Rusalka: female gods, spirits and demons associated with rivers and lakes in Slavic mythology. They call the men with their beautiful songs and drown them… The story of Lake Rusalka made by the prisoners of the Nazis seems the perfect conﬁrmation of its name.
I ask myself, is Rusalka still alive? I imagine this mythological ﬁgure that now moves to the Mediterranean Sea and with the fascinating songs of the Old Continent attracts men and women on the ruined rafts. Spirits of water who sing and bring thousands of people into the abyss. Rusalka still lives in our waters. Who is Rusalka today? Is it still a myth or a new-old reality?
The victims of the wars, regimes, climate changes ...those who are only numbers for the news or history, have usually an abstract identity. We rarely feel their sorrow or joy. I believe the only way to understand human dignity, is to expose our self to their stories, their simple emotions, habits, joy, anger, or fear. These primary emotions are able to activate empathy within us.
To do so, in Poznan, in a workshop we tried to imagine some stories of those who left this relaxing lake in the middle of this city. We tried to imagine some extract of their diﬃcult moments.
In this exhibition I suggest a combination of contemporary stories together with those of an era which nobody wants it to be repeated. We put emotions together, from past and present and, visually connect them with their fragile body that dissolve with drops of water. Boats which symbolically are the bodies of all those stories get melted while you hear their voices. Those stories still are whispered in this area and in Europe.
project: Sara Alavi
stories: inhabitants of refuge centres in Milan, participants of Malta Festival Poznań storytelling workshops
execution: Sara Alavi, participants of Malta Festival Poznań clay workshops and people visiting the Rusalka lake substantive
support: Jan Kwiatkowski
coordination: Patryk Moszka, Joanna Spychała
sound recording and editing: Joanna Spychała
production: Piotr Delimata
curatorial care: Joanna Pańczak
Special thanks to Renata and Krzysztof Pudełko for sharing space for an exhibition.