"Faces of Diversity" is a multi-year (2013-2017) series of activities at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, forming a part of the adult education programme. The series offered a possibility to learn more about cultural, ethnic, religious and social diversity, creating space for reflection upon prejudices and stereotypes and building a platform for dialogue. It consisted of events related to various aspects of interculturalism, anti-discriminatory measures, artistic residency initiatives, programmes suited to the needs of people with various disabilities, including, among others, creative workshops (photography, performance, music, animation, etc.), interdisciplinary education series, meetings, discussions, urban space activities, and exhibitions. The activities were addressed to individuals, students and local communities of Warsaw and its district Muranów as well as to activists, employees of institutions and cultural organisations, and artists, also including groups at risk of exclusion – people with disabilities, minorities, and migrants. Inclusiveness was one of the project's key assumptions, with a number of initiatives being created in collaboration with participants in the events, representatives of minority groups and the local community. Since 2016, long-term education cycles have been organised as part of the project during which the participants focused on such subjects as the refugee crisis, inter-religious dialogue, the history of relations between Poles, Jews and Ukrainians and the history of the extermination of the Roma people.
About 340 activities which attracted about 40,000 participants were carried out within the "Faces of Diversity". Activities addressed to the general audience were accompanied by initiatives based on small group processes and close encounters. We encouraged people through various activities to find historical analogies in the contemporary world, take a critical look at the reality, develop intercultural competences, support groups at risk of exclusion and take advantage of diversity.
Since 2013, when we started the series, the situation in Poland, Europe and in the world has become increasingly tense. Given the social mood, the need to pursue consistent global and local education that promotes diversity and fights discrimination and hate speech seems to be growing year after year.
On the following platform, we present fragments of initiatives carried out within the "Faces of Diversity", we describe the directions pursued and share audio, photo and video content. You are welcome to make use of it.
We would like to extend our warm thanks to the "Faces of Diversity" participants and co-creators as well as its Norwegian partner, the European Wergeland Centre.
See you at our next initiatives.
The "Faces of Diversity" team
A short video of the "Faces of Diversity":
A video on the "Faces of Diversity":