Academic and artistic – these two words fully describe the 9th day of the Study Tours to Poland organised by the Common Europe Foundation.
For starters, we went to the University of Warsaw Library. Our guide cooled enthusiasm of the participants: “The building’s construction was extremely expensive, while the maintenance costs are horrendous. The building does not meet any lighting norms – it is either too bright or too dark”. Despite these words, the building and the modern library culture of open stacks aroused interest. The walk through the garden in the roof of the library was an exquisite experience.
We left the Library and went straight to the Centre for Eastern Studies. Thanks to its Director Jan Malicki and his inexhaustible energy, the unit has continued and developed the best practices of academic centres functioning before the Second World War. It is here that young people from Poland and Eastern Europe meet, getting to know each other and obtaining qualifications for building the best relations possible in the region.
A walk through the university campus and a visit to Zacheta Gallery were another point on the agenda. The fear of the lack of competence for communing with modern art should not dominate the reception. The present exhibition was nothing extraordinary, but several pieces of the “Nowa rzeźba” and “Ziemie Podwójnie odzyskane” sections caught our attention. Also the photo journal of Andrzej Tobias and “Wróżka elektryczność” Mai-Thu Perret from Ligia Dias lingered in our memories. In the evening, the STP participants watched a play at the Buffo Theatre. They all enjoyed it very much.
Study Tours to Poland was launched in 2004 and is part of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s “Region in Transition – RITA” Program, conducted since 2000 by the Education for Democracy Foundation. The Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe from Wrocław has been the STP coordinator since 2007. The “Borussia” Foundation from Olsztyn coordinates STP for students. The study visit from 17 to 29 April 2012 is conducted by Common Europe Foundation, the parent foundation of our portal Eastbook.eu.
Translated by Marta Lityńska