The Borderland/Ukraine: Zustrich

Logotyp rezydencji 3 kopia

The Borderland/Ukraine programme is our answer to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. We hope that with our help our guests will feel secure and it will be possible for them to live and to maintain their Ukrainian identity with us.

With more and more people arriving we started working with them and for them. And so for example our team members from the Film Studio, Bożena Szroeder, Daria Wiktoria Kopeć and Wiesław Szumiński worked with our Ukrainian guests and the young people from Sejny on the tale about their own place in the world. The result of the workshop was an animated film about what is intimate, personal and beloved.

In the Gucio Enchanted Studio children from Ukraine immediately joined their Polish counterparts in their work which was illustrating Uri Orlev’s narrative poem “Granny is knitting”.

Because we hosted a number of Ukrainian writers we quickly got on to discussing the idea of translating and publishing Ukrainian poetry. The result is the series of beautifully illustrated bilingual books that introduce readers to what contemporary Ukrainian poets write.

On 17 March the White Synagogue hosted our guests and the citizens of Sejny and its whereabouts who are actively involved in helping the Ukrainians, town, municipality and district authorities, the headmasters of local schools and the job centre and ordinary people from Sejny. The purpose of the event was quite simple: to introduce two communities to each other, to listen to understand and to start building bridges and develop the connecting tissue.

Finally, on Sunday, 10 April 2022, at 16:00 we opened Zustrich, the club room in the Old Yeshivah building which will house the meetings devoted to the common creative work of the guests/refugees from Ukraine and the people from Sejny. Zustrich has become the place of conversations and tea drinking, the place with the library, board games and toys for children to play. It is also the place with the separate computer stands and, finally, the kitchen ready to be used in all sorts of ways.

It seems that the dictionary of the Borderland has been enriched by the new word, Zustrich.