Waclaw Idziak / New Years Letter2010

ERDE/ WaclawIdziak/






In 2009 I worked with my team on further expanding the offer of 5 theme villages, created during years 2005-2008 in frames of project financed by Community Initiative EQUAL. “Our” villages were visited in 2009 by around 25 000 tourist, both individual and in groups.

The project of creating villages made some changes in life of those villages. One of most important is the increased social and economic activity among inhabitants. Thanks to that fact we managed to encourage them to participate in new project titled '''“Social economy on The Cistercian Track”'''. The idea came from the results of research for possible development factors. 3 of 5 villages we work with had the history of Cistercian activity on their area and we decided it can be a good basis to expand the educational offer of those villages. Using the well working method of creating the outdoor role playing game we prepared 3 such designed offers, based on the Cistercian heritage – the way they were teaching, using forces of nature to serve people’s need and the way they practiced different basic crafts in Middle Ages. Each of 3 villages prepared also an “expository” – a special cabinet equipped in items useful during telling about the contribution of Cistercians into culture and economy of Middle Ages.

In 2009 we continued also work with village Karwno – which we’re changing into The Village of Imagination. We managed to prepare some outdoor role playing games, one fairy tale farm and the park of dwarves. There is still much to do there, but we managed also to make first attempts of serving the touristic groups in Karwno and moving people with their offer to nearby cities.

Our group of animators took part In '''3rd Nationwide Congress of Village Renewal 28th-30th May 2009'''. We lead workshops, presented our villages and often disrupt the serious atmosphere you can find in many conferences and congresses by inviting participants to singing, to learn drum and basic rhythmical instruments playing and to learn juggling and other similar circus arts.

With mainly circus and entertaining workshops animators from our villages took part in Festival of Children’s Culture in Pacanów on 13th-14th June 2009. Every child in Poland knows the village name – Pacanów. A hero (named Koziolek Matolek) of popular tale for kids was journeying to Pacanów having many adventures on his way. Local community is developing there the European Centre of Fairy Tales and this annual Festival is the most important event in village.

From 5th to 9th August 2009 we organized a workshop “Villages and small towns in economy of knowledge, creativity and emotions”. We invited people who run projects in that areas – local leaders, animators, representatives of local authorities and associations. During 5 days they were learning by doing how to:

  • prepare outdoor role playing game,
  • prepare questing game,
  • create village’s/town’s offer,
  • rediscover the local resources using appreciative research and learning by doing,
  • prepare farm buildings and their surroundings to new functions (art farm, educating farm),
  • prepare and run event connected with the village/town specializing theme.
By the end of September we made our regional '''West Pomeranian Congress of Village Renewal in village Podgórki''', one of our thematic villages, with over 400 participants. During the congress we presented local initiatives from our region. Success of this event probably will encourage local administration to wider support of rural areas initiatives in our region.

My latest work is located in village near Polish-Czech border. The Local community decided to start there an open, scattered museum of borders. We want to look wider on borders and bordering, use the etymology of word “border” in different languages in connection with other words. “Border” appears in so many different contexts, from political, through mathematical, sociological, psychological up to physical, chemical and anthropological. We want to show those contexts, measure and research them, by creating a place for working over “the borders” and using it’s different meanings. This will be also attempt to use symbolic values for rural development

Plans for 2010

Focusing work on use of borders an its symbolic value is my plan also for this year. More general I am thinking about developing methods used for '''creating products of villages, with accent on products basing on knowledge, creativity and emotions'''. Among others I would like to focus on the following methods:

• Working with metaphors, used to free us from catalogue ways thinking, from inveterate schemas and mental models, and directing us to empowered free imagination. New metaphors, resulting from work with words and images, let us find new connections and free our thinking process.

• Using ideas of “concrete music”, an experimental technique of musical composition using recorded sounds as raw material, as the way to discover new (sound) spaces of villages, towns and cities., Both of them I will use as alternative ways of communicating while freeing from domination of verbal communication.

I’m planning to continue my work on using '''rural areas as a space for learning.''' I will try to prepare in one of villages a place for developing creativity and learning technical sciences (mathematics, physics). I think in such place we could test new forms and methods of activities developing creativity and inventiveness (in different areas: economic, social, technical), based on learning by doing and on didactic games (field game to learn mechanics, machines and robotic constructing with use of old electric and electro-technical hardware and spare parts). We could also create scenarios of classes and work on methods of implementing innovations with use of solutions and theories of learning and inventiveness. Creating such place on rural area faces us with many organizational problems, though it has also numerous advantages:

  • Less distracting incentives, concentration conductive environment.
  • Possibility of using rural space for learning and organizing process
of learning in natural surroundings (learning technical skills during field games).
  • Large potential for promotion – interesting things happening on
rural areas, away from cities, can be easier noticed, attract media and participants.
  • Possibilities for integration and mutual interaction between real
and virtual worlds.

'''For June 2010 we plan to organize a conference gathering thematic villages from whole country, maybe with participation of such villages from abroad'''.

I hope at least part of that plans will be finished (or started) in 2010. I would be very happy if we could share and exchange opinions about what you’ve read above, or at least if you would find some time to drop me a line how are you doing, what plans do you have for 2010 and what are you currently working on.

I wish you all the best in 2010 – a lot of satisfaction from your work and personal life. I hope we can stay in touch.

Greetings from snowy Poland