The idea for the workshop came from the desire to find an element that remains a link between different generations of women of Gozdowo. Initially during this project I was planning to encourage the girls from the local middle school to record the lullabies performed by their mothers and grandmothers. However in reality my plans were not achievable, because the mothers were not willing to sing.

Eventually girls and boys who showed interest in participating in the project invited me into their homes. Then, with some persuasions, we managed to register (with the help of Martin Villau who was much more acquainted with the digital equipment) the songs that women from Gozdowo used to put their children to sleep with. Some of the songs were recorded in the households I visited during another project involving creating a map of Gozdowo’s emigrants.

Most of the songs I collected appeared repeatedly during the ten days of the project, but there were families who created their own tradition, like the family of the old lady from a nearby village where four generations of children used to fall asleep listening to songs about stranglers and rapists.

The second part of the project was based on creating an improvised recording studio (wholly accomplished by Jacek Sosnowski), in which we encouraged kids participating in the workshop and their friends to perform songs they liked.

At the end we made a compact disc out of all the collected tunes and gave a copy of it to all the people who contributed to the project.


The Field Game

The memory of this feeling connected with exploring a forrest, running away from pursuit of  rivals, looking for hidden riddles and arrows left by opposite team…

It is a smell of childhood, present in every memory and imagination. Dream of adventure.

The proposal of project which could be made by our young workshop participants was born in connection of this childish dream.

An idea was both simple and sophisticated: this action had to be done in unturned relation – by children and youth for us and for adults of Gozdowo. Also for other children.

It was a challange and adventure – how to help and encourage them,how to convince that it is possible for them to do something on their own.

Planning, organizing, setting rules, finding interesting places, marking up a route, advertising an action – our democratic process of preparing the game was not easy but fascinating and enlightening. For some of young organizators it was the first contact with this kind of problems and questions and the first ocassion to cope with it.

What it should be about? How we can involve adults – parents, teachers or shop-assistent from grocery? How to plan a route – not to easy but complicated and interesting enough? What kind of tasks should give the game?

First of all we decided that it would be in but also about Gozdowo. There was a map with some points marked – the task of each team was to reach every point and to carry out a task.

The game became a small project – it was created and realized by participants who became animators-begginers.

Each point turned out to be a space of small action – at Krystian’s place competitors had to design logo of Gozdowo, in the small forest, in Wiola’s control-point they wrote a legend of their town, in the other spots the vision of future in Gozdowo was created.

The joy was great – maybe first of all because it was a time of being together – grandparents with grandchildren, friends form school, animators form Warsaw and teenagers from grammar school.

And because it was the first own success, first own project made by our young friends!

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Destination: Train Station

Train Station Project 

The project done by Julia Biczysko, Asia Zięba and Agata Pietrzyk was focused on one particular point in Gozdowo’s map: the old train station that had long fallen out of use. We wanted to make this place alive again and learn how it was perceived by people who lived in Gozdowo. What made us even more interested in this place was its location – far from the town centre, transgressing the notions of usability and even propriety. 

We set out to work with children first, asking them to draw, cut and spray with paint stencils of trains and all things associated with it. Their works turned out to be an inspiration for us and became a basic idea of a poster promoting Train Station Project.

We placed three pieces of Plexiglass opposite three walls of the train station building. On each of them we made an outline of the building itself, so that one could see it in miniature. Three groups of people (different age groups) used our outlines as a background for their own drawings then. Thus we met three different ways of looking at the old train station.

 Apart from all that, our project became one of the elements of the field game when participants were asked to find a hidden sign and draw their own imaginary station on the Plexiglass.

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Salsa workshops

During our stay in Gozdowo, right after the workshops started and we were slowly getting to know all the youngster better, it turned out that a group of girls has been really looking forward to dance classes. We had organised such classes the year before during our project Guide my Future that had also been based in Gozdowo. When the girls found out that Jacek and I knew a few basic steps and figures, they almost forced us to run a short salsa 101.

The class took place for 5 days, everyday right after capoeira workshops. At first we had a room at the firestation at our disposal, then we moved to a presbytery. It was quite a challenge: we had to start teaching something that we weren’t so good at to start with. Soon was the question asked: what is the purpose of this class, what would be their input to the project, what would they change for the girls and for ourselves? They turned out to be the space for individual expression, a space in which we could relieve the tension gathered from other activities. They also became a great meeting space where we could talk in a totally different way, on the margins of the project, asking for impressions and encouraging to try other activities.

Despite a very loose structure of the class we managed to present a short choreography at the final event, giving us the satisfaction of having an actual result. For Jacek and myself the experience became an inspiration for thinking of dance as a medium of cultural animation enabling people to meet and act together in a more informal way.  


Ę photo workshops

Gozdowo – this small village next to for 10 days Sierpc became the center of various activities. For many students it was the first time to get some animation experience. Some of them after this experience decided to continue this adventure. In Gozdowo both experienced animators and students at the same time created their own project. The open formula allowed everyone to participate in sombody’s else project. Our proposition was photo workshops for children and young people from Gozdowo. At our workshop photo cameras became a tool, that helped young people to tell stories about the places they live.

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Field Game – In and About Gozdowo

The group of the most proactive and responsible young people (by age 8-15) (with our small support, of course ☺) elaborated and prepared Field Game – In and About Gozdowo. We chose the most important and interesting places which were located around the village and prepared riddles, tasks and tips (mostly connected witch Gozdowo) – the complex and consistent plan of the whole game. We also made special maps and instructions for each player. The day before we started witch advert – posters and flyers were distributed by organizers. The game started at Friday sunny afternoon and finished after around an hour – because of really amazing involvement of all players who were running all the time! We had great fun – points were scored, tasks were made, no-one was missing, players and organizers were really proud and satisfied. Effects of the game (which were made by players as ‘tasks’ – pictures, logos, stories etc.) were presented as a mockup of Gozdowo on Sunday event.   

Wyspa = Island

As part of the Słuchając Gozdowo project, there were activities on ‘the Island’. Workshops were held to create things with willow – a large arch for people to pass through and sculptures to hang from the trees. The bridge was decorated with colourful handmade bunting. The island was cleaned of broken glass and the moat was cleared of plastic bottles. Students also collected as much ‘rubbish’ as possible, which was washed and sorted to see what was reusable. Agnieszka Pajączkowska held workshops to make things from these recycled materials, including glass painting on bottles. The result was a subtle transformation of a space that was well-used and popluar, but not generally looked after.

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