, student of gender studies at the University of Warsaw. Currently finishing her degree at the Academy of Photography (AF) and attending courses in the School of Seeing (SP). For eight years based in Liban. In December 2019, the Rotational Cultural Centre (RDK) will hold her exhibition called “Shifters”. Her debut photography album “Plaintext” is scheduled for publishing in 2020. Website: www.martabogdanska.com.


    Antonina Dukowicz

    I am a woman, which is an important part of my identity. During meetings with Ahoo, we talk of her former life in Iran and her current one in Poland. Together, we ponder over femininity, its perception by others, our self-identification, and the place of women in society. 

    Antonina Dukowicz – student of the Jewish History and Culture at the University of Warsaw, assistant to Pola Dwurnik. In art, she is interested in the perspective of women and their search for their place in the society, in the broadly understood social and equality issues, as well as the dialogue with our own emotions and history.


    Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek

    People and plants are bound together in a peculiar relationship: not immediately apparent and easy to forget. And yet, in the face of migration, it is often the plants that are remembered and missed.

    The work uses a 19th-century device for displaying moving pictures: the phenakistiscope, considered one of the first tools that captured the complexity and the dynamics of movement. The disc shows diagrams which analyse the movement of plants, accompanied by the sounds of a story on people’s migrations and the history of plants they left behind.

    Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek – biologist and photographer, currently studying Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her interests revolve around relationships that bind humans to the natural world. She consistently advances her artistic activity poised at the intersections of art and science. By engaging in interdisciplinary projects such as “Naturomorphic” at the Jazdów City Garden or the artistic and socially engaged project “Ficus”, besides working as a visual artist, she also takes the roles of a writer, activist, and animator of various social initiatives and workshops.


    Life Goes On

    For two years, I have been documenting the life of a community living in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. The silent film “10 Minutes of Silence” was created with the performative contribution of the local members of a grassroots help centre located at 3km from the front line. For the past year, I have tried to support the centre by organising aid campaigns. During the exhibition, I am going to sell my photos from Ukraine and the “Life Goes On” newspaper which shows everyday life in Donbas. The paper contains a series of photographs and stories of people living in the conflict zone. All the profits from sales will be donated to provide help in eastern Ukraine.

     Jan Jurczak – involved in long-term documentary projects in Poland and abroad (e.g. Ukraine, Armenia, Spain). In 2017–2019, he was working with the Ukrainians living near the front line in the eastern part of the country. His photos were exhibited in the main programme of the Month of Photography in Cracow. Recipient of the Konrad Pustoła Scholarship in 2019, nominee for the Joop Swart Masterclass held by the World Press Photo Foundation. Winner of the Talent of the Year 2018 award given by PIX.HOUSE, finalist in the Krzysztof Miller’s Competition and Grand Press Photo 2018.


    The Open Institute was realised as part of the  Ogród Powszechny (Festival of Arts and Communities. Happy City) and received support from the Netherlands Embassy. The Institute’s workshops were also realised thanks to the project Atlas of Transitions. New geographies for a cross-cultural Europe.


    NEIGHBOURLINESS, or the Borders of Closeness

    NEIGHBOURLINESS, or the Borders of Closeness

    was a project intended to bring together Warsaw residents of various nationalities during the preparation of at least three art projects in the area of theatre, performance, and new media. Its aim was also to organise the four month Neighbourly Academy in order to train young creators in the effective design of cultural and art activities engaging migrant communities. In their works, the participating artists and cultural event organisers explored the theme: “Neighbourliness, or the Borders of Closeness”. The goal was to bring into focus the neighbourly relations of the multitude of cultures which exist side by side in the area of Warsaw, alluding to their history and mutual relations which shape the identity of the capital. It was achieved through art projects designed by 10 artists and cultural event organisers participating in the Neighbourly Academy. Their undertakings engaged residents, especially members of national and religious minorities, in the creative process. The entire project was inspired by the recently observed spike in xenophobic behaviour, aversion, and verbal or physical aggression towards new inhabitants of different cultural or religious background.

