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“Nothing is certain, everything surprises and scares us. This open call was not supposed to look like this. A month ago, we intended to invite foreign artists living in Poland to revisit, or remake Poland anew versus the existing, seemingly monoculture yet multi-ethnic, manifesting civic impulses but racist as well, disrespecting women’s rights but having a strong feminist movement, having LGBT-free zones and thousands-strong Pride Week parades. The graphic design that was ready and waiting for the announcement of the open call had the title “Re-making Poland” on it.
Today, as I write these words, Poland as it was a month ago is no more. We may not wake up to bombings yet, but we are being bombarded by thoughts and emotions all day and night long. Fury is mixed with hope, tenderness with desire, and the political is dissolved into the private. Russia invaded our closest neighbours, over one million people forced to leave their homes in Ukraine are seeking safety in Poland. At the same time, on the Polish-Belarus border, the Polish government is blocking the way to protection and information for people fleeing unlawfulness and wars breaking out beyond Europe. Activists are fighting for their lives. People are trying to act, to be ‘effective’ in their home towns.
Dima keeps printing, he has not yet left his friend’s studio with whom he has been staying for two weeks.
Chris is reading up to understand Eastern Europe; before it was easier for him to live in Poland without being aware of the historical contexts.
Olena is setting up an exhibition that she had been planning for a long time. She escaped from Ukraine on the first day of the invasion, while her husband stayed home.
Natalia is helping evacuate black people from Ukraine in between rehearsals for a theatre play.
Olga is fed up with introducing the multicultural Belarussian culture into the white-red-white art.
Hazim is writing poetry as he awaits the decision regarding his asylum in a guarded shelter for foreigners.
Yulia is negotiating with the curators her involvement in the fight for free Ukraine, she does not consent to half-measures, one has to push from each side as there is ‘hope in the dark’.
Kasia is planning a multicultural garden in the Poznań allotment gardens.
Karolina has a feeling that the classes on culture she is running at the university are pointless now, but a quote from Martin Luther King that her friend told her, namely “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree” helped.
One of the ideas we had for the original open call should stay, though. We want to lend the visibility and the loud voice of a large international festival to foreign artists living in Poland. These people can renew the face of this earth. We do not know what will happen in a month when we read through the open call entries we receive. We do not know what you will want to talk about, but what we do know is that we will want to listen and hear you.”
Malta Festival Poznań programmer
We are inviting foreign artists, performers, activists, and animators living in Poland to submit their ideas for artistic activities, interventions, objects, exhibitions, performance, sound installations, community work, field work, online work, workshops, and other forms of art. You can work on your own, as part of international tandems or larger groups (also with the participation of Polish artists). We are interested in hearing what you have to say, what triggers you, what you want to do with the artistic tools you have.