NEIGHBOURLINESS, or the Borders of Closeness >

“NEIGHBOURLINESS, or the Borders of Closeness”

is 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 is 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 will explore the theme: “Neighbourliness, or the Borders of Closeness”. The goal is 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 will be achieved through art projects designed by 10 artists and cultural event organisers participating in the Neighbourly Academy. Their undertakings will engage residents, especially members of national and religious minorities, in the creative process. The entire project is 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 will follow an educational programme under the supervision of the experts invited by Strefa WolnoSłowa. They will complete their (first, in many cases) socially engaged projects. Their work in the Academy will revolve around gaining knowledge and competence necessary for conscious activity in the area of participatory art. It will require 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 will be provided by workshops with experts ready to share their expertise and programme the experiences which will teach the creators to: diagnose 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 its every element is as important as the final result.