Goats of Poznań

Poznan, Czaro 010.jpgPoznań, square by Kozia Street, Poland (fot. Gosia Głowacka, 29.11.2013)

According to a folk legend, after the great fire of Poznan the clock for rebuilding the town hall was ordered at the master Bartholomew from Gubin. The city council decided to celebrate this important event pompously. They planned to give a great feast in Poznan, to which outstanding personalities were invited. Because of the load of work before the party, the chef appointed a young kitchen boy Pietrek for supervising the pocess of roasting the leg of deer for the main course of  of the feast. The legs were roasting slowly and Pietrek was curious how the mechanism of the clock does work. The young kitchen boy, unable to wait for the end of the baking decided to briefly leave the roast and just have a short look at the clock.

However, in his absence the roast fell into the fire and burned to charcoal. The terrified kitchen boy ran to a nearby meadow, where the city’s inhabitants grazed their animals. There, he kidnapped two goats and took them to the town hall kitchen. The Goats, however, run away from the boy and fled to the town hall tower cornice. There, in front of the gathered  townspeople, the two small white frightened goats began to butt with their horns. This sight amused the provincial governor and invited guests so much that Pietrek didn’t get any penalty, and the clockmaker got an order to rebuilt the mechanism in that way, that every day it would launch goats built into the clock mechanism. Since that time each day at noon when the trumpet-man is playing the bugle call, two goats are occuring on the town hall tower. Furthermore, the real goats were rescued from being the dish during the party for councilors and townspeople. They pulled them out of the tower and returned them to a poor widow, their true owner.

Today, the Poznań goats still do not voluntarily allow anybody to lead them to the slaughter and show their horns to those, who are trying to enslave them.

 

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“We Have the Power”

DSCF0032.JPGMade by:INO, Port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece (Photo:. Gosia Głowacka, 04.04.2016)

Greek visual artist iNO created this mural on the center of Piraeus Port, one of the largest seaports in the Mediteranean sea located in Greece. The artist was interviewed by the National Geographic staff and the mural creation procedure was filmed for an upcoming documentary. The artwork is entitled “We Have The Power” and is depicting a child looking up at a huge portrait of the ancient philosopher Democritus. Knowledge is power.

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An educated society has power, which no devious hypocrite will be able to destroy by trying to impose his will. A society in which the level of education is low is more prone to manipulation and to unrealistic promises of populists. Therefore, such a society can be easily manipulated and used by cynical political players and representatives of religious associations or churches. Let’s educate ourselves and the others – May the Force be with us!.

“Nike”

Warszawa z Jose 069-2.jpgDesigner: Marian Konieczny, Warsaw, Poland (Photo. Gosia Głowacka, 26.04.2012)

The Monument to the Heroes of Warsaw, also known as the Warsaw Nike, is a statue located at the intersection of Nowy Przejazd (New Drive) and Aleja Solidarności (Solidarity Avenue) in Warsaw.

The monument commemorates all those who died in the city from 1939 to 1945, including participants in the defense of Warsaw in September 1939, the participants of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Warsaw Uprising, and the victims of German terror in the occupied capital.

The statue shows a reclining woman rising up with a sword raised above her head in her right hand and her left hand also raised. The 10-ton sculpture is seven meters tall and six meters long. On the granite pedestal is the inscription: Heroes of Warsaw from 1939 to 1945 (Bohaterom Warszawy 1939−1945).

The sculpture was cast at the Gliwice Technical Equipment Plant (Gliwickie Zakłady Urządzeń Technicznych S.A.). The biggest challenge was casting the sword weighing about 1000 kg. The special design of steel bars embedded inside it makes it very strong, as, in the wind, the sword can deviate from its position by up to 15 cm. The monument was transported in two parts from Silesia to Warszawa Gdańska station, north of the site.

The monument was unveiled on July 20, 1964 in Theatre Square, in front of the Grand Theatre (where the reconstructed Jabłonowski Palace now stands).

The construction of the monument was financed by social contributions and the Social Capital Reconstruction Fund. (source: Wikipedia)

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Nike (/ˈnaɪki/; Greek: Νίκη, “Victory”, Ancient Greek: [nǐːkɛː]), in ancient Greek religion, was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The Roman equivalent was Victoria. (source: Wikipedia)

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In her hand the Polish Nike is holding a sword  instead of having wings and an olive twig. It will reach anyone who will try to take away her rights or fight with her. The Polish Nike is a woman who is fighting and not giving up. She is a Polish woman, who wins.

“Rainbow”

DSC04845 Project: Julita Wojcik, Brussels, Belgium / Warsaw, Poland (fot. Monika Saczyńska, September 23, 2012)

The installation is a multi-coloured arc (height. 9 m., Width. 26 m.) inspired by the optical phenomenon of a rainbow. It originally consisted of 16 thousand artificial flowers in different colours, fixed on a metal frame. The flowers were made in 2011 by Spółdzielnia Rękodzieła Artystycznego „Tęcza”. The installation was made by Julita Wójcik on commission from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

In 2011-2012 it was presented as one of the three artistic works of Polish artists within the project “Fossils and Gardens”, which was part of the International Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2011 in Brussels (Belgium). In 2012-2015 it was relocated to Warsaw (Poland).

The artist emphasized the multiple symbolism of the rainbow and its aesthetic qualities. However, she did not want the work to have a social or political context or meaning but that it was simply just beautiful. Part of the Polish catholic clergy also emphasized the biblical symbolism of the rainbow (a sign of God’s covenant with the people). However, conservative associations perceived the “Rainbow” as an shocking object and symbol of immorality connecting it to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. In 2014, opponents of the “Rainbow” organized a picket prayer on Zbawiciela Square in Warsaw.  The “Rainbow” became an object of strong controversy  and had been burned seven times.

