"Art for the Earth" program
Klub Gaja is perceived by researchers as a cultural and social phenomena involving not only ecology but also culture and art. In the project Art for the Earth the group uses performances, happening and para theatre. The group uses painting, graffiti, music and visual arts in educational activities and workshops. It produces exhibitions, films, media events, publishings. The artistic activities of the group become an excellent carrier of social issues.
Klub Gaja was founded by Jacek Bożek as informal group in 1988. For the involved people the common idea is sanctity of life and deep contact with themselves and the world. Klub Gaja uses unconventional methods and various art forms in its education activity, workshops and events. The activity of the association is comprised within the following programs: National campaign "Vistula Now", "Animal is Not a Thing", local activities program "Local Earth", "Art for the Earth", Environmental education centre Bajka Klubu Gaja., international cooperation program "Our Belief", human rights program "Let Others not be Alien to us". We also publish the following publications directly concerning our activities: bulletin Wisła Fax and Współodczuwanie, book "The Way of Gaja Warrior", "How to Save a River", "Anthology of Animal Rights", "I saw horses crying", films "The Way of Gaja Warrior", "Water: source of Life", "Animal is Not a Thing", "Art for the Earth".
This is how it all started...1988, Klub Gaja defends trees
Vistula spirit, people and banners on Włocławek dam.
Art for the Earth
What is art? Is art painting of a picture or making a graffiti? Done by a person with a diploma or without? Is art a learned skill or a gift? Artists should ask themselves questions. They should be aware towards themselves and the world. Towards the others. And towards their own good or bad weather. In times when best advertised and sold product counts, aware artists are needed, those who chose for seeking.
For over ten years we attempt to save the natural environment, to act for human, animal, earth rights. One of the most important issues in our work is striving to change human attitudes.
Thousands of colourful Pegasi made by children from all Poland flew under the Parliament to help us in the campaign "Animal is not a Thing."
It is a form of environmental and social education. The workshops are based on open formula from inspiration by nature (education path) through artistic activities, para theatre, slides and films to volunteering, activities for the community. The workshops are for nursery schools, youth and teachers.
"We liked the interesting form of the workshop in spite of the rain"
Anna Pijanowska, Nursery nr 9 Bielsko-Biała
"Thank you for forest leaves, colourful animals, great hedgehogs on T shirts and tales appealing to the soul, heart and imagination of the children."
School nr 9 of Tadeusz Kościuszko, Bielsko-Biała 18.10.2002
"The cordial atmosphere created by Darek and an interesting way of leading workshop allowed us to forget for a while about the everyday hospital life."
Children and teachers from Special School for Children with Lingering Diseases in Bydgoszcz, 6.09.2002
During the workshops we choose a form of work adequate to the age and experience of the participants. Depending on the expectations of the group and group processes the workshops develop in different directions which can involve an all-day activity in silence or a several day work on campaign or seeking the Warrior inside. The best place for workshops are meadows, forests, mountains and sky.
"Ecology teams constantly with more universal ideas like respect for all forms of life, not only human or using unconventional methods to reach planned goals."
The Way of Gaja Warrior, Lectures of Unknown World, Unknown World 11/1996
"You can also join us and walking the Way of Gaja Warrior you can become a valuable guardian of the environment. It is important that in everyone who meets the Gaja Warrior, even if not finishing the way of the warrior, a small part will stay till the end of life. This part can be developed when they are mature enough."
Warriors, Environmental Bulletin of Environmental Studio in Stargard, 0/97
The participants will learn the history of graffiti techniques used by graffiti artists. The workshop ends with common painting of special dedicated wall or making of a proper stencil on a T shirt. In this way paintings with environmental or human rights message are created.
"Klub Gaja this day has led graffiti workshop for children who using stencils made by themselves painted the river Bzura and the surrounding ecosystem. For children it was a great play and learning at the same time (painting techniques and ecology)".
M. Kosiorek,"Łowicz - town newspaper" 21.10.1999
"I think these are very interesting workshops for children where they learn something new. It will be an additional element for our workshops with exlibris. The technique is similar." Jerzy Dolhoń, Art Circle, Łowicz
It is a discussion on why stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination grow. It is an attempt of opening to diversity and plurality of culture.
Art is the language of the world, however many people are afraid of art, like graffiti. To feel safe they only look at national treasurers and within the boundaries of their minds.
Performances, happenings, events
The special character of this way of expression offers the possibility to present the ideas directly in space known to humans as "constant and unchanging". Conversation with the spectator causes people to stop and to look into themselves and the world from a different perspective.
