Some highlights from 2011
Once Upon a Deadline in Translation - Writers marathon (European Premiere)
Once Upon A Deadline is a writing marathon that celebrates the written word. At the beginning of the day six Polish writers were equipped with a laptop computer, a bagged lunch and a “minder”— an English speaking co-writer whose duty was to help them get a 1200 word short written and edited in time for the live ‘read-off’ at the end of the day. The writers themselves had no idea where they were going and had to trust their minders to get them to six unique locations. The brief to the writers was to deliver an original tale that captured the mood of the city they were in (ie. Southend). The event was unique in that the stories were first written in Polish and then translated into English before the ‘read off’. The finished works were published in English by co-producers of the event, Off_Press. Video link for Once Upon a Deadline Wellington trailer - Once Upon a Deadline.
The Homeless Gallery
Was a celebration of photography in its many forms. It appeared fleetingly and allowed photographers from any background to exhibit work. Homeless Galleries are free to exhibit and free for the public to see the work. Homeless because they have no permanent address and appear for a very short time. Deconstruction Project introduced the Homeless Gallery into Southend-on-sea as part of the Polish Arts festival 2011. Keeping with the idea of the homeless / non permanent space, Homeless Gallery made use of shop spaces at the iconic Kursaal temporarily rejuvenating the areas with this very worthwhile arts project. It also featured a Pinhole Camera Workshop run by Click Academy, that runs unconventional, innovative photographic workshops for children using pinhole photography. Pinhole photography develops ingenuity, imagination and encourages creative work. Children learn the technique of placing light sensitive photographic paper inside a dark box and exposing it to very light by way of a in-hole at one end of the box. The image that is created is unique and unusual. The results of these workshops will also be published showing a ‘child’s view’ of Southend-on-sea.
Local(eyes) – Eco-art Installation by Mila Lipowicz
The installation was curated jointly by Deconstruction Project and the Polish Arts Festival, and located in the newly rebuild waterfront pedestrian precinct in Southend (opposite the Kursaal). The public were invited to pedal the installation to power the projector that shows the films. Given that the Thames gateway is hosting the mountain biking at the 2012 London Olympics, this exhibition formed part of our Polish Cultural Training Ground. It also fitted well with the Festival’s aspiration to introduce events with low carbon outputs. The films were shot using the latest high spec wearable, high definition video camera to map out the artists view of Southend’s twin city of Sopot on the Baltic coast. Views of the beach, Sopot Pier (the longest wooden pier in Europe), the urban greenery behind the city that plays host to the Sopot Opera, busy markets, quiet parks, historic buildings and a population that’s welcomes many UK visitors throughout the year.
Body Snatchers Theatre (Teatr Porywacze Ciał)
Parade of Funny Faces / The Cyclists - Direct from the Polish city of Poznan – in association with Deconstruction Project
“The Cyclists” is the latest street parade from Theatre of the Body Snatchers employing people, bicycles and music. It is fun, grotesque, absurd and loud. In other words, everything that is necessary to mix things up a little and bring more life into the street reality. If you don’t like weddings, the chances are you will be showered with rice.
“Parade of Funny Faces” uses large scale, oversized masks. The whole performance is scripted around ideas portraying a retrospective view of all cultures, races and social customs. It tells a story of a child who, lost in the turbulence of the modern world, creates his own imaginary world where everyone is friendly and all people are equal, where all social barriers are overcome through children’s games and spells. This performance engaged audiences of all backgrounds and ages. During the Polski Picnic it transformed a stationary outdoor performance into an interactive parade involving the public.
Over the past three years the Polish Arts Festival has managed to persuade large numbers of our audiences at the Festival to join in with Polish dance. This year’s Festival featured Polish dance companies – Orleta and Tatry who both entertained and offered lessons in Polish dance.
The Polski Picnic
Featured food stalls, live music with The Gorale (Krakow) -Trio Manouche and The Voronas, theatre with Body Snatchers Theatre (Poznan) doing Parade of the Funny Faces, and Theatre Lalek, macramé display and workshops with Jolanta Surma, wycinanki & wyklejanki workshops (Polish paper cuts), and Lajkonik Polish cossack on horse-back.
Polish short film screenings
The Scar (Blizna)
dir. Maciek Szupica, Maciek Salamon, Animation, Music Video, 2009, 3’
The Wedding (Ślub)
dir. Maciek Salamon, Animation, 2009, 3’
dir. Anna Cywińska, Animation, 2009, 8’
Orchises Fair (Kiermasz Storczyków)
dir. Natalia Dziedzic, Animation, 2010, 9’
Zone Europa Best Polish Movie Award – Sopot Film Festival 2010
Dead Man’s Coughing (Kaszel Umarlaka)
dir. Krzysztof Borówka, Fiction, 2009, 23’
Best Short Movie Award – Sopot Film Festival 2010
MC. Man Of Vinyl (MC. Człowiek z Winylu)
dir. Bartosz Warwas, Comedy, 2010, 20’
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark Room (Ciemnego pokoju nie trzeba się bać)
dir. Kuba Czekaj, Drama, 2009, 35’
Animated History of Poland (Animowana historia Polski) • dir. Tomek Baginski 2010 Poland 7’
Out of Reach (Poza zasięgiem) • dir. Pawel Stożek 2010 Poland 30’
Millhaven • dir. Bartosz Kulas 2009 Poland 7’
For A Heartful Of Pears (Za czapkę gruszek) • dir. Dominika Montean 2010 Poland 17’
Inventory (Inwentaryzacja) • dir. Paweł Łoziński 2010 Poland 9’
Danny Boy • dir. Marek Skrobecki 2010 Poland 10’