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European Souvenirs – 22 March in Lublin

European Souvenirs will finally visit Poland on the 22nd of March. This time the amazing audiovisual journey will take place in Lublin.

4ab96479606d46953da229d7df5fd5bdFrom the 21st to the 23rd of March 2014 the Second Intersectoral Forum for Local Migration Policies will take place in the city close to the eastern border. It’s aim is to support the creation or modern and open policies of integrating immigrants on a local level in Poland based on practical experience in intersectoral collaboration. The presentation of European Souvenirs will be an accompanying event of the forum. It will be open to a wider public.

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 9.35.02 AMLublin is a city located several dozen kilometers from the Ukrainian border, inhabited by migrants from behind the eastern border, refugees from Chechnya and a big international community of students. It is the place where personal, local and universal stories found by the artists creating the show in home and national archives can resonate stronger than anywhere else.

March 22nd / 8 p.m.
Centrum Akademickie “Chatka Żaka”
16 Radziszewskiego Street
Inkubator, auditorium 

With the special support of

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Remapping Europe showcase at Human Doc Review in Lublin

“Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. The most critical ones are to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living. Additional choices include political freedom, guaranteed human rights and self respect.”

This quote from the Human Development Report is used by the HumanDOC International Documentary Film Festival, where a selection of Doc next films is screened in December.


We contiunue screening Remapping Europe remix works in partnership with many international festivals and events. Between 12 – 15 December, yet another showcase is hosted by Polish partner Homo Faber association. A selection of 10 videos from Poland, Turkey, Spain and UK will be shown at the Human Doc Review. The local edition of this festival is organized in Lublin, a city in Poland close to the border of the Ukraine. The screening will be accompained by Amnesty International’s Letter Writing Marathon.

Homo Faber is a Lublin NGO working in the field of human rights. The organisation’s main interest is the relation between an individual and the authorities. One of Homo Faber’s aims is to constructively monitor whether the authorities effectively fulfil their duties, and whether they respect human rights and freedom. The association acts on behalf of minority groups; it confronts all kinds of discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, skin colour, religion, language, age and sexual orientation.

Read more about the main edition of Human Doc International Film Festival and Homo Faber.



Going beyond education habits.

The Visual Seminar was organized 27-30 September 2012, within the Polska.doc program of  The Association of Creative Initiatives “ę”.

We met to work on the changing forms of educations and the sense of the use of visual tools; to reflect on the circulation of images in contemporary culture and the role of seeing as a way of bringing the marginalised subjects to the state of visibility.

One of the aims of the Visual Seminar was going beyond our habits related to the daily work of animators/educators/coordinators. We are often so deep in realising our activities that we cannot find time to ask questions outside of the grant application forms. We have decided to stop for a moment and to critically reflect on the work and methods that we use, the sense of which seems so obvious to us.
We invited 17 practitioners – people who educate, animate and coordinate projects with the use of photography, film, art and the Internet. The participants represented big institutions, small NGOs and freelancers. What brings them all together are the same tools and practices related to visual issues and the readiness to think about the concept and meaning of “visual education”.

We invited 16 guests – visual culture anthropologists, sociologists, new media researchers, education theoreticians, artists and curators. We spent 4 days on intensive important work full of challenges and questions. In the beautiful surrounding of the Oczyszczalnia we listened to demanding lectures, led lively discussions, criticised “good practices” during workshops, analysed images found online and YouTube videos, worked out conceptual experiments with the use of the camera and the Internet, summed up our experiences asking new questions and drawing unexpected conclusions.
Łukasz Zaremba and Magda Szcześniak, visual culture researchers working for their doctorates at the Warsaw University, opened the seminar with their workshop that presented seeing as an activity that seems transparent, yet there is nothing obvious in it; as an area of social conflict. Dr Iwona Kurz from the Film and Visual Culture Institute gave a lecture during which she presented issues related to researching visual culture. She focused on the consequences of the non-existence of this idea in the educational system. Ruben Diaz of the Spanish Organisation Zemos98 and the Seville University presented a speech about the ideas and practises related to the remix culture. The next day he presented his concept of “widened education” that can work anyplace and anytime breaking the system and the hierarchy of the school education. Edwin Bendyk of the Collegium Civitas presented scenarios of the future related to the development of the new media and technologies and their relationship with social and political change. Dominika Widłak-Mańka from the educational department of the British Film Institute described its goals and the operating model. She gave examples of specific activities and programmes aimed at diverse groups and societies. A sociologist team – Agata Nowotny, Michał Danielewicz and Agnieszka Strzemińska – moderated the ongoing process of generating knowledge. In the workshop blocks they initiated group work and discussions aimed at summarising and drawing conclusions as well as questions arising thanks to the different perspectives presented by the guests. They worked non-stop – there was no end to conversations during the brakes. We continued debates, exchanged stories about our experiences and working methods. Only sometimes did we find time to lie on the hammock, go for a short walk or lie at the pond.