Club Gaia UK
October 2003 Springfield School, Devonshire Green, Sheffield, Great Britain.
During a 3 day workshop young people created graffiti mural with the message they would like to leave for generations to come. The messages were inspired using the ancient site of Wharncliffe Heath near Stockbridge where archaeological ruins have been found showing signs of human life from 5000 years ago and graffiti from a few hundred years ago.
Over ten people participate in the street performance, including volunteers of Klub Gaja and musicians.
"The message of the performance was clear. People, animals, birds, lived over the blue scarf , fish swam in it. When the scarf was divided by a black dam a dragon appeared...".
Dragon at the Parliament, Trybuna, 29.11.2000
"Almost half an hour performance by the members of Klub Gaja was registered yesterday by television BBC World News. "Wild River in the Heart of Europe" is a symbolic but clear story about polluting and protection of river".
Gazeta Wyborcza, 15.06.2000
"The half-an-hour performance was supposed to show that building of the dam is a mistake".
Gazeta Wyborcza, Toruń, 22.09.2000
It is a story about the past of humans, animals and earth. For millions of years on our planet, populated by innumerable beings, harmony has been formed thanks to the might of the Creator. It appeared from chaos, as a result of God's, nature's and human will. The first part of the story is about Birth. Space which offers unlimited possibilities. Out of this space world arises. The world of nature. Cooperation is created in harmony. We are lending one another a hand. We are growing. We are conscious.
Venues where the performance was showed: Ujazdwski Castle, Warsaw, 2001.
"The performance appeals to the metaphysics of Greek myths. There is a curse which doomes animal- human being, there is inevitability of suffering and death.
Ryszard Praszkier - psychotherapist
A parade symbolizes search for harmony and unity in the surrounding world. Only searching for unity and not differences will help humans to discover new ways towards common future. The event took place among others in Kraków and Kongskilde in Denmark.
A street event with a message that even if people differ among themselves all have equal rights. The march was preceded by workshops with young people during which common values were sought, masks and banners were made. The march took place twice during the European Week Against Racism in Bielsko-Biała.
"White masks covering the faces were identical. Almost the same were cloths and charts which covered the marching participants. Only the inscriptions were different...
Gazeta Wyborcza, 16.03.2000
On 21 September 2002 International Peace Day is celebrated all over the world. On that day Klub Gaja has organized "graffiti jam" for peace and against violence.
"Looking at the result of artists work one can see that their approach to the task was very diverse, they interpreted it in many ways. Because of this on the walls we can see pope's image, Bob Marley, an anonymous oarsman rowing violent waters with a blissful expression, and even a copy of press picture representing bloody events in Peking on Tiananmen Square."
Kronika Beskidzka, 3.10.2002
On 21 September 2004 Klub Gaja together with the young authors of graffiti organize the next artistic event on the occasion of the International Peace Day which was established by ONZ .(http:/www.peaceoneday.org)
This time graffiti jam will be hold on the Central Railway Station in Żywiec, where the walls of the stores will be painting.
We would like to show everybody that graffiti can be an Art with very positive, readable message.
We will be painting for peace and against violence.
In this event will take part the best young graffiti makers from Bielsko-Biała, Żywiec and Katowice.
It is an event bordering theatre. We present there slides and films from specific activities of Klub Gaja. We invite the participants for a silent walk and afterwards we introduce them to the world of our proper texts and individually chosen poetry.
The theme of the happening is transport of live animals for slaughter and an attempt to present emotionally the tragic situation of these animals. During three years of the campaign Animal is Not a Thing the transport of horses was reduced by half, the conditions of transport improved, the number of dead animals decreased. Klub Gaja has bought out six horses from slaughter transport. The event was presented among others in Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Poznań, Szczecin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Bieslko-Biała.
"Yesterday on Old Town Market Klub Gaja has protested against transport of horses. Two cardboard horse heads with awesome neighing were escaping from two red lorries. At a certain moment the horses were encircled. "The slaughterer" with bloody knife ended horses' life.
Super Express, 1.06.2000
"Passers-by who crossed the 11 Listopada street in Bielsko-Biała on Monday afternoon were witnessing an unusual performance. Actors dressed in black and red with paper masks on their faces presented in a symbolic way the lot of horses transported for slaughter by lorries.
Kronika Beskidzka, 27.07.2000
Exhibitions are a form of education. Each time we arrive with an exhibition we meet young people and local organizations. During such meetings we present slides on different Klub Gaja activities which is an excellent way of exchange of experiences and a source of inspiration.
