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Third week of the festival

The unveiling of perhaps the most original mural in Łódź, a discussion about large housing estates with blocks of flats and the role of architecture in designing healthy communities, and a lot of music – the third week of Fotofestiwal is about to begin.

Although these are the last 7 days of the festival, there are still some exhibition openings ahead of us. A regular guest of Fotofestiwal, Tomek Sikora, a volcano of energy and creativity, continues to experiment with image and photography, which is going to be demonstrated in his latest exhibition: Rediscovered Images. The opening is on Tuesday at 19:00 at the Chimera Gallery. The festival’s marathon of exhibition openings will close on Friday with Anna Kutera’s Titanic at the Ośrodek Propagandy Sztuki Art Gallery (18:00) and Paweł Sokołowski’s Normality at Klubokawiarnia Kipisz (20:00). In addition, we encourage you to visit a dozen or so exhibitions organised and already made available to the public by city galleries taking part in the City Program.

For Thursday, we’ve prepared something for, among others, 71 thousand residents of the Retkinia district of Łódź. We’re going to dispel a number of myths concerning large housing estates and talk about the role of architecture in creating communities. The floor will be taken by experts in this field: Marta Zabłocka, journalist and scriptwriter of the first Polish documentary which comprehensively describes the history of Polish blocks of flats, Joanna Erbel, urban activist and author of books such as Wychylone w przyszłość. Jak zmienić świat na lepsze (Leaning into the future. How to change the world for the better) and Poza własnością. W stronę udanej polityki mieszkaniowej (Beyond ownership. Towards a successful housing policy) and Beata Chomątowska, affiliated with the Stacja Muranów association, author of the book Betonia. The discussion will be moderated by Agnieszka Obszańska, a reporter working for Radio 357. It’ll be preceded by a screening of the film Bloki at 18:00 in the theatre hall at Art_Inkubator.

The film program also includes the premiere of two films commissioned by Fotofestiwal. Filmmakers from Palestine and Syria, Mohammed Almughanni and Rami Shaya, originally considered taking up the subject of their national communities living in Poland. However, as a result of events in February 2022, they decided to make short documentaries about the current situation on the Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Belarusian borders. The screening of See you at the other side will be held on 24.06 at 21:30 in the courtyard of the Niebostan café-club at 17 Piotrkowska Street. 

On the same Friday, we’ll unveil perhaps the most original mural in Łódź, created during the festival by artists from Galeria Odlot. This is a unique place on the artistic map of Łódź, where those under the care of Dom na Osiedlu (the House in Our Housing Estate), an institution supporting the development and activity of people with intellectual disabilities, create and exhibit their works. Four young and bold artists, together with Konrad Trzeszczkowski, have combined their artistic visions, unconstrained by convention, and the effect will be presented on one of the buildings at Pasaż Schillera on 24 June at 17:00.

The last week of the festival is also the last chance to see the exhibitions in our festival centres, Art_Inkubator and OFF Piotrkowska. On Saturday, we would like to invite you to visit them in the company of curators and sign language interpreters: a guided tour of the Solidarity, protest, care exhibition at 13:00, the COEXIST Liberty_Equality_Biodiversity at 14:00 in Art_Inkubator, and The Happy Death of Images at 17:00 in the Book Art Museum at 23 Tymienieckiego Street.

For the weekend, we offer a truly Kaufman-style agenda trick: we’ll join forces with the Ravekjavik festival, which in turn has joined forces with Up to Date from Białystok. On Friday, you can chill at Salon Ambientu, and on Saturday – enjoy music starting already at 12:00, take part in creative activities (including live painting) and dance until the morning – with no excuses! To what music? Nico Adamako and the Daytimers – a line-up representing a mix of the UK bass music with South Asian hits. For the first time, the festival will feature hip-hop music, provided by Tonfa. You’ll also hear sounds by BITE Clique, a Polish collective of girls who not only party at heart, but also fight for the recognition of women and non-binary people behind DJ decks. There’ll be a lot of experimentation, installations, and art all around. As the organisers of this now iconic Łódź event say: “It’s going to be fun”. Full program is available at https://ravekjavik.pl/.

The festival will conclude with Sunday at the Museum of Art (25.06), an event that has been revived especially for this occasion, initiated in the 1970s and 1980s by the then director Ryszard Stanisławski. At that time, he created a meeting hub for Łódź working-class audiences and avant-garde artists, based, among other things, on participation in fairs, fashion shows, rock concerts or brass band performances. Between 12:00 and 17:00 in the garden of the Museum of Art in Łódź, the urban fabric will become integrated through experiments inspired by Józef Robakowski’s photographic instructions, photo sessions with Paweł Ogrodzki at the Neighbours’ Photo Studio, photography will be used as a pretext for spontaneous choreographies or as a tool for reinterpreting contemporary art.

The last day of Fotofestiwal is also the last day of Krakow Photomonth, therefore we encourage you to make a trip to Krakow to see the effects of the artistic residency of creators from Belarus (together with the Sputnik Photos collective and Staromiejski Dom Kultury) and a collective exhibition of artists from Ukraine, who will show their works together with members of the Czwartek collective. We’re promoting these events as part of a joint initiative to support Belarusian and Ukrainian artists.

Excited? See you then!