A summary of the project „Poland. Eastern Partnership – A Dialogue on the Orthodoxy Plane.”


The project of the Fellowship Orthodox Intitiative OrthNet: “Poland – Eastern Partnership” was completed. It was co-funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The main objective of the project was to familiarize the public with past and present-day Polish culture viewed through the prism of Orthodoxy. The project objective was achieved through a presentation of an exhibition “Colours of Orthodoxy. Poland”. The exhibition vernissages took place in capital cities of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Georgia as well as in smaller towns in those countries (Vinnica, Rakov, Balti, Ruse, Loznica). A few dozen of volunteers from Poland and partner countries worked on the project for over six months (from 01.05.2013 until 30.11.2013) to achieve their goals.

The project can be considered as a historic one because it was the first undertaking which promoted  Poland in Eastern and Southern Europe through the rich history and traditions of Orthodoxy in Poland. Polish Orthodoxy was presented in 200 pictures of 57 authors, users of the website www.orthphoto.net. The pictures presented Orthodoxy viewed through both: camera lenses and hearts of the photographers. Pictures showed our churches from small villages and big cities, colours of festive and everyday customs and traditions, colourful and respected personae connected with Orthodoxy, clergy and the believers.

It is worth noting that all of the exhibitions were inaugurated or visited by heads of local Orthodox churches. Moreover, the announcements about the exhibitions and broadcasts from our events were aired in religious and public media in host countries. Therefore, the exhibition was an opportunity to present Orthodoxy and Poland in main news feeds of local public channels. In addition, the exhibition was mentioned in numerous online news feeds outside host countries. Web analysis provided over 120 links to web pages with pieces of information on our project. Moreover, exhibitions took place in several well-known and often-visited places around Europe such as: a National Library, Seat of a Patriarchate, an Ethnography Museum, universities or the Bridge of Lovers in Sofia. We were also the first ones to present an exhibition in St Sava Church in Belgrade!

Each vernissage was accompanied by a choir conducted by Fr Luke Godun. The choir sang touching religious and patriotic songs during vernissages. In Romania, the Trinitas TV recorded an hour-long concerto of the choir.

The project also involved publishing of a photo album “Colours of Orthodoxy. Poland” in three language versions: Polish, English and Russian. The album is a hardback, A4 size book of 176 pages with over 120 photos. The publication was based on a 2011 album by the same title printed by Warsaw Orthodox Metropolie.

In addition, during the exhibitions visitors received CDs with a photocast with material from the exhibition. The photocast is a video clip by Mr Roman Wasiluk interwound with pictures presenting Orthodoxy in Poland. The photocast is available at the recently launched Orthphoto channel on www.youtube.com. There you can also find church chants in different languages sung by orthodox youth, parish, monastery, and military choirs.

The project “Poland - Eastern Partnership. A Dialogue on the Orthodoxy Plane” was co-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Public and Cultural Diplomacy). It participated in the “Cooperation in Public Diplomacy 2013” competition project. However, the completion of the project would not have been possible without support from several other institutions, namely: Podlaskie Voievodeship Marshall Office, Białystok City Council, Michałowo Town and Muncipality Council, Foundation “Dialogue of Nations”, Foundation “OIKONOMOS”, Orthodox Charity Center “Eleos” as well as companies: Adampol, Unibep, Pronar and Naftan.

We would like to express our gratitude to all of the people involved in the project and to everyone who supported us. Thank you very much for your kindness!

We would also like to encourage you to see a photo report from the project which presents preparations to and vernissages. The report is available at cerkiew.pl.

Magdalena Kucharewicz