Stara Praga (The Old Praga)
One of Warsaw’s older districts, Praga is divided into two parts: Praga Południe (South) and Praga Północ (North). A significant part of the buildings in Praga Północ are from the beginning of the 20th century and from the interwar period (The Old Praga).
Year by year, Praga becomes an increasingly popular place to visit, fashionable among young artists in particular. Old tenements and abandoned factory walls acquire a new artistic dimension as galleries, art centres and studios open up. On the other hand, this district of Warsaw is still a bit neglected in social terms. However, there are already revitalization projects in progress and a few organizations that deal with reintegrating socially excluded children and teenagers.
Based on the English version of the website: http://en.praga-pn.waw.pl/page/
Grupa Pedagogiki i Animacji Społecznej (GPAS – Group for Street Pedagogy and Social Animation)
A group of people who care about the plight of socially and educationally deprived children living in the Praga district. They strive to change their living conditions for which children are not responsible. The GPAS workers want to keep children off the streets by offering them their time, energy, enthusiasm and patience. They do not have a youth club and most of the activities take place directly in the children’s environment, namely in the areas where these kids spend most of their time.
More in English: http://gpaspraga.org.pl/indexflang.html
The ‘Cała Praga śpiewa z nami’ (‘Everyone in Praga sings with us’)
The project aimed to organise a series of music meetings targeted at people 55 plus under the care of the Social Welfare Centre in Praga Północ. The project participants attended singing workshops and meetings about the history of Praga songs.
The singing classes were conducted by the singer and actress Justyna Jary. The music for the project was arranged by the members of the music group Czessband under the supervision of Łukasz Owczynnikow (from Czessband). The project was coordinated by Magda Latuch, cultural animator. It was the part of “Animatornia” – program for young cultural animators run by Association of Creative Inititiatives “ę”.
Organised in a Praga café, the concert of all the participants, assisted by the musicians, singers and Warsaw residents, was the grand finale of the project, which continues to date in the form of similar concerts held in various contexts.
Ms Zosia singing ‘Rudy’ (‘Ginger-haired’):
Mr Bogdan singing ‘Na bazarze Różyckiego’ (‘At the Różycki Market’) and the project participants singing ‘Hanka’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBdPiNyn-2o
Maciej Pisuk ‘Under the Skin’ – the exhibition in the Centre for Contemporary Art
Maciej Pisuk is a screenwriter by profession and a photographer documenting social issues. His objects of interest are people considered dysfunctional and potentially dangerous. With his work, Pisuk tries to challenge stereotypes about these groups.
“In 2002 the forbidden parts of the Warsaw Praga district completely preoccupied Maciej Pisuk (born in 1965), both literally and metaphorically. During that time Pisuk, a scriptwriter by education, lost his job and for psycho-economic reasons had to move to Brzeska street. He managed to overcome depression thanks to the people met in Praga and thanks to photography. (…)
During his work with the homeless and with the residents of Praga, Pisuk worked out a very coherent ethical code that requires cooperation on every stage with the portrayed people. He is not interested in exploiting poverty, or in an aesthetic delight with the misery of this world. Pisuk’s socially involved photographs constitute a form of opposition against the common image of the residents of Praga created by the sensation-thirsty and cliché using media. The ideologically comfortable message that is promoted by the media suggests that all the evil of the city is concentrated in this “inferior” part by the river. According to Pisuk, no one is really interested where exploitation, poverty, exclusion, the self-reproducing criminality and the marginalization of the whole communities, Pisuk’s neighbours, come from. It is more comfortable to deal with a situation outside a historical, socio-economic and political context. A part of Pisuk’s project consists of collecting news from Praga, press cuttings, radio and television recordings, where Praga residents are presented as essentially evil, degenerated, criminal element without any chance of “normal life”, deserving at most isolation or displacement outside the border of the elegant, increasingly rich city.”
More about the exhibition: