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Four visual artists have taken part in the project so far: Paulina Komarowa, Zlata Lebedz, Volha Martynenka and Jana Shostak. By providing creative space to the artists, the coordinators of the AIR Wro residency programme focused on their individual stories and experiences. During their stay, curator and animator Joanna Synowiec conducted a series of interviews with them. She asked about the reasons why the invited artists decided to live in Poland, who they are and how they perceive they current situation of artists in their home country.
“The winter in Belarus has been particularly hot this year, filled with protests, persecution, trials and state terror against the people. In the fall, pictures of women dressed in white taking to the streets to protect other protesters, to support peaceful protests, circulated around the world. They became a collective icon of the Belarusian protests,” says Joanna Synowiec. “It was women and their bodies, which made the protests in Belarus a revolution of concern.”
One of the residents, Paulina Komarowa, has Polish roots. When she and her family were thinking about her education, future and a place to live, moving to Poland was a natural decision. How does interculturalism affect her work? “I am made of the stories of those I have met in my life, and I have spent most of my life in Minsk. Now everything is filled with nostalgia, a longing for how things could have been and how they weren’t. Sometimes the separation speeds up the process of trying to explain to oneself what is one made of, what one feels about it, who one is and is not,” Paulina says.
Recorded interviews with the other artists focus on the political situation of Poland’s eastern neighbours, as well as on the key role played by women, who are the driving force behind these protests. You can check it out on 8th of March on the YouTube channel of Culture Zone Wrocław.