For her work Julita Wójcik was nominated as the Person of Culture of the Year 2012, sponsored by Polish Radio Program III; in January 2013, she was awarded the “Passport of Policy” in the category of visual arts sponsored by the weekly magazine “Polityka”.

From 24. September to 2. December 2011 the “Rainbow” was exposed in front of the European Parliament building in Brussels. 8. June 2012 the installation was moved to Warsaw – on Zbawiciel Square, where it remained for over 3 years. It was dismantled during the night from 26. to 27. August 2015. The removed piece is to be forwarded to the Centre for Contemporary Art, and set again as part of its collection.

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Every storm will have its end and the world is becoming again beautiful and colorful,
Let’s hope that dark political cloud will move away soon and  nice weather with the beautiful rainbow will show up again.

 

“Wroclaw Dwarfs”

Sculptor: Thomas Moczek and others, Wroclaw, Poland (Photo. Gosia Głowacka, 03.03.2010)

Wrocław’s dwarfs (Polish: krasnale, krasnoludki) are small figurines that first appeared in the streets of Wrocław, Poland, in 2001. Since then, their numbers have been continually growing, and today they are considered a tourist attraction: those who would like to combine sight-seeing in Wrocław with dwarf-tracking are offered special brochures with a map and mobile application software for smartphones. As of 2014, there are over 300 dwarfs spread all over the city. Six of them are located outside the city at the LG plant in Biskupice Podgórne

In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative (polish anti-communist movement), a figurine of a dwarf (the movement’s symbol) was officially placed on Świdnicka Street, where the group’s happenings used to take place. It is probably one of the few cases in the world where such a subversive group has been honoured by the city authorities, who commissioned the placing of a statue of a dwarf in the city centre. In 2003, the Mayor of Wrocław, in an attempt to continue the new tradition, unveiled a small plaque on the door of The Dwarfs’ Museum. It can be found at the height of human knees on the wall of a historic tenement called Jaś, which is situated between the Market Square and St. Elizabeth’s Church.

The figures of the dwarfs, which are smaller than the Orange Alternative monument on Świdnicka Street, were placed in different parts of the city. The first five, designed by Tomasz Moczek, a graduate of The Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, were placed in August 2005. These were the Fencer near the University of Wrocław, the Butcher in Stare Jatki arcade, two Sisyphuses on Świdnicka Street and the Odra-Washer-Dwarf, near Piaskowy Bridge. The name of the last dwarf is related to Pracze Odrzańskie, an estate on the outskirts of the city. Since that time, the number of figures has continued growing, predominantly in the Old Town.

A ceremony unveiling two other dwarfs took place on the day of June 18, 2008. They were situated on Świdnicka Street, next to W-skers: a dwarf in a wheel chair. The figures represent two disabled dwarfs: the Deaf-mute and the Blind. They are part of the Wrocław Without Barriers campaign, which aims at drawing attention to handicapped people living in Wroclaw. Five days later, at the Hematology and Pediatric Oncology Clinic in Wrocław, another dwarf was erected. It was to be the third female dwarf, Marzenka, whose design was based on the logo of the “Mam marzenie” charity.

(source: Wikipedia)

Now we have 2016 and a rebellion… against dwarf…

 

“The Ugly Duckling”

IMG_4752WP_20160511_10_26_10_ProSwans, Zug, Switzerland (Photo. Gosia Głowacka and René Sachse, May 2016)

(…)

In this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest, watching for her young brood to hatch; she was beginning to get tired of her task, for the little ones were a long time coming out of their shells, and she seldom had any visitors.(…)At length one shell cracked, and then another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted its head and cried, “Peep, peep.” “Quack, quack,” said the mother, and then they all quacked as well as they could, and looked about them on every side at the large green leaves. Their mother allowed them to look as much as they liked, because green is good for the eyes.

(…)

“The others are very pretty children,” said the old duck, with the rag on her leg, “all but that one; I wish his mother could improve him a little.”

“That is impossible, your grace,” replied the mother; “he is not pretty; but he has a very good disposition, and swims as well or even better than the others. I think he will grow up pretty, and perhaps be smaller; he has remained too long in the egg, and therefore his figure is not properly formed;” and then she stroked his neck and smoothed the feathers, saying, “It is a drake, and therefore not of so much consequence. I think he will grow up strong, and able to take care of himself.”

(…)

It would be very sad, were I to relate all the misery and privations which the poor little duckling endured during the hard winter; but when it had passed, he found himself lying one morning in a moor, amongst the rushes. (…) Then the young bird felt that his wings were strong, as he flapped them against his sides, and rose high into the air. They bore him onwards, until he found himself in a large garden, before he well knew how it had happened.The apple-trees were in full blossom, and the fragrant elders bent their long green branches down to the stream which wound round a smooth lawn. Everything looked beautiful, in the freshness of early spring.(…)

Into the garden presently came some little children, and threw bread and cake into the water.

“See,” cried the youngest, “there is a new one;” and the rest were delighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands, and shouting joyously, “There is another swan come; a new one has arrived.”

Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and said, “The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty.” And the old swans bowed their heads before him.

Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing; for he did not know what to do, he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Even the elder-tree bent down its bows into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and bright. Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully, from the depths of his heart, “I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.”

base on fairytale written by H.Ch. Andersen “The Ugly Duckling”

Full version: http://www.hellokids.com/c_310/reading-and-learning/tales-for-children/classic-tales/hans-christian-andersen-fairy-tales/the-ugly-duckling?pos=0#top_page