Artistic encounters
in war and violent conflict

Open Space Warsaw

Open Space Warsaw

Open Space Warsaw, organized by Anna Konik and Kasia Grabska, is a collaborative event in October 2023 where artists with personal experiences of exile and conflict explore creative expressions related to these themes as part of the INSPIRE project studying artistic inspiration in war and oppression contexts.


Visual artist Anna Konik and researcher Kasia Grabska co-organize their second Open Space together, this time in Warsaw, at Duzy Pokoj and Teatr Komuna with artists who have lived experiences of exile, displacement, violent conflict or political persecution and whose creative practice relates to these themes. Through their personal experiences and methodologies invited artists will create a hybrid, multi-layered perspective on the creative space of exile and political oppression.

Scheduled for October 8th to October 12th, 2023, Open Space Warsaw, will include both cultural exploration and artistic collaboration. Participants will take part in guided tours of the city, work sessions at Komuna Warszawa, and creative activities at Duzy Pokoj. The program will culminate with a public event featuring Belarusian and Ukrainian artists.

Upcoming Event: How Does War, Political Violence and Displacement Shape Artistic Practice? – A Roundtable Discussion with Artists and Researchers 11 October. Read More.

INSPIRE Open Space encourages new encounters, reflections, and co-creation: exploring inspiration, motivation and artistic creation of artists engaged with themes of war, conflict, displacement and social (in)justice. The first Open Space took place in Geneva in September 2022. The Open Space is part of the INSPIRE project which examines artistic inspiration, creative practice and imagination in the context of war, conflict, exile and oppression and is carried out by Kasia Grabska at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo.

INSPIRE Open Space artists and researchers:

Chuu Wai
a free-spirited and committed artist whose work centers around the role of women in Burma. Her artistic practice includes painting and performance art. (Website)

Pablo Gershanik
an artist, actor, director and theater pedagogue from Argentina and France. By animating inanimate objects in live and mediated performance, he interrogates the precarities of history, memory and the everyday to explore resilience and healing from personal and collective trauma. (Website)

Anna Konik
visual artist and lecturer at UAP, working with video installation and art films. Her transgressive and interdisciplinary artworks combines photography, drawing, art objects, works in-situ. Her art results from encounters with other people and their realities. Since 2020 the INSPIRE advisory board member. (Website)

Luis Carlos Tovar
visual artist who circulates between France and Colombia, producing work that explores the topics of discontinuous geographies and the role of post-memory in the present. (Website)

Marisa Cornejo
research artist in the fields of memory, identity and migration, produces work that centers around drawing her dreams to give voice to and interrogate her body as an archive of forced migration. (Website)

Katarzyna Grabska
feminist anthropologist researching and teaching in the fields of forced migration, war, political conflict. She collaborates often with artists in her research and engages in research-creation projects exploring issues of belonging, displacement, identities, and social transformations. (Website)

INSPIRE Open Space Guests:

Larisa Venediktova
lives in Kyiv, engineer and choreographer. She is a performer and a group member of Tanzlaboratoriu. She teaches at the Kyiv Circus and Performing Arts Academy. She has written several essays about the responsibility for the past. She is an initiator and lecturer at the Microuniversity (philosophy, mathematics and dance) and volunteer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Anna Łazar
curator of an international collaboration programme Free Word in the context of Gdansk the City of Literature, initiator and creator of contemporary art projects, translator. Lecturer at the Institue of Art, the Polish Academy of Sciences and of Gender Studies at the IBL PAN (2020-2023).

Doctor Oy
visual artist, born in Pinsk, Belarus. His work is a protest to the regime, in defiance of which he raises the theme of restrictions and prohibitions, through which irony and hidden meanings delicately seep into his works. After the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus, ongoing repression and imprisonment, he moved to Poland and currently lives and works in Warsaw. (Website)

Mila Kotka
is an artist, art curator and producer. Born in Belarus, began her art activity in 2014 having created an international urban art festival Vulica Brasil in Minsk and was informally proclaimed as “godmother of Belarusian street art”. In 2021 became one of the founders of the Institute of Art and Sustainability. (Website)

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