Gdańsk, Poland: “Between Two Worlds”
Gdansk, Poland 2011: “Between two Worlds” community project. Participants painted about their community in the background
In September of 2011, Joel headed to this historic city on the Baltic Sea to lead a series of art workshops with children and teens in a working class community, in partnership with the local youth organization Centrum Wspierania Partycypacji Społecznej (Social Participation Support Center). Utilizing the “expressive group painting” approach to community art, the participants all added their personal contributions to the background of the artwork. The main imagery was based on the stories of local residents who were interviewed for the project. Their stories were published on a blog created to accompany the murals. Funded by the European Union and the City of Gdańsk.
“An accountant by day but anarchist by night; a transgender woman who creates eccentric and creative masks in her small apartment; a dedicated teacher whose free spirit was inspired by a group of traveling circus performers who she once welcomed into her home… These are a few of the many stories from Wrzeszcz, a working-class community in the city of Gdańsk, Poland, on the Baltic Sea…”
Gdansk, Poland 2011: “Between two Worlds” community project. This image on the left is a mask created by a transgender artist who lives in the community.
Art workshops focused on teaching skills and designing the artwork.
it must be universal– kids all over the world end up painting themselves as well as the wall!
Students work on their mural
A piece by one of the teen participants’
Gdansk, Poland 2011: “Between two Worlds” community project. This resident, who was interviewed for the project, is both an accountant for a bank and a punk anarchist! The elderly woman, looking out the window as so many women do in this neighborhood, doesn’t know what to make of him… Notice the kids’ expressions throughout the background, including a reference to the famous painting “Scream” up in the right corner: this was included because the name of the neighborhood, Wrzeszcz, means “scream.”
A local teacher dreams of a wild life inspired by a group of circus performers who she once hosted in her house. She sometimes goes on adventurous trips inspired by them.
The students try out their new stencils that they learned to make in the workshops.
A local rock band plays at the inaugural event
Dock workers are highly respected in this working class neighborhood. They played a central role in rebelling against the Soviet-backed regime in the 80’s, leading to its eventual downfall.
This mechanic let the group use his garage to store supplies for the mural, so Joel painted a portrait of him on the front of his business to show his thanks.
The kids of Wrzeszcz!