World Refugees Day - social campaign

 

Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw would like to invite everyone to take part in the World Refugee Day (20th of June) which was established by the United Nations General Assembly almost 20 years ago. For the last few years, we have been celebrating this day in a special way, by organizing many artistic and social events and by providing many public institutions (theatres, museums, universities, religious organizations) with the international refugee flag, designed by a Syrian artist Yara Said. An orange flag with a black stripe has been a universal symbol of respect towards migrants and acknowledgement of them and their fight for human rights. The flag represents life jackets worn by thousands of people going through the seas to escape war, hunger, and political repression.

 

 

The riots in the United States, which were directly caused by the killing of George Floyd and many acts of police brutality, show the scale of xenophobia. Internalized hostility towards people of different ethnic descent is not decreasing with the civilization's development, sometimes it is the opposite and it comes back to the public life even stronger, after being pushed back and marginalised. This hostility comes out during difficult times, like a social crisis, or a natural disaster (an epidemic for example) and it destroys the community, divides societies to citizens of primary and secondary categories, being only one step away from the real violence toward the weak and excluded. The best cure for this is to work at the grassroots - to implement long-term actions focused on education and community creation that would be offered at schools, cultural and non-governmental institutions. Nowadays an enormous responsibility to create a public debate lies on institutions - the epidemic time, cynical empowerment of social divisions and managing fear, it all requires actions from the people of culture, not hiding in an ivory tower and making art for the sake of it, but strong defence of human rights, freedom, equality, and solidarity.

 

In 2019 over 100 institutions and people put a flag sent by Teatr Powszechny on their buildings. This symbolic gesture for the migrant community was valuable support, especially with the harmful stereotypes and anti-refugee propaganda. During the pandemic, we have resigned from sending the flag via traditional post, due to the epidemiological threat and a huge amount of extra work in cultural institutions caused by implementing special procedures of the sanitary regime. We are still encouraging everyone to support the celebration of World Refugee Day by putting out a flag from last year and by participating online:

 

– sharing the international refugee flag in social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), with hashtags: #ŚwiatowyDzieńUchodźcy and  #FlagaUchodźców by the 20th of June;

– setting a special frame on Facebook profile photo (it can be set automatically by using an appropriate option available on the profile photo of Teatr Powszechny’s fan page);

– supporting online fundraising for Fundacja Ocalenie, that has been helping migrants in Poland for the last 20 years: https://ocalenie.org.pl/aktualnosci/20-urodziny-ocalenia-zrob-nam-prezent;

– participating in events organised for the World Refugee Day (debates, webinar, a play by Fundacja Strefa WolnoSłowa).

 

 

THE CELEBRATION PROGRAM OF THE WORLD REFUGEE DAY COORDINATED BY TEATR POWSZECHNY IN WARSAW

 

 

➤➤➤ A debate „Performing diversity. Perspectives and limitations”
June 20th at 3.00 pm (a live transmission on Teatr Powszechny’s Facebook profile)

➤ a conversation between Weronika Szczawińska and  Mohammad Al Attar (a meeting in English under a Bologna conference „Performing resistance. Dialogues on Arts, Migrations, Inclusive Cities”)

➤ hosting: Paweł Sztarbowski

 


How can we build a space for “diversity” when nationalism and populism are rising? What are the possibilities and limitations of performative arts in this respect? What can we do to imagine cultural diversity not only as a challenge but as a basic element of our reality despite ideological differences and social divisions?

During the conversation, Weronika Szczawińska (a Polish theatrical director, a laureate of Polityka’s “Passport” ) and Mohammad Al Attar (a Syrian playwright, and author of “Damaszek 2045”, a play that has been recently created in Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw) will answer these and other questions. This conversation will be hosted by Paweł Sztarbowski, the Deputy Director of Teatr Powszechny and the lecturer of Warsaw’s Theatrical Academy. The artists will share their experiences and strategies used in plays dealing with the theme of multiculturality.

 

 

 

➤➤➤ A webinar „The age of non-mobility. Migrations in the pandemic era”
organized with the Centre of Migration Research of Warsaw University

June 24th at 6.00 pm (a live transmission on Teatr Powszechny’s Facebook profile)


➤ a debate about migration and mobility during the pandemic and the post-pandemic eras

➤ hosting: Paweł Kaczmarczyk, PhD (the Centre of Migration Research of Warsaw University)

➤ participants: Olena Babakowa, PhD („Krytyka Polityczna”), professor Michał Bilewicz (Warsaw University), Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna, PhD (the Centre of Migration Research of Warsaw University), professor Dariusz Stola (The Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences)

 


How is the pandemic changing social and economical trends in modern Europe? How are the long isolation time and later economic crisis going to influence migrant’s situation?  Will the effects of COVID crisis deepen xenophobia, or will they open a chapter of new social solidarity?

 

 

 

➤➤➤ „It starts with bees”

 

➤ a play by Fundacja Strefa WolnoSłowa

 

➤ first part: June 27th at 7.00 pm (all details are available on the websites and Facebook profiles of Teatr Powszechny and  Strefa WolnoSłowa).

 


The works on this play began in February 2020. It was supposed to tell a story of five rapid processes of many species dying out in masses. It was also about a sixth disaster - modern destruction of species caused by human activity.  

 

Extinction is the best opportunity to realize what we have and what we would rather not lose. It is not final, although that’s what it seems for the ones dying out. It is continuous, sometimes it is just more visible. From some point of view, it is just a change. A play by Strefa WolnoSłowa is an attempt to write down this change. It was supposed to be about extinction, but it is about trying to survive. It is about foil gloves in the air, thrown to the ground right after leaving the greengrocers. It is about observation - statistics, birds, neighbours, and a fallen tree that grew mushrooms in the last few weeks. It is about seventeen square meters of an indebted studio apartment, an old wall unit and a flight home. It is about unemployment, working in pyjamas, dreaming about dolphins. It is about intimacy in front of the camera, a burst pipe, doing your lips in front of a mirror, and a view from a window, or a balcony if you are lucky.

 

A play by Strefa WolnoSłowa is a six-part story about survival, created during the pandemic by participants of multicultural and intergenerational workshops „Azyl Warszawa 2020”.

 


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All actions are under the international program „Atlas of Transitions. New geographies for a cross-cultural Europe”.

Project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teatr Powszechny
im. Zygmunta Hübnera
ul. Jana Zamoyskiego 20
03-801 Warszawa
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