Miasta w Komie

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Date and place of start: 2007, Warsaw, Poland

Place: Warsaw, Poland

Theme: film

ECC Participation: artist, publication

photo: Miasta w Komie

Miasta w Komie (Cities in Cells) is a nationwide social movement launched a few years ago by the television journalist and documentary filmmaker Cezary Ciszewski. The movement comprises amateurs and artists who have chosen to buck commercial media and shoot documentaries using cellular phones, focusing on the everyday lives of city dwellers and all manifestations of independent culture. What interests them is a world that is raw, subjective, and intimate, but most importantly, one that is real. “A person being recorded with a cellphone doesn’t treat us like cameramen from the news or ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ They see that we’re carrying a phone, not a camera, and they talk to us like we’re people.”

“The cellphone is as dangerous a tool as the scalpel.”

In 2008, the Miasta w Komie project gave birth the Monte Wideo Foto Foundation, the goal of which is to promote self-expression through images. The group conducts film workshops, runs neighborhood cellphone TV stations, and organizes spectacular social campaigns, such as one that involved setting up a customs border border on bridge linking both banks of Warsaw.

Thanks to the ingeniously simple idea of using cellular phones as a medium for shaping social attitudes, the Miasta w Komie initiative has been garnering growing interest, while the group’s member have been winning awards at every European independent film festival. At the European Culture Congress, Miasta w Komie will create a cellphone TV station open to any attendees who would like to record the proceedings of the congress on a cellular phone and thus document independent culture in Poland.

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