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Posts tagged “POLEKO

#Polska14 Day 4: the last dance

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As you read this, I am on my way back to Warsaw to catch a flight out of here, so that means my delightful #Polska14 adventure has come to an end! But what an amazing journey! Three delightful cities in one week, and an immersion in Polish urbanism, history, culture, gastronomy, innovation, exchange, economy, but most of all, wonderment! On our final day in Poznan, we basically had a free day to explore at will. So after a leisure morning in my posh hotel, I went out to discover some more street art gems! The above is just a section of BLU’s mural which I found by accident. I photographed him in Berlin this summer, but finding his work isn’t always easy, so I was delighted to find it. Soon I will post much better pics, these are just snaps made from my iPad. BLU is to talented, and this mural is overwhelming.
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Water cubes, anyone?

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I posted pics of this little Poznan character yesterday, and he seems to be everywhere!

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This mural kind of looks like the city itself. It is the city scape. It is the skyline 馃檪

So goodbye for the second time Poland!

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#Polska14 Day 3: The city of Poznan & The POLEKO conference

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Day 3 of this Polish extravaganza was jammed packed! Refreshed from my glorious sleep in the fancy hotel, some of the delegates took a walk through Poznan’s old town. And wow, what a glorious city. Unlike Warsaw, which was totally destroyed during the war and rebuilt, Poznan has original architecture dating back centuries, and while some buildings are in a state of disrepair, I actually really like the “urban decay” look. It gives the city character. And just because something is old, doesn’t mean it has outlived its usefulness.
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I love how it looks like the fountain is vomiting.
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After a leisure morning, we were ushered to the convention centre to attend the POLEKO conference. When it comes to being Green, this trade fair espoused the future of innovation. I was specifically interested in the recycling sector which presented products made entirely from recycled materials…

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…like bifocals…

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…canvasses…

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…lathering brushes and razors…

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…and artisanal chaises.

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Naturally, there were some tongue in cheek pieces, like an entire dining room set made of recycled materials made to look like Sigourney Weaver’s Alien and friends…
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We were treated as honoured delegates from Canada and attended a business mixer to exchange ideas and thoughts with other countries and businesses. The conference, although young, is very international, with a big German and Scandinavian presence. There were school groups and very engaging booths with a highly stylized design. And free chocolates. Good GAWD, the chocolates!
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Optimus Prime?
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Course, you can’t wander around a new city without appreciating its local art scene.
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Don’t stop it now, I’m still dancing in here!
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More photographs from my #Polska14 adventure can be found on my Instagram or twitter. Stay tuned for more!


#Polska14 Day 2: 艁贸d藕 and the special economic zone

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Day 2 of #Polska14 saw us travel to 艁贸d藕 and the special economic zone. This area is super cool because, unlike the rest of Poland that has centuries worth of history, 艁贸d藕 was founded in the 19th century by business owners. It was all factories, mostly industrialized textile factories for Ludwik Grohman. They were in use all the way until the 1980s when the textile industry collapsed, and the gorgeous 19th century factories fell into disrepair and were abandoned. Finally in 1997 the municipality of 艁贸d藕 and private investors began to revitalize them. Over 10,000 bricks were cleaned by hand! Now the revitalized and gorgeous SEX is used for seven different sectors, including IT, conference space, food, cosmetics… but also, people live in these factories! Some have been converted into lofts and ateliers!

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There’s a British International School for the children of foreign workers, but recently Polish children were allowed to enroll as well. The curriculum is English and some are even in Japanese.

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There are 22 universities in 艁贸d藕. TWENTY-TWO! Toronto only has 3! It’s citizens are highly educated, and 92% of them speak English, 39% speak German, and 12% speak Russian (that latter stat would have been higher before the fall of communism, so it’s kind of interesting to see its decline).

 

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There are so many cool cultural festivals in 艁贸d藕. They have a design fest, a Fashion Week, an International Festival of Comics and Games, the Four Cultures fest, and the Light Move fest.

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And there are 27 palaces in 艁贸d藕. TWENTY-SEVEN!

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This merry-go-round was at the Manufaktura complex, a shopping and gastronomic area in a revitalized factory. The horses were freaking me out, I had to photograph them. The horses waited to be tamed….

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After 艁贸d藕 we drove a few hours to Poznan where I am now. Stay tuned to #Polska14 for more from this awesome adventure!


#Polska14 Day 1: Warsaw Recycling and Uprising

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Day 1 in Warsaw is complete! And what a packed day! When I arrived the night before from my short flight from Brussels, my lovely hotel room in the centre of the city with a big warm comfy bed and dinner awaited!
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I love waking up in an Eastern European hotel room overlooking the bustling city. I feel like Jason Bourne.

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Like I posted about last time, I had been to Warsaw before and it’s strange how the human brain works because I actually remembered where everything was! I had a sense of direction, I knew where the landmarks were, and I felt perfectly at ease.

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This is the gorgeous Palace of Culture and Science just around the corner from my hotel. It was built by Stalin, modelled on the Empire State building, much smaller but just as grand. The people of Warsaw tend to hate it because they were taxed heavily to pay for it… ah Stalin.

So to begin the day, all us POLEKO delegates and I were ushered to the Polblume recycling plant to see what one of the leaders of European recycling can teach Canada about going Green and truly espousing the idea of waste-not-want-not. Funded by the EU, they collect, treat, process, recover, and recycle electrical and electronic equipment, like batteries, circuit boards, glass, metals and polymers. That may not sound so high tech, but when they actually take old batteries and recycle them into new batteries, something that Canada doesn’t really do. Also, walking around their plant was actually pretty cool. There was this giant cub of compacted electronics, and it seems a pair of surgical scissors survived the event.

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To me, that’s super cool.

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Those are two giant crates of discarded televisions. You could make a giant monster out of televisions with these. If any of my readers like reusing old/found materials to create art installations, this plant is like your Mecca.

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Next stop on the tour was to the Warsaw Uprising Museum. I’m hoping that most people know by now about the 1944 civilian uprising in Warsaw that saw an underground movement attempt to drive the Nazi occupiers out of the devastated city. I mean, you can’t go through life without knowing about the absolute devastation Poland faced during WWII. The invasion of Poland is literally what kicked off the war in September 1939, the largest death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau is located in Poland, and they fought so bravely from behind the Ghetto walls and from behind occupied lines to save their people.

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The museum was massive, and we didn’t have much time there unfortunately, so I tried to see as much as I could. They have excellent exhibits, most of it audio-visual. I actually sat and watched reel after reel of excellent documentary footage taken from the streets, close-up and in the face of the revolt and of the captured Nazi soldiers. They also had a great 3D film that reconstructs Warsaw at the end of the war, as it lay in absolute ruins. The city was levelled to the ground, so when you walk around Warsaw now, the entire old town had to be rebuilt from city photographs. Some old buildings were able to salvage the foundations or perhaps loading walls, but Warsaw was basically razed to the ground.

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I didn’t take too many photographs inside the museum because I was watching so much archival footage, but here are a few. If you’re in Warsaw, you must visit the museum!

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IMG_5474.JPGLook at this gorgeous Meteor typewriter! You all know typewriters are my kind of pornography, but this one was used by the Uprising in order to galvanize and organize the revolt. This typewriter changed history!

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IMG_5479.JPGYou know what I love about Warsaw and her streets? 聽Sometimes you can turn a corner, and realize you cannot find any traces of the 21st century anywhere. Bless this town.

IMG_5486.JPGSome Warsaw street art for good measure! More from my adventures in Poland and #Polska14 coming up! Check the Twitter hashtag to keep up with my adventures in real time!