Week 8 Friday 12.06.
‘Podwórkówka’ from 6pm
Our residency is coming to an end. We wanted to bring everyone together in the place where we had spent most days over the last 8 weeks and celebrate all the new acquaintances and friendships, the conversations and time spent together. The initial idea of a ‘simple’ grill party with food and music was quickly extended. Together with the team, people from the Partnership, Świetlica, local inhabitants and Daniel from the scout’s ‘evening acitivity place for teenagers’ we made a plan of action for the evening. On the list of attractions are:
Official opening of the ‘Transmitting Station’ (with the new planters), music, grill with lots of sausages, slide show of the residency process in the darker forest area of the yard, trampolin, book swap table (suggested and organised by local inhabitants), buffet with everyone’s contribution from the ‘coś za coś’ flower/plant swap activity the week before, badminton, boule, Paul’s photo activity (participatory re-enacting scenes taken from Wola archive photos), local photo competition ‘What’s interesting in Gibalskiego St’….
Mrs Basia and Mrs Marysia (left) from the senior’s club are the first time in the yard.
Thank you Dorota Gorczyca-Woźniak for the beautiful photos. Here are some more: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204281297128788&set=a.10204281291448646.1073742081.1119287530&type=1&theater
Reflection. The whole evening was very moving. A lot of people turned up to join us. The planned activites were successful and the athmosphere was very heartwarming and friendly. People were sitting down by the newly planted flowers at our ‘Transmitting Station’ or were reading the personal stories that were ‘transmitted’. Even the ‘private bench’ was activated by its owner and friends who were happily joining the event from a distance, coming over once in a while for another sausage. A lot of children were enjoying the trampolin, badminton, boule while other children and adults were happy to join Paul’s photo re-enactment activity. Some who hadn’t been around during the construction of the steps watched the slides of the making workshop. We met Janek of the spanish team who had just finished their residency in Barcelona. We had a chance to discuss the different settings and communities our projects were based in and exchange ideas and reflections from the residency. The Podwórkówka was a great way to sum up everything that we tried to make happen during our residency over the last intensive weeks in the yard. Speculating on the resonance of the residency and its aim to motivate civic engangement we see the event as an important starting point for future positive interaction and change. When at 21.45 the most amazing thunderstorm started to perform and a heavy summer rain soaked us when we had just cleared the square, everyone left smiling and with positive memories. Positive energy for the neighbours’ next podwórko action, we hope!
Sadly, next time (probably) without us. We are very thankful to having been able to meet so many genuinly amazing people and hope to stay in touch and visit everyone soon!
Week 8 9th – 12th June
As a last construction during this residency we are in the yard building 4 planters into the base of two ‘Transmitting Station’ posts. Again, found materials/old furniture pieces are used for the planter walls, recycled banner material for waterproofing on the inside.
The idea for the planters originated from the stories many people told us about the past history of the square when there was an area with roses. Many people had mentioned the lack of flowerbeds as a sign of lack of care and general deterioration of the yard and as they told us not much was possible to change. With the Transmitting station along with transmitting personal stories of important places outside of the square, we found an excuse to provide a place to sit and raised flowerbeds. During the 3 days many of the children from the yard and some new people came along to help construct. Again interesting conversations were possible through our everyday presence on the yard and we were able to advertise the planned ‘Podwórkówka’on Friday. On Thursday some people came to deliver their promised exchange goods in form of a cake, cupcakes and soft drinks for Friday’s event. They said they wouldn’t be able to make it to the event themselves, but wanted to bring what they had declared as exchange for the plant. Two women planted their own plants in one of the planters and promise to water them.
Week 7 02.06.- 03.06.2015
‘Something for something’ – a neighbour exchange experiment
start: Tuesday 02.06.2016, 18.00 – 20.30
where: in the courtyard Gibalskiego 2-10 / Okopowa
We decide to organise a ‘Podwórkówka’, an evening courtyard bbq event at the end of the residency. Rather than us preparing and providing everything, we want to try and get the local people involved in the process. For two evenings this week we hand out plants and ask for/ suggest something they could offer in return. With this ‘exchange’ we hope to engage people more in their local neighbourhood and in the things that are happening (and could happen) in their courtyard.
Proposed exchanges were for example:
1 herb plant (mint, bazil, oregano) in exchange for a cake or another dish for the ‘Podwórkówka’ or helping with the organisation of the event
1 Aksamitka/Tagetes in exchange for 2.5l compost for the planters (which are to be built as part of the ‘transmitting station’ during the following week) or another plant for the planter
1 Sanvitalia in exchange for fruits or vegetables for the event or bringing a neighbour to the ‘Podwórkówka’ or coming with your own chair or an idea for personal involvement at the ‘Podwórkówka’ (for example photo documentation) …. Karol offers to document the ‘courtyard party’ in exchange for his mint.
At the end of the second day we are surprised. We didn’t expect such a good turn out. Altogether we collected around 70 exchanges that were written down on a list we left hanging on the steps. Most of them were to do with bringing food or drinks for the ‘Podwórkówka’ next week. We also received a bag full of earth for the planned planters that we plan to built into the ‘Transmitting Station’ by the end of next week. Some people were asking how we were going to make sure people would bring what they said and we answered that it worked on trust only and that we’d trust them. The activity lent itself to advertise the event in itself. We were happy we met again new people from the neighbourhood and were able to tell them about the residency and invite them to next weeks’ courtyard party.
