The 2008 Summer Arts Academy was a challenging creative 10-days program of exploration of the urban environment, engaging with people and using various media and artforms. The program of the Academy was build on the theoretical and practical platform of cultural animation. Summer Arts Academy took a form of a creative project lead by cultural animation practitioners & artists Ania Bas and Alicja Rogalska (members of Laundry).
The working languages of the Academy were English, Russian, Belarusian and Lithuanian.
The project was devised by:
• artistic director Julija Fomina, curator of the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius
• SAA 2008 coordinator Katsiaryna Radzko, European Humanities University PR manager
• LitPro project’s staff members
• Ania Bas & Alicja Rogalska
The project started with short visit to Kaunas, where Linara Dovydaityte (from Vytautas Magnus University & CAC Vilnius) did a talk about cultural animation and Kaunas based project: Kauno Stebuklai.
Please visit the project blog for more details.
Photographs by participants of the Academy.
Published by Mark Webster from Staffordshire University in Artist Newsletter June-August 2008 (magazine has 30,000 subscribers in UK). Mark Webster is a community arts teacher and practitioner. He was our guest during the final event on April 26th.
Article page pdf
Promo page pdf
Here’s a small selection of photos from the final event in Warsaw on April 26th, mostly between 12 noon and 2.30pm.
Watch these wonderful photos taken by Tomek Kaczor and Janek Mencwel on the day of the event (April 26th) in all its many locations on both sides of the Vistula river.
5 zloty project
During whole 2-year project, in different contexts, during workshops in schools, placement in Gozdowo or searching wonders of the cities and in many other situations, it turned out that sometimes the simple and short idea of the beggining action could be really helpful. …Put the table on the street, prepare one sheet of paper and ask people to draw small drawings – symbols, connotations with the place/ the district you are in. Collect them, one by one and then you will have almost ready design for t-shirt…
… With piece of paper go to the chosen part of the city. Mark the place where you are in the moment of starting action. Ask the passer-by to direct you to his/her favourtite grocer’s shop/ coffe point/ park/ or pub… or something else. Ask your interlocutor to draw the route on your sheet of paper. Go to this point. Devise the next question ( another one) and ask the next person to draw the route. In one hour you will have the mental map of the neighbourhood…
… Buy the colourful chalk. Choose nice place on the wide pavement. Ask people to write down their favourite words. There will be nice piece of city-poetry soon…
… On the narrow colorful pieces of paper collect people’s answers of question “What do you dream about?”. Then attach them to the string, string to the kite (you can buy or construct it simply). Then go to chosen high point (could be a balcony or a slope) and organize an action “To liberate dreams!”…
We make a list of about 30 examples like that. We called it “first contact” actions. Or “5 zloty project” – because all of them are simple and cheap.
We put short descriptions in small origami-boxes. Then organized a store on Bazar. We invited people to take one box and realize the action (with materials complated at our store). It was a great time of sharing the ideas. Somebody who was firstly the participant in few second was becoming into the animator. Whole area was full of people realizing their own first actions…
As part of the "5 Zloty Projects" action at Bazar Rozyckiego, Dan Roberts and Pamela Wells co-operated with Katedra Kultury and students from the Institute of Polish Culture to meet people waiting at the bus stop, asking "Where are you going?" and "Where would you like to be going?" Responses were written on small pieces of paper that were hung onto a washing line. These were then moved over people’s head via a pulley that went from the bus stop into the market enclosure. In exchange, participants received a badge and alternative abstract ‘directions’ for their journey.
The idea of a project revitalizing a small green in front of the Institute of Polish Culture was born during photo workshops run by Juliusz Sokołowski for students of cultural animation specialization. The aim of the project was to draw attention to the place that was being taken for granted and not perceived as a social space. As a result students of the photo workshop with help of "Katedra Kultury" Association, Grupa Okołofotograficzna, IKP and university officials created a place encouraging conversations, relax, calm, studying and above all integration of all people involved with the Institute: students, teachers, employees. An important part of the event was also a photo exhibition concerning personal ways of experiencing the flow of time.
The event brought about lasting effects – the red bar stools and umbrellas set around the Institute keep on drawing everyone’s attention. The green space lives its own life now.
Photos by: Agnieszka Pajączkowska, Grażyna Teodorowicz, Jerzy Parfianowicz, Kamil Szuba, Tomasz Kaczor.
"If the word “relationship” has been stamped all over the job description at the task level, or the level of specific professional experience, then it should go without saying that it has to be evident in the way in which culture animation-related tasks and initiatives are presented. If the words “contact”, “person”, “relationship”, “bond” and “communication” are at once the primary key terms and the foundation on which the practice of cultural animation has been built, then they should be present wherever the results of cultural animation projects are exhibited. This is why it was hard to envisage an "Animation Initiatives Market" (AIM) along the lines of a "fair", like a book fair, a job fair, a tourism fair, etc. when planning the ANIMATOR project" – writes Małgorzata Litwinowicz.
And this is why the final event of April 26th was not only a platform for promotion of ANIMATOR’s results but – above all – a pilot event testing a model for exchange of ideas in education and practice in culture animation.
Text in Polish
Text in English
The Art Institute (VMU) invites you to one more finissage of the ANIMATOR project – presentation of the book ‘The Wonders of Kaunas: a field guide’ for Kaunas residents and guests. Come to the gallery ‘Meno parkas’ in the old town at 6 pm on Wednesday 7 May, get your copy of the book, take a glass of traditional punch, chat with co-authors of the book, learn more about cultural animation, meet your neighbors and friends. And don’t forget to bring your own wonder of Kaunas with yourself!
Our last visit to Gozdowo on which we could distribute publications that had been the products of Animator project brought one amazing surprise. It seems that our last year actions managed to bring enough attention to the half-ruined but not yet forgotten Gozdowo train station! There are quite a few trains going to Sierpc and to Kutno so the next time we set off to visit this wonderful place it will certainly be by train!