FINAL PRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT CLOSE STRANGER
European Solidarity Centre, room nr 5, III floor
21 May 2015, 5 pm – 8 pm
Project manager: Julia Bardun
Artistic director of the project at Laznia CCA: Agnieszka Wołodźko
Director of the project at KCCA, Klaipeda: Ignas Kazakevicius
5 pm – 5:15 pm – welcome word
5:15 pm – 5:35 pm – presentation of the documentary “Close Stranger”, dir. Marek Zygmunt
5:35 pm – 6:00 pm – Łukasz Szałankiewicz, presentation of the album “Sound Around”
6 pm – 7:45 pm – panel discussion “Art in times of conflict” (moderation: Barbara Piórkowska, participants: Ona Bajoriniene (Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre), Julia Bardun (National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Kaliningrad), Elena Cwietajewa (National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Kaliningrad), Łukasz Szałankiewicz (artist), Agnieszka Wołodźko, (Laznia CCA), Agnieszka Wiśniewska (Krytyka Polityczna), Piotr Wyrzykowski (artist)
7:45 pm – 8 pm – Piotr Wyrzykowski, presentation of the action “Protest” i “Self-Immolation”
8 pm – bus ride of invited guests to a place of a work in public space “Rainbow” by Russian artist Evgeny Umansky, Gdańsk, 64/65, Rzeźnicka str.
“Close Stranger” is an international artistic research project, which since January 2013 has been realized by the Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Kaliningrad, the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art and the Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre. It enabled a collective analysis of current developments in the social and political relations between the Poles, Lithuanians and Russians. It was implemented through artistic expeditions, projects in public space, artistic residencies, publications, exchange of exhibitions, presentations and discussions. Each partner contributed to the image of the territory so that it is readable for others. The aim was to build a sustainable network of communication between our cities (Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda) and countries (Poland, Russia and Lithuania) and to verify the extent to which we can share our knowledge and expertise, for joint work.
The project “Close Stranger”, under which in 2014 an exhibition was organized with the participation of Lithuanian, Polish and Russian artists, which took place in Klaipeda, Kaliningrad and Gdansk, suddenly got a sharp socio-political dimension. Launched as part of a long-term cross-border cooperation program, was carried out during the conflict between Russia and Europe, which appeared as a result of the intervention of Russia in Ukraine. Unexpectedly, every inhabitant of the region had to confront the question of the borders – the cultural as well as political and national. The identity problem is nothing new. In the past it was the source of many traumas in Eastern Europe. Therefore, the question arises: how we – the intellectuals, artists and citizens of our countries – can work together to overcome them?
The final presentation will provide an opportunity for discussion titled “Art in times of conflict”, which will be attended by representatives of project partners and invited guests, involved in the affairs of cultural cooperation in Eastern Europe. It will moderated by the Gdańsk writer Barbara Piórkowska. There will also be a screening of a documentary on the project and a promotion of the music album, which was released after the Festival “Sound Around”. After the meeting, we welcome guests at the presentation of the project in the public space: video projection “Rainbow” by Russian artist Evgeny Umansky (a wall of a building in Gdansk, 64/65, Rzeźnicka str., the projection on 19-21 May 2015 at 21.00 -24.00).
The project “Close Stranger: promoting mutual understanding between population of Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda through facilitation of exchange in the field of contemporary arts and culture” was is co-financed by the European Union.
The Lithuania-Poland-Russia European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 aims at promoting economic and social development on both sides of the EU-Russian border, addressing common challenges and problems, and promoting people to people cooperation. Under the Programme, legal non-profit entities from the Lithuanian and Polish border regions, and the entire Kaliningrad oblast implement joint projects co-financed by the EU and the Russian Federation.
The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.