"How to save a river" constitutes over 120 laminated coloured A3 charts. It presents the state of water and natural resources mainly of the Vistula river, its unique natural and cultural values. The exhibition contains a description of the activities led since 1994 within the National Campaign "Teraz Wisła", coordinated by Klub Gaja. The exhibition has travelled to various parts of Poland. For many active environmental and social circles in Poland the National Campaign "Teraz Wisła" became an example of a professional activity on the level of cooperation between local communities, politicians, social activists and the media.
"The last one and wild. "How to save a river?" artists and environmentalists from Stowarzyszenei Ekologiczno-Kulturalne, Bielsko-Biała are trying to answer this question. The title river is the Vistula called by the Polish environmentalists from Klub Gaja in "Teraz Wisła" campaign ( part of this campaign is the exhibition in a Wrocław gallery Pod Plafonem): "the last wild river in Europe". The most beautiful and most devastated regions of the Vistula are shown on 120 charts.
Gazeta Wyborcza, Wrocław, 17.08.2000
The exhibition consists of over 300 laminated coloured A3 charts on which pictures of walls, stencil reprints, murals, graffiti painters papers, folders and press cuttings are represented.
Ryszard Kapuścinski - writer and journalist ("Polskie mury")
"A happening was organized in connection to the exhibition during which the trabant car of ŁOK director was painted (on permission) as well as special prepared plates."
Art Festival, Łowicz, 21.10.1999
Exhibition "Animal is not a Thing" is testimony of our attitude towards animals, description of reality in which helpless creatures have to live. You can find there pictures, press cuttings from Poland and abroad. 100 laminated A3 charts were divided into several topic areas such as: transport, fur farms, farm animals, vivisection, animal rights movement. The exhibition was presented in several tens of towns in entire Poland, among others in Warsaw, Katowice, Lublin, Szczecin, Dąbrowa Gornicza, Wrocław, Toruń, Ostrołęka, Bytom, Elbląg,. In every venue approximately 2000 people would see the exhibition and it was shown in schools, cultural centres and art galleries.
"I am very grateful that your exhibition "Zwierzę nie jest Rzeczą" came to Inowrocław. It allowed us to reflect on our attitude towards animals and to take appropriate decisions on many issues relating to environment protection. Each of us has seen this exhibition at least 3 times bringing our families and friends with us."
Paulina, Anna, Magdalena, Michalina, Anna, Ilona, Anna - 8 girls from Inowrocław.
"Yesterday, just after its opening the exhibition was visited by students of last class of elementary school SP 51 from Centrum quarter of Bytom. They left in silence, calmly without making noise, normal at their age."
Gazeta Wyborcza, 5.12.1997
The exhibition consists of 30 charts of 70x100 cm on which you can see posters from all Europe - from events and actions for tolerance. The exhibition contains also photographs, press cuttings, folders and examples of Klub Gaja activities against xenophobia and violence.
It is the exhibition of Beata Tarnawa's works. Her art is closely connected to Klub Gaja activities. Through colour and symbol the art gives a legible and simple form to publications, prints and performances. The exhibition was presented in Galeria Nova in Warsaw and in gallery Alchemia in Krakow.
We want to talk about ourselves. We want to talk about love, suffering, passing away and creativity. We are not only social activists. We are creators. We create ourselves and we share it with others. We tell the story of fighting the world matter. Laughter and tears. Conversation and silence. Let picture and gesture speak.
The event took place in Bratysława, Great Britain, Kongskilde in Denmark and in the galleries: Nova in Warsaw and Alchemia in Krakow.
Film "Art for the Earth"
Eyes of the Creator and Eyes of the Bad Spirit. Camera is looking at the world through their eyes. It registers the time of building and passing away, and all this happens among people who wish to help others at a time when everything changes and speeds.
Film "Animal is Not a Thing"
All of us need love and care. People, animals, towns and forests. We can actively help others or we can support those who try to change the world by action. This film talks about suffering but also shows the way how to move hearts and how to change attitudes. Realization: Robert Baliński.
Film "Animal is Not a Thing" received awards in Polish Festival of Environmental films in Przysiek, 19-21st September 2002.
"It has happened that people from Klub Gaja who were young until not so long ago began to grow, become mature and define themselves. The community which I am watching for years is giving birth to individuals speaking with their own voice apart from group activities. Not only in the social field but also in culture and art."
ART FOR THE EARTH
Heart of the project Art for the Earth, creates performances, happenings and artistic events; writer, lecturer and workshop leader.
Uses painting, graphic design and stage design in her work
Leaders of the project Art for the Earth were awarded group and individual prizes
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