Summarising the 4 days’ work opened a new stage – we divided subjects that we will work on with the collective publication in mind. In the cooperative work and the on-line consultations we will create texts, interviews, recordings and podcasts on the most interesting subject matters. We will analyse, among other topics, visual education as the tool for teaching critical thinking, the changing role and meaning of an “educator”, seeing as a bodily and space-related activity, the value of education as arousing doubt – not standardising knowledge, the notion of “effectiveness” of images in social projects, ethics and politics related to the valuation of aesthetics, the visuality of the public space and the role of photography in projects related to human rights and diversity. 2 months of intensive work await us. The publication will be out this winter!

We would like to thank all the guests for inspiration, knowledge and support. We thank the participants for their involvement and openness and we congratulate on your courage to reflect and on your persistence in work. We would also like to thank the National Centre for Culture, The Foundation for Visual Arts, Political Critique, the Archeology of Photography Foundation, the Center for Citizenship Education) for books and materials for the newly initiated “visual library”.

The Visual Seminar is part of the Polska.doc programme run by The Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” executed within the Doc Next Network with the financial support of the European Cultural Foundation.

The Visual Seminar is supported by the Polish Film Institute.

Seminar: the use of images in socio-cultural projects

What are the changes to the functions of film/photography and the methods of their use?

How to use visual tools consciously, with criticism and reflection?

How to use images in socio-cultural projects?

Do you use visual media in your educational/animation activities (film, cinema, photography, Internet)? Do you influence the way other people use them? Do you want to share your experience supplemented by theoretic thought? We would like to invite you to take part in the Visual Seminar.

The Visual Seminar is a unique opportunity to meet people who work with pictures, the methods of looking and with the widely understood contemporary culture. It will join practitioners (animators/educators, creators) with theoreticians (anthropologists and sociologists) who work with visual culture.

The meeting will be a platform for exchange of experience, thought and questions as well as a first step to creating a unique book – “Visionaries. Scenarios for the Future”. The concept and content of this on-line book will be created by the participants of the Seminar.

The project is based on partnership – we invite people willing to participate in the creation of the project from early September to the end of November.

The Seminar will take part form the 27th to the 30th September 2012 in Oczyszczalnia (Regowo, near Warsaw).

On-line activities focused on making the book and writing its content will last until the end of November 2012.

We offer:

  • Participation in the 3-day intensive, private (around 15 participants) Seminar (with guests and moderators, accommodation, full board, work space – we do not cover travel costs);
  • Meetings with practitioners operating in a similar field;
  • Meetings with theoreticians and experts from Poland and abroad;
  • The possibility to create an innovative book aimed at a wide audience.


Agnieszka Pajączkowska / tel: +48 506 09 09 15

The Visual Seminar is organised within the Polska.doc program realised by the Doc Next Network thanks to the support of the European Cultural Foundation.

The Visual Seminar is organized with the financial support of the Polish Film Institute.

Design your life with passion

Malgorzata Marczewska designed Art Coaching course for 14 animatours and trainers from Doc Next Network partner the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” (Poland). As a network, Doc Next Network is developing a methodology for empowering young media-makers as they capture their own realities. This is a conversation with Małgorzata Marczewska. By Dorota Borodaj.

Coaching is…

A method of working with people and releasing or activating the maximum of their personal, professional or creative potential (needed for the execution of their goals).

