"Memory of water" - artistic residences in Gdańsk
Memory of Water is an artist led project exploring the heritage of post-industrial waterfront heritage in the context of urban planning and community development. For two years, participating partners from six countries will collaborate on twenty-three interrelated activities, including four City Labs, six international residences and a film documentary. In Gdańsk, the project focuses on the historic and iconic post-shipyard areas - the so-called Young City, whose development is currently the subject of heated discussions.
On 3 - 8 June this year, the first artist residency will take place in Gdańsk as part of the Memory of Water project. The artists will get to know the context of the Gdańsk Shipyard, which will become a space for their artistic explorations in October. We will emphasise the importance of the Shipyard in the history of Gdansk and Poland, in shaping the largest socio political movement in Europe: "Solidarity" . The artists will learn about the role of the Solidarity movement in the democratic changes in this part of Europe during the 20th Century. We will introduce the artists to iconic symbols of the Solidarity movement and remaining industrial architecture, at the same time telling the stories and showing examples in the built environment, which are hidden or, have, unfortunately, disappeared as a result of the transformation of the post-shipyard area. We will present the history of this place through the prism of individual human history. This wealth of tangible and intangible heritage means that "Gdańsk Shipyard" is not only an extremely important place on the map of our city, but also in our hearts. Subsequent plans for developing the post-shipyard areas arouse great emotions as well as great hopes. Our resident artists will get acquainted with the whole complex situation around the Shipyard, and the first stage of their stay in Gdańsk should enable them to do just that.
The programme of their stay, therefore, allows for joint research walks, participation in a workshop conducted by social geographer from the University of Gdańsk, Klaudia Nowicka, entitled "Gdańsk Shipyard through mental maps". The artists will deepen their knowledge thanks to a visit to the European Solidarity Centre (ECS) and familiarizing themselves with the collections there, as well as through conversations with ECS experts and listening to oral histories from former employees of the Shipyard. They will also watch the presentation titled "Shipyard after hours - cultural life of the plant" prepared by culture animator Anna Miler. Finally, they will take part in Gdansk CityLab - a discussion forum on the future transformation of the Shipyard area, which will take place on June 7 in the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet various stakeholder representatives in the transformation of the post industrial-shipyard areas.
It is also worth mentioning that the Gdańsk artist in the project is Iwona Zając, thanks to whom, a group of residents will gain a special insight into the shipyard issues.
The artists' residencies will coincide with the 30th anniversary celebrations of the first free elections in Poland. We will try to include visits to some events related to this topic for our guests, hoping that the impressions they have gained can become a unique source of inspiration for them.
At the end of the short time spent in our city, the artists will share with us initial ideas for the projects they will implement during their second residency here in October.
The residency will be attended by artists t.s. Beall (Scotland), Mary Conroy (Ireland), Jonas Myrstrand (Sweden), Siegfried Vynck (Belgium) and Iwona Zając (Poland).
Coordinator of the "Memory of Water" project in Gdańsk, on behalf of NCK will be Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda
The curator of artist residencies is Mary Conlon
The author of the concept of the artist residency programme in Gdańsk is Agnieszka Wołodźko
CityLab curator in Gdansk is Roman Sebastyanski