Seven years of digging: project presentation
Project developed by Giulia Gotti
The nice thing about the past is that it is buried in past. It does not change, it does not run away if you decide to chase it: but at the same time, if you let it loose, it will go and fade. I remember, when i arrive for my project in Tratwa, September 2020, i knew very little. In fact, i knew barely nothing. Yeah, there were not so much informations around on what I would have been doing, what the activities were about: but I remember, one of the things which surprised me the most was, when i entered the current ESC volunteers office, seeing panels and faces of people on the office walls.
The past was all around us, the smiles peeping out of a “EVS 2014” panel which were breaking a space-time wall of seven years. I remember I felt infinite curiosity towards all these people, these printed pictures.
Because that’s the thing: my volunteering project, named Volunteering is Solidarity Vol.2, was not just a “Vol.2”: it was a “Vol.7”.
Seven generation of volunteers crossed the walls of TRATWA, from 2014 until today. In 2014 and 2015 we had groups of four people, but in 2016 it lasted into the 12 people that it is currently ongoing. It means 68 long term volunteers (plus an undefined number of short term) crossed path with this association, each one of them having its own individual story. I find that, other than unique, pretty fascinating. During the first weeks, in the normal chit-chatting, news kept coming about all these past years. You know, the little stories, the tales of “can you believe that one time, in 2018 ecc ecc”. Disseminated all around in the conversation, and mainly thanks to one source of information, our “patriarch” Kuba. The project coordinator of this ESC 2020 volunteering, Jakub Kurakiewicz, has indeed the astonishing trait of having been in this position for the past SEVEN years (some years with more involvement, some years with less).
This man-encyclopaedia was then the key to satisfy my old-gossip lady curiosity 😀
The documentation work went essentialy trough two channels, online and offline.
- Blog post, facebook post, social media: reorganization of everything i could find online
- Online research was a good base, but not enough: phase two was talking with Kuba, the man who knew all the answers. A meeting with the already mentioned polish celebrity was therefore planned, and in one-hourish i got aware of all the gossips, backstage, backstories of what did happen, from 2014 ’til now, here in Tratwa, which got to become the most hype association in all the Lower Silesia
- Here goes phase three: contacting them. Them who? The past volunteers, of course.
I conducted, starting from the month of March 2020, a series of interview with the past Tratwa volunteers which I was able to get the contact of. The first step was usually by email, however I was able to write to a few people – the closer with Tratwa – on Facebook, or even in person regarding the volunteers who decided to stay and they were still living in Poland.
The work is still in progress. What you will find in the next pages, it is an overview, divided by year. Soon the voices of the people interviewed, keep in touch, then!