On June 16, 2021 an online premiere of a documentary film took place, concluding a four-month workshop experience of an international theatre group (mentioned already in the previous issue of RESTORE Newsletter). Participants of Polish, Lithuanian and Belarusian origin were working together, exploring the themes of traveling, crossing borders, writing letters from abroad, reading books, looking into the mirror and getting to know each other. The puppetry sessions were run by two trainers from Grodzki Theatre – Maria Schejbal-Cytawa and Jolanta Kajmowicz-Sopicka once a week and every time the particiants were given a new creative task to be performed for the next meeting. Then, everybody was showing own achievements to the rest of the group and all presentations were discussed and thoroughly analyzed.

The movie leads the viewers through the working process, showing how creatively the participants (and their puppets) responded to artistic challenges and how strong connections were created between them, despite diferences resulting from distinct national traditions and personal beliefs and points of view. Both, silent puppet acts and parts of the discussion are recorded and skilfully and beautifuly interwoven in the film narration by Krzysztof Tusiewicz: https://youtu.be/ItpzFGbnrdE

Since the workshops were part of a larger project (RAPPORT PROJECT https://www.acta-bristol.com/rapport/), our partners from the UK, Sweden and Spain and their creative works are also present in the movie to emphasize the international character of the initiative.

Some of the workshop participants in Poland managed to create short puppet shows in the convention of purely visual narration by the end of the workshop process. These little stories with no words also give an insight into the integration process facilitated by arts.

“READY TO GO!” by Małgorzata Oleksy (Polish participant) https://youtu.be/XwcTu7L9C_8

“HURRAY, FREEDOM!” by Irena Lila (Lithuanian participant) https://youtu.be/4gJ1v0Ox8TY

“BORDERS” by Aleksandra Malecka and Natalia Smyk (Polish participants) https://youtu.be/qU6A5TIRlrI

“THE BORDER” by Natalla Gierasimiuk (Belarusian participant) https://youtu.be/TqJ_gtfo7Ls