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.
On day one we meet at Okecie airport and are heading to our first internal meeting with the project team existing of Zofia (UW Animacja Kultury), Zuza (Gpas) and Andrzej (Gpas) and Agnieszka (local trainee cultural practitioner).
The next morning we are invited to meet members of the partnership “Młyn na Woli” , our host organisation in ‘Świetlica’, the after school club on Gibalskiego Street. We received a very warm reception and the partnership shared their knowledge about the area, its problems, potential and ideas regarding possible project areas. We explained how in the past Plattformer has worked with the local community and realised projects in public space. We discussed any expectations from our shared next 8 weeks in Młynów. Everyone seems very positive and open to our ideas and suggestions to come.
At the moment the partnership mainly exists of institutions, governmental and non-governmental, but is keen for people to join and get involved.
Together with pani Ela who is one of the few local individual members and Zuza (our local community practitioner) we have a walk around the previously defined project area which stretches between Okopowa, Leszno, Tyszkiewicza and Młynarska streets.
We are being told of the image the area which it still had a few years ago and which is still in people’s minds. It is said it used to be a very unsafe area where in some places even the police wouldn’t enter. This was partly caused by the fact that released criminals would be moved to ‘Gibalak’, meaning Gibalskiego and nearby streets. The other thing people connect with the area is the Skuczyński bicycle shop 10 Gibalskiego street, one of the most famous bike shops in Warszawa since the 80s.
Problems and conflicting themes raised by the Partnership are:
‘Altany śmietnikowe’, the run down state/location of the bin areas in the courtyard Gibalskiego 2-10/ Okopowa
‘Komórki’, cleaner cells in the same courtyard. They are used by cleaners, but it is not exactly clear who they belong to. One of them burnt out a week after our arrival
‘Kupa’, Dog poo all over the grass area in the yard
‘Ławka’ (bench), in the area there are hardly any places to sit for older people. Benches are a conflicting issue, as they are being missed but when they have been in place, ‘noisy drinkers and hooligans’ would be attracted