In Poland it is probably confused with psychotherapy?

Most companies start defining coaching with explicit information about what coaching is not. It is not therapy, counselling or consulting, it is neither mentoring nor treatment. However its tools are known and used e.g. in therapy. Most therapists work with the present time and the past. Therapy is supposed to fix certain dysfunctions. It looks for their sources in the patient’s past. Coaching is always directed to the future. It serves for defining goals to be met in the future. A coach supports his/her client in unleashing potential that will help realise those goals. The difference can be seen in the language – not a patient, a client. This imposes partnership and causative relations with the coach.

You have been working in this profession for a dozen years. Yet I have the impression that it is only in the last several years that we hear more about coaching in Poland.

The idea of coaching was born in sport in the 70s, in the USA. It was gradually spread across other spheres of life. Business became a natural receiver very quickly. Later, coaching started to cover other professional, personal, and, finally, artistic cases. This tool reached Poland relatively late, that is when it has already been a common and natural technique of working with people in the United States. Students work with coaches practically in every art school in the States. There are more than 50 kinds of coaching registered in Great Britain. In Poland we still tend to address coaching as such.

What is art-coaching then?

Coaching intensifies diversity and pulls out the potential hidden in a given person. That is the reason for its use in fields that need variety the most, e.g. in the arts. Art-coaching is a phenomenon that does exist in Poland. Only we rarely call it that way. When I tell about coaching I often hear that my interlocutors use the same tools and methods in practice, but they define them differently. Many people working with artists do present an attitude that is key to coachwork – they treat them with respect and openness, they focus on releasing their creativity.

When it comes to artists, creators, this work is conducted on an exceptionally sensitive organism. On the one hand artist are assigned with certain hysteria, on the other – it is often forgotten that they work on their own emotions and, at the same time, function on a tough art market.

Art is always connected with internal, spiritual work, with experiencing. We can interpret this sensitivity as hysteria but it is just a specific way of experiencing life, nothing else. People very sensitive to beauty, emotions and events, feel an urge to stream these feelings through art. On the other hand – they are not taught how to protect this sensitivity, how to influence it without destroying it. This is topped with the fear of “selling oneself”, the fear that professionalisation can be somehow related to commercialisation of ones actions. Many creators declare their contempt for all things connected with marketing in one line with declaring their artistic freedom. Whereas selling can be understood as presenting oneself, presenting something that one considers valuable. I see this as a communication process between people, as presenting things that we want to share with others. The question is, do I want to learn to show it in a way that will be comprehendible to people, so that it would influence them. Next question: do I want to make a living of my creativity. Most artists strongly want to show their art, despite all doubts. This creates an inner conflict – I want the world to hear about me but I am afraid, I don’t want to conform, to be priced. So sometimes I would do nothing that could help others hear about me.

What is the basis of the coach-client relationship?

There are two key fields in coaching. The first one is the coach’s attitude. The coach has to be able to work with him/herself, his/her attitude, with a certain ability to manage his/her inner states. Putting it more clearly – the coach cannot impose his/her feelings and opinions on the clients. This requires strong emotional maturity and an inner balance. The coach does not evaluate or give advice. The coach cannot judge. His/her most basic task is something we call cautious presence. At the same time the coach has another field at hand – a multitude of techniques used for releasing one’s potential. Namely: questions, exercises and homework. All this is conducted in a certain period. Usually the minimum length of cooperation is 6 months. The coach and client meet once a month but the client’s work continues all the time in between the meetings. The first meeting is the time when a contract is accepted. The coach presents a schedule of the whole process. Then both sides have to agree that they want to work together. Though the preliminary rules may sound very soft, coaching is in fact a very accurate activity, defined in time. Its effects have to be measurable and verifiable in a way. The central meaning is again on the client’s side. It is the client, not the coach, who defines what should be done and when. In the future, these assumptions will let the client know that his/her goals have been completed.

What happens during the monthly meetings?

