We have the pleasure of inviting you to the opening of the exhibition:
Lost Place / Metanoia
Opening of the exhibition: April 6, 2017 at 6 PM
Białystok Cultural Centre Small Gallery
5 Legionowa Street, Białystok
The exhibition will be open until April 24, 2017
„Imagine a garbage dump. Our life looked liked that until recently”.
The deep dark centre of the Knyszyn Forest – no one ventures there without the need. A line of abandoned buildings does not encourage visitors. The works in which household appliances and agricultural machinery used to be produced in. This is a mysterious place that has not been fully understood to this day. But some people smirk: This used to be a weapon factory. Legends are being told about that place. We may never know what was really happening in a dozen of well-hidden warehouses. Perhaps they served as depots for weaponry from the USSSR, perhaps the weapons used to be made there, perhaps the complex served as a secret science laboratory. Today one cannot find a vestige of its former glory. If anyone plunges into the area he will see abandoned buildings without glass, with documents scattered all over the floor, old books and machine manuals. The buildings look good only from a bird’s eye view, creating a rectangular arrangement like a mosaic, in which everything fits.
But there is a place that is still alive. In the former administration building there is asylum for young people, called by some „disaffected youth”. They look nothing out of the ordinary from the distance. At close range, they are as incomplete as those buildings. Abandoned at some point but not redundant. Someone decided to fight for them and they wanted to fight for themselves. They were headed off by the Metanoia – a place without the address that exists for 17 years. The Catholic Centre of Upbringing and Addiction Therapy operates under the Białystok Caritas and helps the youth addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is a beacon for those, who were not spared by life. The walls of the former enterprise make it difficult to reach and make it virtually invisible. It is not surprising, taking into account it is supposed to serve as an asylum. Without old habits, friends, and drugs. With no opportunity to go astray. It is the asylum where young people have one more chance to learn how to live, how to exist in the society. They have to learn that there are people that can be trusted and that they do not have to count only on themselves. It is a place where big wooden keys are being carried around and only the insiders know for what purpose. It is a place where the rhythm of the day is set with a brass bell. The bell puts their lives into a scheme that makes them believe again in future. They know they will have it.
text: Urszula Śleszyńska
Kamil Śleszyński (born in 1982), holder of the scholarship of the Marshal of the Podlaskie Voivodeship, awarded in the Projekt Przetwórnia competition (2015), laureate of the Debuts program (2016), finalist of the FotoFilmic’16 competition (2016).