Saturday 7th July

Temperatures are soaring at Krasnogruda, and workshops relocate to the cooler basement. The workshop of the animator concluded today with several creative multi-language presentations of the project ideas the different groups have been working on, and discussions about how these ideas might be realised through partnerships and networks.

Here’s a clip from some of the basement discussions. It was bit dark down there, but this gives you a sense of the ideas being shared in relation to the above image. View video clip here >>>

As one example, we were treated to a proposal (from Ukraine group) about creating a project which took the topic of ‘love’, based on a particular (local) story of tragic lovers. The concept of this project was demonstrated by a guided walk from the Manor House down to the lakeside (as seen in some of the photos in the above gallery), with various points where the different elements of the idea were demonstrated – ie: to create a new statue in public space, along with a wedding shrine, an exhibition of wedding photographs and family history in a local gallery, even a special space to leave letters to your first love…

Another group created a jigsaw to represent the idea of a city space and explore the idea of sense of place. In this clip Natalya Kryvorychko explains to Kostas Georgakopulos the basic idea. Watch the video clip here >>>

In this clip they enact the idea with a group. Watch the video clip here >>>

In the evening the group from Belarus used the web to give participants a brief guide to the culture of their country, with film, music, animations, poetry.

Here’s some useful web links with regard to this presentation from Maxim Sarychau:
Lyapis Trubetskoi /

PortMone /

Troitsa /

The Toobes /

Photography – Andrei Liankevich

Art – Vladimir Tsesler

Poetry – Vera Jybul

Friday 6th July

Two groups continue to work with our facilitators. The first group, with Chris Baldwin, have been considering the overarching aims of cultural projects, the types of competences and leadership skills required. Working in smaller teams the group were asked to devise a common project and then to express this to the wider group in a creative way. For example, one group came up with the idea of asking other groups to interpret a traditional Georgian folk tale, using photographs, or a song, or drama, or even found objects and drawing. View a short clip of the group coming up with the idea here >>>

Then watch their introduction to the task here >>>

You can view the one off theatre response to that task here >>>

The second group with Krzysztof, many of whom work with NGO’s and in local government organisations in Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia, have been considering the types of cultural strategies required to develop civic society and extend opportunities to participate in the making and shaping of culture, based on existing initiatives such as festivals.

Listen to a summary of this workshop by Levan Khetaguri, Director of the Arts Research Institute of from Ilia State University, Georgia. View video here >>>

Some participants have been tasked with recording a few thoughts at the end of these sessions. Here’s comments from Magda Novakovska, Dzmitry Mitskevich and Aliaksandr Antsipenka. View video here >>

In the evening, our group from Ukraine prepared a special celebration to share for the Feast of St. John (which falls on this day in their calendar). View a short video clip here:

The feasting ceremony culminates when the garlands woven individually and as a group are carried down and cast into the lake. View a video clip here: or look at some of the photos collected on the evening.

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Thursday 5th July

Aliaksandr Antsipenka from the Belarusian Collegium took a moment to reflect on the first day of activities… >>> View short video here at the Borderland Youtube channel.

Magda Novakovska from Tbilisi, Georgia and Chris Baldwin share some thoughts on activities so far… >>> View short video here at the Borderland Youtube channel.

Some brief thoughts on cultural animation from one of the workshops… >>> View the short video here at the Borderland Youtube channel...

During sessions there has been much discussion of the need to (and the importance of) document(ing) this kind of work. We’d like to point you in the direction of two publications (not so recent, but useful background). The first is a series of essays and reflections on practice produced by Instytut Kultury Polskiej at Warsaw University. Download the pdf of ‘Animacja Kultury – Doswiadcenie i Przyszlosc’ here – anim-pol.pdf (Polish only)  – and you can find another pdf (Polish and English) called ‘Culture Animation NOW! / TERAZ! Animacja kultury’  at Hope you find them useful reference.

Two workshop groups are working today, one with Krzysztof Czyzewski, conducted in Russian and English, and one with Chris Baldwin conducted in English with occasional translations when required.

Here’s a brief extract from the discussions with Krzysztof. View video here >>> Workshop of the Borderland

And here’s an extract from the workshop with Chris. View video here >>> Workshop of the animator

Later in the evening, there was a presentation by Bożena Szroeder of the philosophy behind her work with young people and how she had come to Sejny. This was followed by a performance of the Sejny Chronicles project.

Wednesday – 4 July 2012

Thunderstorms and rain greet our participants as they arrive from Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and from across Poland, but the sun came out for the first sessions. With 36 practitioners with diverse background and experiences coming together to work with four facilitators from Poland, Belgium and the UK at the International Centre for Dialogue, Krasnogruda.

The first day was devoted to getting to know each other, each person sharing their background, interests and projects.

Can you guess where these objects come from? And the story behind them?

These formed part of the presentation later in the day by Volodymyr Oros, representing the region of the Ukraine he came from. The dolls ‘motanku’ are made locally. (Here’s is a link to the information about the tradition of motanku  >>> and video of a class of how they are made >>> With regard to sunflower seeds, they are grown and produced in Dobropolskiy area. ТИМОШКИ ТМ. “Very tasty and so easy to compete with other brands. In neshm city only eat them.”

Chris Baldwin opened proceedings with some ‘getting to know’ exercises and activities in the open air. This was followed by a lakeside presentation from Krzysztof Czyżewski. who spoke of the development of Krasnogruda as an international centre for dialogue and the concept of the summer school. The leaders/organisers from each country gave a short introductory talk about their hopes and expectations for the workshops come.

WATCH A VIDEO SLIDE SHOW HERE >>> The Summer School of Dialogue – 4 July 2012

Image: from presentation by Olena Shulinka about the cultural life in Pavlograd (Ukrainian and Russian: Павлогра́д), an industrial city in eastern Ukraine.

Throughout the afternoon and evening  all participants had the opportunity to make a small presentation to the assembled group about their projects and practice.

For example: we heard from Maka Kukulava about an artist led project in Georgia, the beat magazine project; Marysia Tulzhankova told us about Talaka, the oldest non-govermental organisation in Belarus; Svitlana Tiskina, a public manager of culture,  told us about the International Days of Jazz Music festival in Vinnytsia, Ukraine; Ia Iashvili told us about how her career as a journalist eventually led her to manage Jakob Gogebashvili State Puppet Theatre in Kutaisi, Georgia; Volodymyr Oros made a presentation about his NGO Centre for Youth Dobropolskiv in Ukraine (you can view it here: and shared information about various projects including this project with women. 

Tuesday 3rd July

Participants are travelling from across the continent, and further, to gather on the north eastern border of Poland for the Summer School of Dialogue. Staff at the Borderland Centre wait to welcome you. There’s a new hotel (refurbished and enlarged) which can accommodate most of the guests, but it’s pretty popular with coach tours to this Podlasie region, so some groups are housed at the Lithuanian Centre. In the bar of the hotel we meet a guy from Sejny who has lived in West Bromwich for the past five years, working for a parcel distribution company. One of those unlikely coincidences in the new Europe.