The aim of work is changing dreams into goals. The trick is to plan them in time and to set clear tasks. Their completion will let us know, that a goal had been met. Example: I am a young photographer, a beginner. I want to go professional. My dream is my own exhibition. I am changing this dream into a goal and I set milestones needed to achieve it. The role of the coach is to support this process, to help the client define and extract his/her inner resources, which will make the realisation of the goal possible.


The coach helps define what way of thinking limits the client and what can let him achieve his/her goals. The coach asks questions. The coach ignites the client’s whole knowledge about him/herself that enables him/her to do the best thing in the best possible way. The coach takes care of inner emotions, blockades but does not advise specific actions. He/she picks tasks and exercises with consideration of blockades and the potential of the client. The coach’s ethics is a key element. It has to always accompany all tools used in his/her work with the client. It is absolutely intolerable to make advantage of any knowledge or information received during the work with the client and so is judging the client and his/her decisions or choices.

Talking about coaching we have to approach the stereotype that assigns this type of work to affluent people.

Money is not a key question in coaching. A coach who keeps to the professional ethics in his/her work will approach each client individually – also in the matter of remuneration. Coaching is not reserved for rich businesspeople. It is a universal, open invitation to change. It is often said that a coach is the one to believe in his/her client more than the client does. The coach’s ambition, or better – task, is pulling knowledge that lies within the client out of his/her depths. This is the most important and the most motivating part of coachwork.


Małgorzata Marczewska is president of the Chamber of Coaching, representative of the International Couching Community Poland. She has conducted coaching, training and individual consultations for 15 years. She manages the training company ITEM, designs and conducts long-term development programmes and coaching, she creates learning organisations. She promotes coaching as a universal tool for supporting ones personal, family and professional plans. She specialises in Innovation Design and coaching of Effective Change Processes for institutions, companies and individuals. Together with Manuela Gretkowska she co-founded the Women’s Party as a learning organisation. She is of the co-founders of the Poland is a Woman foundation. She gives lectures at the Warsaw Film School, runs ArtCoaching and LifeDesign courses. She is the initiator and author of the LifeDesign platform that supports designing ones personal and professional life. She works as coach for businessmen, renowned artists and designers.

This article was originally published on Polska Doc.

Why we do it?

The key of our thinking about modern media education is parallel activity for the professionalisation of cultural workers and investing in young artists who can combine their artistic potential with social mission, who can share their skills with younger generations. Film and photography are currently two of the most popular media used by young people to learn and describe the world. Cell phones are used as photographic cameras, and cameras provide video and voice recording functions. The recorded images can be published right away on Vimeo, YouTube or on social networking platforms and thus shared with millions of viewers.

Every year organisations, community centres and common rooms invite us to conduct workshops. Each of our film and photography projects has several hundred applications a year. The application and evaluation forms show us that young people need and look for modern media education. In the 9 years of our work we have observed that this kind of education is created and realised by community centres, common rooms, libraries or independent artists and animators. At the same time our experience shows that Poland still lacks animators and educators who consciously work with film and photography.

That is why we have created the Polska.doc programme in which young DIY artists get the opportunity to develop their skills trained by professionals. They go through the project process (form the idea to the finished project) and realise their own (often their first) documentary projects (film, photocasts, photographic series) with the support of experienced tutors. The first year of the programme gave us 13 finished productions. All are accessible on our website ( They can also be seen during shows and events initiated by the international Doc Next Network in which we partner.

Within Polska.doc we have also conducted a very important educational path called „Animate on your own!”. Our participants could not only master their talent and make their imagination roam freely but also try to work as a cultural animator. With theoretical and practical knowledge they went to places all around Poland to voluntarily assist experienced tutors and co-conduct multimedia workshops for less experienced friends. Good practices gathered throughout the project are presented on our website in the Inspiration section.

We believe that visual media prove useful in unravelling history and the local identity, in engaging young people in actions for the local community or in integrating neighbours. We want the world to be described by grassroots initiatives, by the members of local communities and with the assumption that the artists want to dig into reality, not slide on its surface.

Association “ę”

Looking forward to Poland.doc 2

This year, the Association “e” is creating an alternative production studio, Young Creators CO-OP, in which we hope to provide good conditions for development for young creators. The studio will operate on the rule „from idea to realisation”, meaning that we want to see the project through all the way to post-production.

At “e”, we organise workshops, exhibitions, open screenings, portfolio reviews, we produce debut films and photographic projects (Poland.doc, Film Preschool, Photopresentations, Snapshots). In thinking about the modern media education professionalisation of cultural workers is vital for us, along with investing in young artists who can combine their artistic potential with a sense of social mission and share their skills with younger generations.

Along these theme, in 2011 we organised five multimedia workshops for young people with little experience in film and/or photography during the summer holidays. The theme of explorations in film and photographic workshops was “Local Hero”. In line with our plans a total of 5 short documentary forms were created: three photographic projects (photocasts) and two short film etudes. On the last day of the workshop during an official showcase each group presented its short documentary to a wide audience. The screenings attracted a lot of interest. In one of the towns where we held workshops, Kołbacz, almost entire town was present at the premiere (the film has been shown 4 times since).

We promote young documentary work in Poland and abroad. In 2012 we would like to continue our activities in this field with the almost entire town was presentecond edtion of Poland.doc, within the Doc Next Network.

Watch films and photographs from our summer workshops at Poland.doc website.

Poland.doc Inspirations available in English

Inspirations is a series of articles, interviews and videos written with young creators and culture animateurs in mind.

The series opens with a documentary series How to make a film, created by Polish documentary maker Piotr Stasik for the public television channel Kultura. Texts range from general reflections on being creative (To be creative by cultural animateur at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Maria Parczewska) to practical advice (Photography in work with children by Association “ę”’s own Agnieszka Pajączkowska).

With something to liven up the minds of every one interested in film, photography or more broadly creative work, Inspirations invite the reader to challenge themselves – to be inspired.

Full list of articles and videos is available at the Poland.doc website.

All episodes of How to make a film also available on the Association “ę” Vimeo channel.

Last session of Poland.doc

At the last session we discussed our projects. We spoke to experts about issues such as preparing a budget for a photography project, talking to commissioning editors, who order documentary films for TV stations, which young film festivals are worth attending, preparing one’s portfolio and using Internet for promotion of your work. During the Ideas Market participants could ask the advice of: Barbara Webel (Kino Polska, tv channel), Anna Wydra (Otter Films, production company), Anna Bierzańska (Dragon Forum, documentary development academy), Joanna Kinowska (Zachęta National Gallery), Tomasz Gutowski (Photography Month in Krakow) and Witek Orski (Czułość Gallery).

The last session also provided an occasion to share our experiences from the holiday workshops we held for kids and youth around Poland.

At the end we put our practical skills in to practice by creating a short video spot.

Now comes the time for making last changes in our film and photographic projects. We edit, put photography series together. The effects will be published in mid-October.

More photos on flickr of Association “ę”

Also see: the website of Poland.doc

DNN@European Culture Congress

Next Doc Network presented its activities to the public in Poland for the first time. The opportunity to meet and people and talk about the DNN was one of a kind: the European Culture Congress saw over 200 thousand participants over 4 days. The program was filled with  over 100 interdisciplinary projects prepared by 550 artists and curators.


Among them the Doc Next Network screenings of films made by young artists from across Europe and a purpose built container, where films were were watched at all times (including on special projections during night time), information was obtained and many interesting conversations were held. We issued special publications in Polish and English, and produced a video to promote our activities.


Visitors at the Doc Next Network container watched films and talked to hubs representatives, acquired DVDs with the special Congress pick of 11 films from the DNN collection, our t-shirts and bags (which proved hugely popular among the Congress audience).  Our guests had their photos taken with a polaroid camera and kept a DNN branded portrait. If you didn’t get a chance to visit or follow the (almost) real time commentary on Association’s “ę” facebook page.


The Congress was also an opportunity to meet the network’s partners. We exchanged experiences gained while working on our projects. We looked for similarities and further opportunities for exchange and cooperation. We examined how we differ from each other and how this diversity can provide inspiration for further work. Hubs tirelessly debated the events of the IDFA 2011 – the next meeting of the network in November. See you in Amsterdam!

Further reading: the DNN materials at the European Culture Congress.

Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” is the Polish partner the Doc Next Network.

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