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Honorable Patronage of the project:

prof. Władysław Bartoszewski | prof. Zygmunt Bauman |
Ryszard Kapu¶ciński

Scientific consultation of the project:

prof. Zdzisław Mach

The project "Transculture" originated from the observation of reality and a need to join the discussion about Poland's place in a new structure of Europe, as well as an inner imperative of traveling to countries which are culturally different to experience our own exoticism. We would like to concentrate on the Stranger in an ethnic sense; the Stranger we come across at work, in the course of our travels all over the world where "we" become the Stranger for others. The majority of the invited artists have had their experience of immigration. For some of them it was a political necessity, for others a chance to express themselves freely, in some cases it resulted from a desire for a change and need of a new experience.

We conceive of "transculture" as a dynamic process, thus it denotes flexibility, obliteration of boundaries dividing cultures, their fusion, contacts, a lack of the permanently established hierarchy of priorities. This process continues gaining its significance, constituting immediate and unavoidable future, including ex-communist countries. All of us have a status of inhabitants. There is no place for "purity" - it gets replaced by hybridism. In the present world the notion of neighbourhood becomes crucial. We redefine boundaries. It is true that they have been obliterated, but ignoring them can bring about unforeseeable results. We witness the coexistence of cultures which is not always peaceful. According to some people we witness the clash of civilizations.

The Stranger accompanies the citizens of the post-modernist world everywhere. He/she is as if their embodiment, alter ego. For there is no single centre which defines homeliness and strangeness; there are many systems of values and points of view. People communicate with each other more and more easily and economically. Media play an incredibly significant role in broadening their horizons. What is exotic - ignoring the fact that it is constructed, formed on the basis of fantasizing about the Stranger - has become familiar and close, however, at the same time reduced to a commercial slogan. Encounters with the Stranger are enhanced by traveling. People move due to economic constraints, but there is also a huge wave of political emigration. However, it is more and more common for us to decide where to settle.

After the tranquility which followed the end of the cold war and alleged end of history, the world goes through a stage of convolutions and shocks of changes which do not really go in the direction of liberal market democracy. The countries of Eastern and Central Europe which had lived in isolation until the early 90s entered this turbulent world. These countries, including Poland, started to experience the phenomenon of transculture, at least through the fact of becoming a member of the global world. Poland joining the European Union caused a wave of economic immigration to Western Europe. We became the Stranger inside multicultural communities.

Now we are expecting immigration to Poland from countries which are poorer than us. It brings about a sense of uncertainty and deepens the awareness of the destabilization of the values which have been cultivated over the last years. As if we forgot about our rich multicultural tradition and the fact that our culture finds the most complete expression when it encounters another culture. We forget that we can learn from the Others best.

Anna Smolak & Magdalena Ujma

Project subsidized as part of :

the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage's
operational programme "Signs of the Time"

Partners of the project:

. .



Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien

Media Patrons of the project:

Gazeta Wyborcza | TVP 3 Kraków | | |
Le Monde diplomatique
| Tygodnik Powszechny | Radio TOK FM | OBIEG | TVP KULTURA

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16 XI - 31 XII 2006
shahram entekhabi
It’s Been a Long Way, Baby...

23 III - 22 IV 2007
wael shawky
The Forty Days Road. Wet culture - Dry Culture

27 IV - 03 VI 2007
olaf breuning
Woman and Dead

06 VII - 02 IX 2007
jesper alvaer, isabela grosseova
Figure and Ground

07 IX - 21 X 2007
adrian paci
Spaces in-between

13 XII - 27 I 2008
loulou cherinet

The conference is a part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in Poland


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