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Institute of Reportage: Saskokępianka - questionnaire

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Dorota Piwowarska, the character from Agnieszka Wójcińska's reportage “Saskokępianka” answer questions prepared by students of the Polish School of Reportage.

Name, age: Dorota Piwowarska, 27. That’s a lot of years gone by, but there’s so much more ahead of me.

Place of birth: Bielany Hospital, Warsaw. Funny coincidence, I’m getting married in a church near the hospital.

My place today: Warsaw. I love it, but it’s tough, because Warsaw is a patchwork – it can be a real pain and a real charmer at the same time.

I am… a searcher and explorer of new lands, at least that’s the horizon I’ve set for myself.

I make… happen things that I believe in – I love being able to mix artistic action and working with people.

I was… in various places in Poland and Europe, which have both delighted and inspired me to come back to my own space and build something new there.

I will be… a fulfilled human being and a person working in uncommon contact points, e.g. in places where art and social work is mixed together.

Culture is… a word which I use very often; a reality which we all create together. I’d like culture to be a democratic space, in which everyone has a voice.

Poland is… a country which I will never move away from. It’s so amazingly diverse, culturally and socially.

Europe is… I don’t really think that there is one Europe; it’s a mixture of different traditions, impossible to unify; Europe has many roots and it would be unwise to cut one of them off.

My environment starts... where I am at any given moment; I like to treat space as something that can be tamed and created from within me.

My environment ends… there is nothing that would make me limit and close off my space.

What I do is important because… inspires others; it’s my way of participating in culture; it’s important because it’s authentic – it’s what I want to do.

A movie that has recently impacted me very profoundly was... Vadim Jendreyko’s “The Woman with the Five Elephants.” I saw it at the Planete Doc Review Festival. It was a unique combination of the director’s profound sensitivity and the ability to find extraordinary subjects (in this case, it was the story of the woman who translated Dostoyevski’s work into German and what translation is all about). Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” – the movie had amazing cinematography and was filled with profound observations on the way human handle the birth of true evil. Coppola’s “Tetro” – it moved me, I felt like I was going to melt into this movie, it’s visually stunning.

A book that has recently impacted me profoundly was... Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others” – in the book I found many of my own observations, it enabled mi to understand why I’m moved by pictures, stage plays, and movies that deal with war. Hesse’s “Steppenwolf” – I’ve recently reread this dense and colorful story about our modern life and our modern world.

My biggest influence was... God, whom I see as the source of all that is important in life, He is a reference point. I’m inspired by: my professors and colleagues from the Institute of Polish Culture – I respect them immensely, Mark Webster – the man behind Creative Communities, Luk Perceval and Frank Castorf – theater directors, Janusz Byszewski and Maria Parczewska – pioneers of cultural animation in Poland, Richard Avedon – photographer, Banksy – graffiti artist and prankster, Grzesiek Lewandowski of Chłodna 25 – a man who can create things out of nothing, Krzysztof Kieślowski – a mythical character from my childhood, Michael Glawogger – a brilliant observer and documentary maker, Arthur Liebhart – the man behind the Planete Doc Review Festival, which I helped organize a few years back.

This year I’d like to... convince myself, that creative partnership is possible within the framework provided by a marriage (my future husband and I want to work together); begin a new chapter in my life, not only relationship-wise, but also in terms of multiplying our potential.

In five years I’d like to… have dreams bigger than the ones I have now and believe that the best is still ahead of me.

The questionnaire is part of “Saskokępianka”, an article written by Agnieszka Wójcińska as part of a series of reportages on grassroots cultural/social initiatives in various Polish cities. They were written especially for ECC by students of the Polish School of Reportage established at the Institute of Reportage in Warsaw

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