Faces of Diversity
The Faces of Diversity project consisted of programmes for adults, mostly young adults, including lectures, meetings, panel discussions, city actions and guided tours, artistic residencies, workshops, various long-term series as well as programmes for people with disabilities.
Activities for adults provided participants with an opportunity to gain knowledge about cultural, ethnic, religious and social diversity, creating space for discussions that addressed prejudice and stereotypes and encouraged intercultural dialogue. We wanted to show the relevance of the history and culture of Polish Jews for meeting the challenges of the contemporary world, such as building self – other, minority – majority relations and living side by side with diverse groups. The European Wergeland Centre was our Norwegian partner.
The programme was geared towards adults from Warsaw, in particular young adults, as well as experts from Poland and Norway, activists, NGO staff and civil servants, members of the Museum’s home community of Muranów, people with disabilities and, finally, artists from all over the world. Many activities were organised in cooperation with representatives of various minorities.
The Faces of Diversity programme included the Multicultural Warsaw series of events during which we looked at the city and its multiculturalism from various perspectives. Meetings, debates, urban actions and workshops were combined with long-term activities involving local communities. The Warszawa Warsze temporary exhibition dedicated to the Jewish history of the city proved extremely popular. Own – Alien – Other: The Museum and Stereotypes series provided an opportunity to discuss issues related to discrimination, stereotyping, and inter-religious dialogue through a number of anti-discrimination workshops. Thanks to the artistic residency programme The Open Museum – Education in Action we hosted 18 artists from all over the globe who tackled questions of Jewish heritage and multiculturalism in their works. A selection of these works was presented within the framework of the temporary exhibition Presence / Absence / Traces. Contemporary Artists on Jewish Warsaw.
Many events were organised with marginalised groups in mind, and often in cooperation with those groups – e.g. a series of initiatives addressed to people with disabilities as well as national and ethnic minorities. It is imperative for us to relate to contemporary social and cultural challenges, including the increasing degree of hate speech in public life or the refugee crisis.
The evaluation study confirmed the high quality and social usefulness of our activities: 75% of people participating in the survey declared the highest or near-highest level of satisfaction with the content of our programme. They assessed that in the course of an activity they had acquired useful skills (4,67), broadened their knowledge (4,40) and deemed that our programme helped build mutual understanding and respect (4,56) [results on a scale of 5; 292 people surveyed].
Supported from the Norway and EEA Grants by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.