The Archipelagos of Culture Anthropological Association is a Polish non-profit, non-governmental organization. It was founded in Kraków in 2002. We are committed to:
- identifying and developing culture potential that remains untapped,
- educating people how they can change their place of living,
- reducing fear of and distance towards groups suffering from social exclusion.
Fields of action
Cultural and social animation
We stimulate local communities to take matters into their hands, including developing and running projects.
An example of this kind of initiatives was Miejscy Ogrodnicy project (The City Gardeners), addressed mainly to the elderly residents of Kraków who take care of preserving green areas in the city while establishing and voluntarily maintaining small gardens at squares and around blocks of flats.
We help cultural institutions with participatory planning. We conduct action research – a surveying practice in which the public is involved in every phase of the process. Its stages include preparing the research design, data collection, data analysis and implementation of recommendations. We also work as facilitators at strategic planning workshops addressed to various groups of stakeholders. Our task during those meetings is to structure conclusions and use them as a basis for creating a strategic plan.
From February 2014 until March 2016 four rural communities in different regions of Poland took part in our O!świetlice project. The main aim of the action research was to analyse the cultural heritage and potential of these communities. The officials from the local cultural institutions and village residents participated in the research. The results of the project enabled us to develop the cultural strategic plans for the communities (which are currently being implemented), animate the village culture clubs and prepare their public offer.
Highlighting the potential of local cultural heritage
Another of our activities is organising the events aim of which is to familiarise the public with some of the less visited places in Poland that have fascinating history. We support the bottom-up initiatives aimed at discovering and documenting the local cultural heritage. Private collections and social museums are of our main interest.
The projects which referred to this area of focus included Gdzie jest Nowosielski? (Where is Nowosielski?), a set of events which presented the art of Polish painter Jerzy Nowosielski and his works that can be found in different places in Kraków; Letni Projektor (The Summer Projector), a series of film screenings in Kraków’s nooks and crannies; as well as Pozbierane.pl, an online database of Polish private museums.
We strongly believe culture can serve as a tool for social inclusion. The groups which are threatened by the exclusion are encouraged to create and come out with their own narratives. We also conduct anti-discrimination training sessions.
Since 2015 until now we have been running the Kobierzyn Bliżej project (Kobierzyn More Friendly). Its aim is to revise common ideas of people with mental disorders by letting the patients of psychiatric hospital in Krakow-Kobierzyn speak out on their illness and its treatment.
We also run scientific studies on humanities. Findings from the research are presented at seminars and put out in reports. The Association is also a publisher of “Barbarzyńca” (The Barbarian) anthropology journal. The papers are offered with English abstracts.