“ME & YOU” exhibition, Kraków, Planty © Krzysztof Derdacki, 2016

The ART in ACTION Foundation based in Krakow is one of the leaders in organizing large-scale outdoor cultural and pro-ecology events in Poland. The Foundation’s goal is to conduct cultural, artistic and educational activities as well as support the development of democracy and a civil society. It is particularly involved in strengthening the cultural bridge between Poland and France. Successive events organized by the Foundation over a period of almost 20 years have attracted a total over 3 million viewers and 80,000 participants in educational workshops across the country. These exhibits, totalling some 6 kilometres in length, have included: the first exhibition of the MAGNUM Photographic Agency in Poland entitled “Raymond Depardon Photography and Film – The happy loneliness of the traveller”, sponsored by Bernadette Chirac, Andrzej Wajda and Krystyna Zachwatowicz (Krakow, Kazimierz Dolny, Lodz, in 2000); “EARTH FROM ABOVE. A portrait of our planet at the beginning of the 21st century” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, sponsored by UNESCO and the Minister for the Environment (Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, Zabrze, Lodz, Bialystok, 2002-2009); the exhibition “PLANET OCEAN – Discovering the world of marine biodiversity” by Laurent Ballesta and Pierre Descamp, sponsored by IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Minister for the Environment (Lodz, Hel, 2008-2009); the exhibition “ARBORES VITAE – The last European primeval forest” all about the Bialowieza Forest, with photographs by Jan Walencik, sponsored by UNESCO and the Minister for the Environment (Lodz, Bialystok, Krakow – on the currently called Wielka Armia Napoleona Square near the Wawel Castle and beneath the Pope’s balcony, in Warsaw – as part of the international conference COP19 held at the National Stadium, and the Silesian Botanical Gardens in Mikolow, 2009-2014); the exhibition “ME & YOU – In search of a new solidarity” about cultural diversity in the world, with photographs by Olivier Föllmi, sponsored by UNESCO, the French Consul General in Krakow and the city’s president (Krakow, Zabrze, 2016-2017).

All these events were free open-air exhibitions of large-format photographs with commentaries in Polish and English, illuminated at night and open round the clock, accompanied by film shows, concerts, scientific conferences, competitions on the Internet and educational workshops on three main topics: art, ecology and solidarity. Lasting some 2-5 months, these were usually arranged in urban areas and made available to the general public as new spaces for cultural needs – in Warsaw‘s Łazienki Park, Krakow’s Planty Gardens, a former foundry in Zabrze, the fishing port on Hel and a former tram station’s waiting room in Lodz’s Old Town Park.

The ART in ACTION Foundation was founded by filmmakers Sylvie and Krzysztof Derdacki, curators and organizers of interdisciplinary artistic and educational events, specializing in social communication in public spaces.

dorota-ruszkowska-1Sylvie & Krzysztof Derdacki, “ME & YOU” exhibition © Dorota Ruszkowska 2016