3 października 2016

Report from the Field School in Wilamowice

September 18–28 staff and students from the from the University of Warsaw faculty of “Artes Liberales”, Leiden University, and School of Oriental and African Studies in London, along with minority language activists from Poland and the UK participated in the EngHum Field School in Wilamowice. Participants took part in structured workshops on audio and video recording, software tools for data processing, and perspectives on cultural-linguistic research and revitalization methodology. All participants also gave presentations about their research and/or motivations for their involvement in the school (see the programme). Perhaps most importantly, all participants joined one of four groups, each of which was assigned a different task related to research and revitalization of minority languages and cultures. The four groups were:

– Museum in Wilamowice

This group was tasked with collaborating with community members in Wilamowice who are working toward the establishment of a local museum. Such a museum would provide space for the expresion of the unique cultural heritage of Wilamowice and the surrounding communities, as well as a safe environment for the storage and exibition of valuable local artifacts.

– School group

This group worked together with the local school in Wilamowice to develop didactic materials to improve methodologies for teaching minority languages. The group produced a number of integrated strategies for language teaching, including games, graphic materials, and ideas for various Apps that could be used for language learning.

– Surrounding villages group

This group surveyed the villages surrounding Wilamowice regarding the history of the area, attitudes towar Wymysorys and Wilamowian culture, and the relations between these villages and Wilamowice.

– Hałcnów

Much of the program took place at the hotel „Przystań nad Sołą“ in Bielany, just outside Wilamowice, where participants also stayed, ate together, and socialized. Two important events took place in the town of Wilamowice. On Sunday evening, the participants of the field school presented themselves and their groupwork to local community members and were treated to Wilamovian music and dancing, as well as the premiere of „Óf Yer Wełt“, a play in Wymysorys performed by the local theater group. On the final day of the field school, participants had the opportunity to meet and discuss the status of Wymysorys with members of the Commission of National and Ethnic Minorities, a body of the Polish Lower Chamber of Parliament (SEJM).

Bob Borges

See the gallery here.