Decembers – a round table conversation, 2012
HD video, 65 min

 
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Decembers – a round table conversation, 2012

The project 'Decembers' – a round table conversation is developed in collaboration with a group of women who participated in literary workshops at the University of the Third Age in Gdansk. The project revolves around themes of memory, stigmatisation and the construction of history. The film production is structured around the personal narratives of the women and their memories of times when they had no voice in the public realm. Their views on the two December strikes of 1970 and 1981 are also addressed: events in which the women's narrative is absent from any official telling of the history of the period.

The work centres on two protests that happened in December. The first was brutally put down by the Polish People's Army and the Citizen's Militia - at least 42 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded - and the latter event in 1981 marked the beginning of a period of martial law. Both incidents have become familiar through their documentation in thousands of photographs revealing the ensuing street fights. In the work, the women recall forgotten stories and fragmentary memories of everyday life. These narratives are sometimes funny and sometimes dramatic, and being told from a female and largely missing perspective, they offer a re-telling of a particular element of the historical narrative.

The project is commisioned by Agniezska Kulasinska for Laznia – Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, and is supported by The Danish Arts Council, The Danish Cultural Institute in Warsaw and the Danish Consulate in Gdansk.

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