Warsaw, Poland

The Commons & Communities

when 24 October 2019 - 8 December 2019
language English
duration 7 weeks

The Ćwiczenie nowoczesności | Exercising modernity | Modernität üben | לתרגל מודרניזם Academy is an interdisciplinary art & research program which is organized by the Pilecki Institute in cooperation with the Liebling House – The White City Center (Tel Aviv), the Polish Institute in Tel Aviv, and the Gdynia City Museum.

#2019: The Commons & Communities

Forms of communitiness in context of modernity form the keynote of the second edition of the Polish–German–Israeli project - Participants will attend classes and workshops taught by eminent artists, curators, architects and researchers.
Meetings will be held in autumn 2019 in Weimar, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Warsaw and Gdynia.

The community, communitiness, the Commons – there exist many terms which describe the
common good and that which is collective or shared. Issues concerning social relations in the
20th century, founded on a common identity (historical, religious, national or class–based), on
common interests and needs, but also on conflicts as to that which is common, inspire
discussions and questions about the meaning and the vital role of communities in the
development of modern states, cities and societies.

What does “communitiness” mean in distinct geographical and political contexts? How do we
conceive the structure and the process of creating a community, and how were these
conceived at the beginning of the 20th century? What conceptions of community-based living
and the common space functioned in the interwar period? How was the role of social
institutions and the potential future development of interhuman relations perceived at the

We will analyze past and present forms of cohabitation as well as new forms of societal management. Our focus will be on the following:

● communitiness as one of the fundamental ideas of modernity, also in the context of collective memory and identity,

● community–based forms of habitation in Germany, Poland and Israel, such as social housing states or the Israeli kibbutz,

● forms of social self–organization, for example cooperatives and (housing) associations,

● the public space and the quest for a modern agora for modern democracies.

Our offer includes:

● gratuitous participation in the Academy, provision of board, lodging and transportation,

● lectures and workshops held by experienced and acclaimed scholars and artists,

● an interesting program of accompanying events,

● those who complete the course will be entitled to submit their own research or artistic project, elaborated or expanded during classes, for a special scholarship program organized by the Pilecki Institute and devoted to the issue of modernity in the 20th century (details will be announced at the beginning of 2020).

Course leader

Among others Mirosław Bałka, Jacek Friedrich, Aleksandra Kędziorek,
Katarzyna Krakowiak, Grzegorz Piątek, and the Liebling House – The White City Center
team (Shira Benyemini, Sharon Golan, Sabrina Cegla)

Target group

The program is open to researchers specializing in the humanities and artists who at the time of completion of the enrolment stage shall be under 35 years of age, and shall come from or reside in Israel, Germany or Poland.
Application documents can be sent in English, German and Polish - Meetings will be held in English. Successful candidates undertake to attend all sessions held in the course of the Academy.

I session: Tel Aviv (24–29.10.2019)
II session: Warsaw and Gdynia (14–19.11.2019)
III session: Berlin, Weimar (05–08.12.2019)

Course aim

The Pilecki Institute in Warsaw is a new research and cultural institution whose main aim is to build an international archive of personal accounts concerning crimes committed in occupied Poland during the Second World War. Through a number of scholarships and research programs the Institute pursues reflection on the experience of the 20th century and the significance of European values – democracy and freedom. The patron of the Institute, Witold Pilecki, was a witness to the wartime fate of Poles and himself a victim of the German and Soviet totalitarian regimes. From today’s perspective, Pilecki’s incredible story can prompt us to rethink the Polish experience of modernity in its double aspect: both as the one that brought destruction on Europe and that which continues to serve as an inspiration for promoting freedom and democracy throughout the continent. Under the “Exercising modernity” project, the Pilecki Institute invites scholars and artists to reflect upon modern Europe by studying the beginning and sources of modernity in Poland, Germany and Israel, and by examining the bright and dark sides of the 20th century modernization practices.

Fee info

EUR 0: No fee - We offer gratuitous participation in the Academy as well as provision of board, lodging and transportation.