    The participants in the Academy followed an educational programme under the supervision of the experts invited by Strefa WolnoSłowa. They completed their (first, in many cases) socially engaged projects. Their work in the Academy revolved around gaining knowledge and competence that are necessary for conscious activity in the area of participatory art. It required the participants to use their skills and familiar creative practices such as painting, graphic design, sculpture, photography, audio art, film, handicrafts in order to organise socially engaged art projects involving the residents of Warsaw in a shared creative process. Appropriate preparation for such work was provided by workshops with experts who were ready to share their expertise and the experiences in order to teach the creators to: discover the needs of a community, identify the tools necessary for working in multi-cultural and multi-generational groups, outgrow their position as artists who speak on behalf of the group they work with, design the creative process itself so that every element is as important as the final result.


    The Neighbourhood Academy shared their knowledge and experience: Alicja Borkowska / Karolina Kubik / Kris Łukomski / Marta Maliszewska / Michał Mioduszewski / Igor Stokfiszewski / Agnieszka Różyńska / Jaśmina Wójcik /

    Na instalację performatywną składały się następujące prace:

    Inga Shemaeva
     / Adam Durjasz

    czyli o tłumaczeniu człowieka na język urzędowy i o tym, jak być nie musi


    Wyświetlana na ekranie narracja powstała na bazie rozmów w ramach przygotowań do performansu „Karta (nie) zapisana”. Była więc zapisem procesu, a jednocześnie głosem, który umyka.


    Interaktywny performans z udziałem trzech aktorów pochodzenia ukraińskiego stwarzał możliwość doświadczenia tego, z czym na co dzień zmaga się w Polsce każdy migrant, który chce otrzymać zezwolenie na pobyt. Znalezienie się w tej sytuacji mogło stać się doświadczeniem poszerzającym świadomość i przekładającym się na realne życie. Performans podejmował problem tożsamości, poddawanej swoistej inspekcji ze strony systemu biurokratycznego.

    Ksenia Homel / Daniel Sadr

    Czy wiemy, kiedy przestrzeń, z którą jesteśmy złączeni poprzez emocje, uczucia, relacje, decyzje i działania jest naszym domem? Co kryje w sobie słowo „dom“?
    Mnóstwo pytań i skrawki odpowiedzi zapisane na małych i wielkich kartonach przeprowadzkowcyh, ustawionych w kolumnach, rzędach, jakby gotowych do zapakowania, przeniesienia.

    I’mbalanced: czym jest dom? to praca łącząca instalację z dyskusją performatywną. Artyści zapraszali do podróży poprzez odmienne, czasami sprzeczne, wizje domu. Praca miała na celu ujawnić różnorodność perspektyw, poprzez które można zrozumieć, czym jest dom dla osób z różnym doświadczeniem życiowym, odsłonić problemy ukrywane i opisywane jako sprawy prywatne. Zachęcał do podzielenia się swoją interpretacją domu.

    Ivana Drenjanin

    Głównym celem pracy fotograficznej Zmieniam 1 paszport na 6, 7… było przybliżenie historii migrantów pochodzących z byłej Jugosławii. Dzięki ich opowieściom mogliśmy wyobrazić sobie, jak wyglądało wspólne życie na obszarze byłej Jugosławii i jak teraz wygląda rzeczywistość w krajach bałkańskich, które w przeszłości tworzyły jeden kraj. Z zebranych odpowiedzi na pytanie, co łączy, a co dzieli wyłania się obraz osób, które niezależnie od pochodzenia i politycznych konfliktów, w jakie był zaangażowany ich kraj, mają podobne problemy, tęsknoty i pragnienia.

