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The blog: Nenová Jeseň

Summer, autumn and early winter 2012 we will spend at the Elektraren Tatra Gallery in Poprad, Slovakia. During our guest visit, financially supported by the European Commission (Life Long Learning Programme), we, Katarzyna Adamek and Bernd Adamek-Schyma, will provide an art educational offer for the elderly.

In addition to working on the project at the gallery we will have the possibility to travel the country or visit other cultural organizations, artists, art places and conferences. With this blog we would like to share impressions and small stories of our stay at the Tatra Gallery, the work on the project, the places we visit and people we meet.

The project: Autumn Stories

Our project is called JESENNÉ PRÍBEHY, which means “Autumn Stories”. What is it about? Senior citizens from the Poprad region will work creatively with aspects of their own biography. It is planned that the elderly will draw on their memories of their home places in multicultural neighborhoods in the Poprad and Spissky region. They lived door to door with Roma, Germans, Jews, Hungarians and Poles.

Through story telling and with creative methods elderly people will learn how to communicate and share their individual experiences in a story telling manner. Moreover, it is desired that the project contributes to an intergenerational consciousness of a common european identity. The senior citizens live and grew up in the Spissky region with its multi-cultural heritage and rich european history, with a formerly truly multicultural population of Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, Roma or Poles.

It is desired that the participants and audience will recognize that their individual memories and visions of specific local history are an essential part of the mosaic of our lives now and here, in Slovakia and in Europe. Through sharing individual experiences, life stories and memories of the past, however marginal they at first sight seem to ourselves, we will keep our common history alive. Individual memories and small stories are fundamental material to build a common future. A presentation of the results in the Tatra Gallery is planned for the end of this year.

Katarzyna Adamek (*1978 in Poland) is a visual artist (sculptor). She studied fine arts in Wroclaw (Poland) and Leipzig (Germany) and works on different art and exhibition projects in Germany and Poland. She was artist in residence and exhibited in South Korea, Poland, Germany and Armenia.

Bernd Adamek-Schyma (*1972 in Germany) is cultural geographer and author. He studied geography, literature and photography in Cologne (Germany) and Vancouver (Canada) and works on on different scientific, publicistic and art projects. He is the co-founder of a network of non-commercial art spaces in Leipzig.

By the way, “Elektráreň” means power station: The Tatra Gallery Poprad is situated at this former Power Station from the beginning of the 20th century – it had been beautifully renovated and converted into a public art center. And Nenová Jeseň, the title of our blog, is slovakian and means Neon Autumn. Why Neon Autumn? Well, we like autumn, and we like colors. And we work with the elderly, often referred to as late summer, or autumn of life. We think this is a great time – neon, nova, bright and full of color.

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