Neighbours
Warsaw Under Construction 10th edition

  • Neighbours
    photo by Sasha Kovalenko

In Warsaw, as in many other Polish cities, it is becoming more and more likely that your neighbour next door is Ukrainian. Or, for that matter, Belorussian, Moldovan, Russian, Georgian, Uzbek etc.

The growing influx of migrants from beyond the Eastern border means that Poland, for the first time since the end of WWII, ceases to be a mono-ethnic state. The 10th edition of Warsaw in Construction reflects on this situation by introducing a transnational dimension into the very structure of the project. Curated by Kyiv-based VCRC collective, this year’s Warsaw in Construction will take place both in Warsaw and Kyiv.

Warsaw Under Construction X looks at the very idea of the neighbour – the Other constantly defined through coexistence and alienation, proximity and remoteness, love and hate. In the festival’s context the notion of ‘Neighbours’ allows to span multiple layers of current urbanism, art and public debates: from the scale of one’s individual apartment, dormitory room or workers’ barrack to the regional level of conflicted nation-states. The myth of ‘one million Ukrainian refugees in Poland’ is a good case in point. Despite the fact that these people should be largely qualified as labour migrants, they are used as a convenient tool to evade the EU migrant quotas. In the meantime, Polish economy relies to a ever larger extent on the underpaid labour of Ukrainian construction workers, nurses, cleaners, cultural workers, etc.

The festival’s program is split between the capitals of two East European countries that had taken on strikingly different paths of development in the decades following the collapse of the USSR. While Warsaw has been represented as a model city of Poland’s presumed ‘success story’ of transformation (which at the moment faces serious challenges), Kyiv is a city where privatization, deregulation and the decline of the idea of planning in public space had taken its most extreme forms. This process is best represented through the festival’s Kyiv location: on abandoned street that has fallen into oblivion in the 1990ies and became a spot of unrealized developing dreams. In 2018, engaging the community background, the festival will make the area accessible for the city dwellers. In Warsaw, the festival will use the iconic Cepelia pavilion on the city’s central intersection. Once a pride of modernist architecture and city planning, the pavilion can now serve as a showpiece of the ills of Polish transformation – covered with outsized advertising, its interiors hiding until recently a gaming parlour. A sore in the middle of the city, almost derelict, expecting real estate developers revitalisation.The exhibition of the Warsaw Under Construction tenth edition, with accompanying program will be featured in Cepelia pavilion.

Warsaw: 13.10-11.11
location: Cepelia pavilion Marszałkowska 99/101

Curators
Visual Culture Research Center

Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) was founded in 2008 as a platform for collaboration between academic, artistic, and activist communities. VCRC is an independent initiative, which is engaged in publishing and artistic activities, scientific research, organization of public lectures, discussions, and conferences. In 2015 Visual Culture Research Center received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award. Visual Culture Research Center was an organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015 and The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017.

See also:

Other archival events from that cycle:

Cycle WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION 10Neighbours / Сусіди
19:00 Exhibition Neighbours. VernissageСусіди. Відкриття виставки Cepelia Pavillion
Marszałkowska 99/101, Warsaw
14:00 Guided tour Curatorial guided tour through the „Neighbours” exhibitionКураторська екскурсія фестивальною виставкою «Сусіди» Cepelia Pavillion
Marszałkowska 99/101, Warsaw
16:00 Meeting WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION 10 in Kyiv. Project's presentation and screening«Варшава в будові 10» у Києві. Зустріч навколо проекту та фільм-скринінг MUSEUM on Pańska Street
Pańska 3 , Warsaw
18:00 Discussion Door to Door. Discussion about the „Neighbours” exhibition«Двері в двері». Дискусія на теми фестивальної виставки MUSEUM on Pańska Street
Pańska 3 , Warsaw
08:00 Performance „Rosa Rotes”. Performance by Aleka Polis«Rosa Rotes» Перформанс Алеки Поліс Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy
Nowogrodzka 1/3/5,
11:00 Walk Unwanted Heritage: Monuments of the Polish People’s Republic. City walk«Небажана спадщина: пам'ятники Польської Народної Республіки». Міська прогулянка plac Bankowy
,
16:00 Guided tour Guided tour in English through the „Neighbours” exhibition Cepelia Pavillion
Marszałkowska 99/101, Warsaw
16:00 Lecture Commercial Architecture of Post-War Warsaw. Lecture by Ewa Perlińska-Kobieżyńska «Комерційна архітектура післявоєнної Варшави». Лекція Еви Перлінської-Кобєжинської MUSEUM on Pańska Street
Pańska 3 , Warsaw