Coca cola for the grandma, pepper spray and emo. Agata Oleynova on different forms of activism

Black Protest, 2016, photo Barbara Sinica

In an interview with Agata Oleynova, an activist with 12 years of experience, we look at different activities aimed at helping and prevention of violence, bearing in mind their educational potential. Where does activism start? Can it be valuated? Can it be a job? What does commitment stem from? What is the link between commitment and education?

We talk, among other things, about how our life choices are reflected in levels of commitment, about how is taking action influenced by being a mother, and how it is influenced by being a neighbour. We pay a lot of attention to being rooted in reality, so that we can move from micro to macro scale, that is, to pro-peace activities with an international reach.

I myself, working in education and animation for more than seven years, am of the opinion that activism completes them, and activities that contribute the most are those consisting of all three components, obviously often in varying proportions. Many people working in culture combine all of the mentioned areas, often also including art or artivism. If, on the level of individual experience, it is so obvious, why does it often remain invisible on the level of institutions or organizations? Together with Agata we look at how institutions are opening up to activism and how educational programs can be developed on the basis of the activists’ experiences.

Garażówka in Poznań, photo Barbara Sinica

activities with local community on Piastowskie housing estate, photo Maciej Zakrzewski

Our conversation does not aim to create a definition of activism, and it is not a “bird’s-eye view“ on what activism actually is. We are not trying to capture its essence nor enumerate a number of requirements that have to be met to be considered an activist. Quite the opposite, we are blurring the borders, examining activism in its different forms.

The interview with Agata Oleynova is available as a podcast in the Polish version of the RTV Magazine

Humans Of Aleppo, photo Agata Oleynova

Black Venus Protest, photo Maciej Krajewski

Black Venus Protest, Manifa 2019, photo Paweł Matysiak

Agata Oleynova – a specialist in cultural studies, involved in numerous grassroots non-hierarchical activities related to e.g. feminism, human rights, and ecology, i.e. Humans of Aleppo, Garażówka in Poznań, etc.

Kinga Mistrzak – an animator, educator and curator of social projects. In her work, she is searching for different forms of contact with art, and is trying to make use of the bonding nature of this searching. She is currently responsible for education and animation at the Municipal Gallery Arsenał in Poznań.


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