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. 

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