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PERSONA Women’s Art Festival – workshops on Szymborska

On 28 May, as part of the PERSONA 2023 Women’s Art Festival at the Mazovian Cultural Institute, I led a workshop for children entitled “Ah So It
Is!”. The workshop was dedicated to Wisława Szymborska, the patron of the Festival. The title of the workshop came from the Nobel Prize winner’s poem „Utopia‟ about an ideal world.

Wislawa Szymborska became the spiritual patron of this year’s edition of the PERSONA Women’s Art Festival, and the organizers chose a quotation from her poem as the motto of the festival: “Nic darowane, wszystko pożyczone” (“Nothing’s a gift, it’s all on loan.”). The figure and work of this
outstanding poet provided, among other things, much inspiration and a pretext for discussions and talks about art, poetry and their role in the contemporary world. Thank you to the festival for the invitation and your trust, and also to the workshop participants for all the fun.

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And now see a mix of Szymborska and Einstein, Szymborska the athlete and Szymborska the Easy Rider. We wonder about the world celebrating the Year of Szymborska on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

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The art of collage was very close to the poet, and she is well known for the funny collage postcards that she often sent to friends. Our workshop featured quotes from her poems, as well as stories from Szymborska’s life. We talked about what she admired and how she saw the world, read her poetry piece „Birthday‟ together and then made collage portraits of the author and let our imaginations run wild. Together we tried to find answers to these questions: Why did Szymborska like monkeys? What did she see in puddles and did she want to live in a medieval castle? Or did she prefer to admire birds in flight? Was her favourite vegetable an onion? Honorary patronage of the PERSONA Festival is held by the Wisława Szymborska Foundation.

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