Everyday Forms of Resistance
Karolina Grzywnowicz in Ramallah
Polish artist Karolina Grzywnowicz has just begun her creative residency in Ramallah, Palestine. Her stay there is a part of the project entitled Everyday Forms of Resistance, originated by Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with the city of Ramallah, AIR Antwerp, and the Helsinki International Artist Program (HIAP). The series of residencies featuring artists from Poland, Finland, Belgium and Palestine will be topped off with a collective event, to be held at Ujazdowski Castle in the autumn of 2019, and an international exhibition scheduled for the 2020 spring season.
During her residency in Palestine, Karolina Grzywnowicz is about to continue the work on her long-term project entitled Every Song Knows its Home. The artist catalogues songs sung by refugees during their journeys and after having reached their destination, seeing them as
a saga of sorts, and a record of injustice faced by human beings. Thanks to this project any overheard melody and any twittered tune can be noticed as a part of a bigger whole, and a piece of “the heritage of the oppressed”.
Every Song Knows Its Home aims to capture the social and community-binding character of the songs themselves and their performances. While in Ramallah, Karolina Grzywnowicz plans to record songs sung by members of the Palestinian diaspora. Those songs are not just
a reservoir of their fading and supressed memories. Within the very peculiar current geopolitical context their performance can be deemed a political act and a form of resistance.
Karolina Grzywnowicz’s residency is the first activity held as part of the long-term Everyday Forms of Resistance project. The whole endeavour will comprise artistic residencies in Palestine featuring artists from Poland, Finland and Belgium, and focused on the question of whether it is possible, through artistic intervention, to translate social tensions into narratives that, in turn, will shape the imaginary landscapes of places (Francis Alÿs, The Green Line, 2004). The next stage of the project will be residencies of Palestinian artists in Warsaw, Antwerp and Helsinki. In the autumn of 2019, on the other hand, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art will play host to a collective event featuring the most important figures of the Palestinian artistic scene, among others: Sandi Hilal (focused on practice inside refugee camps, originator of projects such as Campus in Camps, Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency – DAAR, and Al Madafeh/Living Room), Khaldun Bashara (director of the RIWAQ Foundation, founder of the RIWAQ Biennale), Yazid Anan (head of social projects at the Qattan Foundation), Yazan Khallili (artist, activist, and director of a thriving cultural centre in Ramallah), as well as all the artists taking part in the residency programme held in 2018/2019. The project will be topped off with a collective exhibition at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. Its vernissage is scheduled for the spring of 2020.
The aim of Everyday Forms of Resistance is to familiarise the Polish audience with important aspects of everyday life in Palestine today, and to try and answer the question about the evolution of meanings of subjects such as travel, hospitality, and nature embedded in the heritage and the ethics of Palestinian people. Another aim here is to use artistic practice and mobility as vehicles of creative exchange and integration of artistic circles in Palestine, Poland, Finland and Belgium, thus investigating the social role of art.