Granica/Hranice (The Border, 2017)

Polish-Czech cultural project

“Granica/Hranice” (“The Border”) is the result of a group of artists meeting in a cross-cultural dialog, a performative statement dealing with the topic of closeness and division. It focuses on the border dividing two areas, two nations, two points of view.

 

As a part of this project, an art exchange has been conducted: a group, invited from Czechia, has visited Swidnica in February to work on a project with a group of artists connected to Swidnica and Lower Silesia. The result was a work-in-progress show in Galeria Fotografii (Photography Gallery), performed as a part of the XIV Forum Teatrów Niezależnych Transformacje (14th “Transformacje” Forum of Independent Theaters).

 

While working on the performance, we continually asked the questions: what is a border, what/who designates it, what effect does it have: on our body, on our imagination? Are we really so much different by being on the opposite sides, how much separates us, how much connects us? What do we know about each other?

 

Stereotypes make us feel safe, by giving us an impression we know “everything” about someone: Czechs about Poles and Poles about Czechs. While we have used stereotypes in our work, it was in order to find a new scenic form for well-known content. We confronted our own experiences, regarding difference and closeness, with historical facts, statistical data, culture and customs of both nations. We asked about the possibility of existence of a friendly “difference” – diversity.

 

Two dramaturgists worked on the performance: Małgorzata Chodyna from Poland and Piotr Dlouhy from Czechia. Both are interested in the culture and art of their “neighbors”, but it was for the first time that they have sought a scenic form for their research.

 

“Granica/Hranice” is a scenic collage of films, statistics, photographs, images, stereotypes, but also of languages – Czech and Polish.

 

Work-in-progress show: 19th February 2017 at 6 PM at Galeria Fotografii in Swidnica/ The show is a part of XIV Forum Teatrów Niezależnych Transformacje

Premiere: 25th March 2017 at 7 PM in Prague/ The show is a part of the Identitia project and the Žižkovska Noc festival

 

 

Group: Joanna Baranowska, Adam Blaha, Karolina Brzęk, Małgorzata Chodyna, Paulina Dobosz, Petr Dlouhy, Witek Kowaliszyn, Filip Werl, Karolina Wycisk, Tomas Valek, Karolina Zajdel

Organizers: Fundacja Performat (PL)Fundacja Ładne Historie (PL), Performalita (CZ)

Co-organizer: Świdnicki Ośrodek Kultury (Swidnica Cultural Center), Polský institut v Praze (Polish Institute in Prague)

Supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute

 

 


Work on the “Granica/Hranice” project is a result of the show of Polish shows and performances in Prague during last-year’s edition of Žižkovska Noc and Idiom Festival, organized by Fundacja Performat. The partakers there, both artists and spectators, have touched upon the topics of “Polishness” and “Czechness” in various parts of life: customs, tastes, language, education, folklore, humor, politics and art. This project is the continuation of the discussed matters and the cooperation undertaken there.