Meanwhile, the ‘Transmitting station’ in the centre of the courtyard is growing. We manage to write down and collect more personal stories during the ‘neighbourhood exchange’ action. Thanks to our keen helpers the wooden structure gets its first protective coat!Andrzej, Zuza, Bąbel i Wiktoria
Together with the team we decided to continue our project on the ‘podwórko’ (courtyard) Okopowa / Gibalskiego 2-10.
Rather than moving to a different area we decided that it could be very interesting to do further action within the same yard and to deepen our relationship with the people who live there. During the process of making and interacting with ‘the steps’ we spoke to many people and heard a lot of interesting stories about the area, the courtyard and its past live. If felt there was a general negative image of the courtyard in comparison to how it was before. A few people mentioned a playground that had deteriorated and been taken away, there had been a rose bed, a sand pit and benches. Commonly people mentioned that nothing was possible to do now, because even if something was put back in place, no one would look after it and it would be quickly destroyed….
We thought it would be interesting to make these individual stories visible for other people. At the same time we wanted to do some more construction within the square, which meant being visibly active and able to talk to passers-by. One of our self-set tasks was to find out ‘what is possible here?’ The idea of the ‘transmitting station’ (stacja nadawcza) was born.
The stacja nadawcza is made from 7 wooden post/pylon structures that are connected by collected personal stories, handwritten on recycled banner material. We asked people from the square to tell us a personal story which describes a place of importance for them. Usually these places were outside of the square, outside of the city or from a past time. In this way personal feelings and atmospheres from outside of the courtyard were made visible and accessible on the ‘transmitting station’ inside the courtyard.
An intended side effect from stabilising the ‘transmitting posts’ was again a place to sit (without calling it a bench) and space for raised planter.
Week 5 19.05.2015
The study visit was great and went really quickly. Now we need full concentration to announce, design, plan and prepare the upcoming construction project in the courtyard. We decide to not run an official workshop for this one.
Week 4 Wednesday 13th May
‘Portrait on the steps’ session.We decide to start in the early evening to try make contact with people who would come back from work at that time. Explaining our project and the residency and offering to take and send them their portrait, we are surprised how many people are happy to join in (mainly thanks to Zuza’s excellent communication skills!). Among others we photographed Agnieszka, Kacper, Xawery, Maja, Pola, p. Marcin i Kacper, Kuba, Oliwia, Nikola, Ola, Daria, Iza i Adam,Romuald, Monika, Paweł, Wiktoria, Bąbel, Maciej, Zofia, Kazio i Bartek, p. Albert, Paul, Rafał, p. Zdzisław, p. Marek i Amanda.
Click on photo for more:Amongst other courtyard stories we meet the man who owns the ‘private bench’ and hear that it will be placed (and locked) outside his staircase in the summer season, so very soon….
Week 3 Wednesday 6th May
Together with children from Świetlica we test the steps (‘Schody’) in different locations within the courtyard. The children are singing, sitting, climbing and writing possible further uses for ‘schody’ onto the paved area. Again we use the chance to introduce the Plattformer residency to curious parents, dog walkers and passers by.
It is the first time we want to leave the steps outside. Finally we decide to install (strap them together with cable ties) and leave them within the paved area of the yard, where they are most visible.
Week 3 Tuesday 5th May
With Zofia and Agnieszka meeting with a small group of seniors at the ‘Klub Złotego Wieku’ (Golden Age Club) on Młynarska Street 35A. Over a cup of tea we find out more about the local history and people’s personal stories. Most of them used to work in one of the factories situated in the Wola area. Among others those were the radio works ‘Kasprzak’, the ‘Rosa Luxemburg’ factory (producing light bulbs) and the ‘Wola’ dairy plant (now ‘Danone’). We also talked about pre-war Wola, about the Uprising, about non-existent places and buildings, about the bazar ‘Karcelak’ and the nearby fairground. Pani Basia promised to bring old photos for our next meeting.
week 2 27.04. – 03.05.2015
To announce our presence in the neighbourhood we decide to plan our first intervention for week two: a participatory construction of an object in the courtyard of Gibalskiego 2-10 and Okopowa Street. The courtyard in our opinion has great potential for improvement and has a very local existing group we want to involve – the children from ‘swietlica’(after school club).
During this week we had individual meetings with all the representatives of Partnership’s organisations. We were guests of the Social Welfare Center of Wola on Bema street, the Municipality Office of Wola district, the Workshop of Therapy by Activity, the Senior’s Club “Klub Złotego Wieku“, the Municipal Police and Children from a former GPAS group nearby. We had conversations about our further cooperation and their engagement in future actions by Plattformer in Młynów. Each day we had some walks around Młynów in search of ideas for activities.
It was the first meeting the Plattformer collective with the Partnership “Młyn na Woli” and with Młynów at all. The meeting took place in “Świetliki” the after school club on Gibalskiego street and almost all the partnership organisations were present there. After their presentation Nina and Tim told more about the activities of the Plattformer collective, on how they engage the people from various communities, about ways to adapt unused places and re-evaluating the original meaning of these places.
We are very excited! Finally we start our two months residency in Młynów in Wola / Warszawa / Poland. Out of the Plattformer collective I will be the resident artist for the whole duration of the program with Tim Mitchell joining me for our initial meetings and developing the first action. It is then planned that he will join again for a secondary activity mid May.