Bartek Lis + Joanna Morawiecka


(un)known Oliwa | sociological project, 2018

A sociologist and an anthropologist were given a special assignment: to define the contemporary identity of the inhabitants of Oliwa. How do they perceive themselves, what makes them happy and what bothers them in the district they live in? Does there even exist such a thing as the identity of ‘Oliwians’? Oliwa was only incorporated into Gdańsk in 1926, but has it retained its mental separation with respect to the historical centre and other districts? And how do the locals like living there? Are they content or would they prefer to change something in their surroundings?

Joanna comes from a small Silesian town, but has lived in Wrocław for years. Bartek, a native of Brzeźno – one of Gdańsk’s seaside districts – spent many years in Wrocław, and currently lives in Poznań. Their outsider perspective was meant to ensure a cool academic distance when approaching the inhabitants of Oliwa. Initially, the project was open-ended: we did not make any assumptions as to the outcome of Joanna and Bartek’s work, nor did we have any preconceived opinions about whether and how to present the results of this investigation. However, the material they gathered over several days created a multifaceted essay that acts like a mirror, reflecting the specific nature of life in Oliwa. Based on recorded conversations with the locals, Joanna compiled a special soundtrack containing their most interesting statements. Using their mobile phones, both researchers additionally documented the surprising and intriguing statements written on walls, lanterns or pavements, which will be presented in the form of a slideshow. In a separate text, Bartek analysed the topics he found most interesting in stories told by the inhabitants.

The results of their work are shown in the foyer of the Oliwa branch of the Regional and Municipal Public Library – a place frequented by many locals. Will regular guests of the library find traces of their own reflections and experience in the material collected by Joanna and Bartek?

location: foyer of the Regional and Municipal Public Library, branch 2, Opata Jacka Rybińskiego 9


Bartek Lis (b. 1980) is a sociologist, social researcher, educator and curator. He graduated from the University of Gdańsk and the University of Wrocław, where he presented his PhD dissertation. He also studied gender studies at the Universities of Warsaw and Oslo. Between 2012 and 2017, he worked at the Wrocław Contemporary Museum and ARTTRANSPARENT Foundation (SURVIVAL Art Review 2010–16). Since 2012, Lis has been a Flying Sociologist of “ę” Association of Creative Initiatives, and since 2015, a coach at the Impact Audience Foundation. He is currently responsible for social and cultural projects at the ZAMEK Culture Centre in Poznań. Bartek Lis comes from Gdańsk, lives in Poznań, and works here, there and everywhere.

Joanna Morawiecka (b. 1978) is an anthropologist, lecturer and journalist. She studied at the University of Wrocław, graduating from the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology and completing PhD studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She is a researcher of the Polish film milieu, an author and co-author of radio features. She has worked in Polish Radio Wrocław and cooperated, among others, with the Polish Radio 1 and 2, Feature and Documentary Studio of the Polish Radio as well as the Wrocław Contemporary Museum. Morawiecka currently works with the ZAMEK Culture Centre in Poznań. She is one of the founders of the team of Wandering Journalists. She is associated with the Institute of Journalism and Social Communications of her alma mater. Originally from Ząbkowice Śląskie, she mostly lives and works in Wrocław.

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