The Association has been supporting refugees in the Lublin voivodship for over a decade. For the past few years, they have been chiefly working with female residents of centres for foreigners in Łuków and Bezwola, moderating assistance, integration, and educational activities. Most recently, the Association has formed a Women’s Meeting Club at the Centre for Foreigners in Łuków, where an arts and crafts studio was set up.
Mini-grant funds allowed Pamela Bożek (an artist friendly with the Association) to organise interdisciplinary workshops for female refugees from Łuków. Working together with a dressmaker from Ukraine, Natalyia Gunina, workshop participants developed visualisations of selected memories and experience. The work created during workshop sessions – the Your Things (Wasze Rzeczy) patchwork – debuted at the Labirynt Gallery in Lublin. Awarded an honourable mention, it has most recently been made part of the exhibition at the 16th International Triennial of Tapestry at the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź. Your Things will be on view in Łódź until March 15th 2020.
The Association has declared a wish to provide refugees with specific tools to build their economic independence – hence the concept of the recently established arts and crafts studio, and an auteur brand: Craft for Dignity. “We wish to attract new Allies, and educate refugees in such areas as new professions, arts and crafts, enabling them to create new products and improve their self-esteem. We want to take care of ourselves and our own needs as well,” the Association members have declared.
Today, their priority is to develop the studio and their brand. Female artists and craftspersons from across Poland will be invited. Grant funds will be spent on covering travel, accommodation, and meal expenses for allied artists, and purchasing workshop supplies as well as basic studio furnishings. As part of the taking care of themselves factor, Association members intend to invite Natalia Sarata to run a workshop; Natalia is the head moderator of RegenerAction – a space for tired activists.
Grant amount: PLN 8,800.00
Photos: For the Earth Association