    Ada Tymińska

    Opowieści dzieci uchodźczych, z którymi Ada pracowała przez kilka miesięcy przełożone zostały na historie, często obrazkowe, zawarte na slajdach, które każdy z uczestników instalacji mógł sam swobodnie zmieniać i wybierać. Dyskurs publiczny dotyczący migracji, uchodźców i uchodźczyń często przybiera postać wielkich słów-haseł, głównie pochodzenia łacińskiego: migracja-asymilacja-status-procedura. A co, gdyby spojrzeć na sprawę oczami osób, które nie miały jeszcze okazji ubrać swoich myśli w „poważne”, „dorosłe” koncepcje, czyli oczami dzieci? W swojej instalacji artystka opowiadała bajkę, jedną, choć „gadaną” wieloma głosami. Starała się oddać głos tym, którzy zazwyczaj go nie zabierają, mając na głowie ważniejsze sprawy. Takie, jak wspinanie się na drzewa, granie w piłkę oraz zabawę z przyjaciółmi.

    Dorian Widawski
    Przestrzeń miejska

    Instalacja wideo, której częścią był również tekst artysty:
    Miasto jest miejscem, które miało ostatecznie zaspokoić nasze potrzeby. To z nim wiążemy perspektywy lepszej pracy, szanse na rozwój i bezpieczeństwo socjalne. Bez niego prawdopodobnie nie zostałby osiągnięty aktualny poziom rozwoju, sukcesy nauki postępowałyby wolniej, a wymiana różnic byłaby realizowana w znacznie mniejszym stopniu.
    Dziś wiemy, że założenia i nadzieje wiązane z miastem udaje się realizować tylko częściowo. To przede wszystkim urbanizacja przyczyniła się do rozwarstwiania klasowego, które wtórnie próbujemy łatać. To wizja nowoczesności do kategorii terenów okiełznanych i nieokiełznanych dopisała nową: obszarów skażonych. To właśnie miejskość ograniczyła bezpieczeństwo socjalne do możliwości wynajmowania mieszkań na rynku prywatnym.
    Mimo niedoskonałości miasto pozostaje jednak docelową przestrzenią rozwoju. Wszystkie nowe koncepty urbanistyczne projektowane są jako korekta błędów i wskazują kierunki naprawy, ale nie sięgają po zdecydowaną krytykę. Hamująca urbanizacja wymieniana jest jako niezakończony etap modernizacji kraju. Wyludnianie miasteczek jako odpowiedź na ich nieatrakcyjność. Migrowanie do ośrodków przymiejskich jako idealne wypośrodkowanie. Miasto funkcjonuje jako struktura ostateczna, którą należy tylko doskonalić, ale nie można jej porzucić.
    Wszystkie nowe wizje oraz utopie będą realizowane i sprawdzane więc tutaj. Nieskuteczne ustawy krajobrazowe, sadzenie rachitycznych drzew, centralne ujednolicanie dzielnic. Ogrody społecznościowe, targi śniadaniowe, wydarzenia kulturalne. Wszystko to w otoczeniu betonowych chodników i mrugających reklam. Szybko, blisko i tanio — to z miasta mamy na pewno.
    Pułapką jest jednak wniosek, że to cechy związane wyłącznie z nim.

    Mohammadreza Rezazdeh

    Instalacja wideo wykorzystująca autorksie nagrania z Polski i Iranu.
    21-letni Mohamed przyjechał do Polski, gdzie, jak mówi, “udało mu się wszystko”.
    Dziś czuje się bardziej Polakiem niż obywatelem swojego ojczystego kraju.
    Jest optymistą, co do swojej przyszłości, ale jednak…
    Praca to jego swoisty list do mamy. Pisany w Polsce.

    Michał Salwiński

    Too much work! – to jedno z pierwszych zdań, od których zaczyna się przyjaźń Michała i Bali. Praca osobista Michała Salwińskiego to wiele obrazów z historii spotkania Polaka z Hindusem w miejscu ich wspólnej pracy – w jednej z warszawskich restauracji. To wgląd w doświadczenie porozumienia i budowania relacji odbywających się często pomimo języka. Twórca w osobistym przekazie opowiada o spotkaniu na terenie miasta. Oddaje miastu to, co od niego dostał.


    Partnerzy: Teatr Powszechny im. Zygmunta Hübnera, Centrum Rezydencji Teatralnej Scena Robocza
    Patroni medialni: Gazeta Wyborcza, Wyborcza.pl Warszawa, Cojestgrane24, Aktivist, Przegląd