OLF is expanding its activities with the Borderland

A. Švedas, D. Puslys, M. Ališauskienė, O. Lukošius, S. Adomavičiūtė ir J. Žilinskas Krasnogrūdoje; 2017-06-12-/13. ALF nuotr.

The events on 12-13 June 2017 marked the continuation, or, more precisely, the renewal of cooperation between the Borderland Foundation and the newly re-established OLF. The stimulating discussions held in Poland seem to have opened up excellent possibilities for continued cooperation.

Almost all the core members of the OLF joined the two-day meetings in Sejny and Krasnogruda, including the Honorary Member of the Board Irena Veisaitė, the Chairperson of the Board Milda Ališauskienė, OLF members Audra Čepkauskaitė, Ovidijus Lukošius, Aurimas Švedas, and Justinas Žilinskas, Expert at Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis and co-founder of the OLF project Donatas Puslys (Chief Editor of Bernardinai.lt), and the Head of the OLF Sandra Adomavičiūtė. The Lithuanian Culture Attaché in Poland Rasa Rimickaitė also joined the “club”.

The outgoing meeting of the OLF Board offered an opportunity for a reunion with Krzysztof Czyzywski, the long-time supporter of the earlier OLF, Director of the Borderland Centre, developer and President of the Borderland Foundation, essayist and cultural studies researcher. Discussions, informal social events, and excursions also fostered communication with other board members and administrative staff of the Centre and the Foundation. The Borderland shared best experience with the OLF; the attendees shared their ideas, reported on their current activities, and discussed opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

The OLF team returned from the event with four basic goals:
• to collaborate in strengthening public resilience in problematic regions;
• to strengthen, expand, and deepen Lithuanian-Polish relations by establishing a common forum;
• to diversify cultural activities and jointly organize summer schools, seminars, festivals or other gatherings in Krasnogruda and Szetejnie (the birthplace of Czesław Miłosz);
• to exchange information, carry out publicity campaigns, etc.

These guidelines will still have to be creatively reconsidered to make them more specific and relevant, and to enhance the efficiency of their implementation. It is likely that this cross-cultural cooperation will be launched at the Young Intellectuals’ Summer Academy “Reading the Others”. It will be held on July 31 – August 6 in Krasnogruda (Poland) and Szetejnie (Lithuania). Several OLF and VIPA representatives will participate in this gathering, as well as the best authors of the ongoing OLF competition. The YouTube channel of the Borderland presents a record of the event that took place at the time of the OLF visit, where painful experiences and lessons of the past as well as the ability to forgive and create the future were discussed by Irena Veisaitė, Rasa Rimickaitė, Krzysztof Czyżewski, and Aurimas Švedas, the author of the book about Professor Veisaitė.

The Borderland is a widely known organization, the full name of which is the Borderland Foundation (Polish: Fundacja Pogranicze, founded in 1990) and the Centre for Borderland Arts, Cultures, and Nations (Polish: Ośrodek „Pogranicze – sztuk, kultur, narodów“, founded in 1991; more information is available at http://www.pogranicze.sejny.pl). The activities of the founders of this centre, its director Krzysztof Czyzewski, and his associates have transformed the quiet and remote Polish borderline area into a cultural centre. For their stimulating activities, the Centre and the Foundation have become well known on an international level.

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