I continued my process of gathering footage to tell the story of our two-year journey of discovery together. This includes documenting the projects by the other Memory of Water artists. I am shooting one film in each city, so now I’m starting to edit the film for Gdańsk, but I will gradually stitch the shorter films together into a longer feature.
This was our second Memory of Water residency in Gdańsk, but I have been there several times before. I am always so glad to see the cranes in the skyline and the shipyard still working. The schedule was intense with many parallel events going on, but for me the hardest part was walking the vast shipyard with the camera equipment! My brief was to cover the artists’ process and activities throughout the week as well as the partners’ meetings.
I didn’t have a resolved visual concept before arriving in Gdańsk. The main focus, of course, was the thematics of the Memory of Water project. In Levadia, I started and finished in the River Erkyna itself. The camera (GoPro) emerged from the water to witness the actions, and then returned, submerged back in the river. In Gdańsk, I got the idea of walking – tracing my steps – through the Shipyard, up from the river, feet walking around the events, and then down into the water again at Martwa Wisła quay, where local artist, Czesław Podleśny, has installed a group of steel-robots sculptures at the water’s edge. There was a lot of walking! I had great assistance from local film-maker miss Anna Domanska over three days who helped me to cover parallel events. Each of the artists is working on separate projects so I’m trying to connect them spatially through the film for the audience.
At the same time, during this week and the whole experience in Gdańsk, I was collecting “good examples” of developing shipyard heritage. To show how culture and the art scene can grow and evolve with regeneration. I have the opposite experience unfortunately in Gothenburg, where the shipyard disappeared over ten years and nothing of the tangible or intangible heritage was saved.
There are many exciting things happening to protect and rethink shipyard heritage in Gdańsk, like with Stocznia Cesarka, for example. These sustainable approaches are here to stay! For one thing, the shipyard area is now more accessible for locals and tourists. I think a mobile application with archival pictures, maps and guided tours would be a popular idea.