Oratorium on saws and happening with forest mandalas.Krakow 13 03 2016
Art activism, happenings, performances in public spaces, workshops. This was an artistic action on Krakow’s Main Market Square, which was conceived and organised by Cecylia Malik, with support from the ‘Niedzielni’ collective. It was part of a nationwide protest against the controversial decision by the new minister of the environment of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jan Szyszko. His decision permitted the widespread felling of trees in Białowieża Forest, one of the most precious treasures of Polish nature. It is the last woodland of its kind in Europe, recognised on the UNESCO list of world heritage. .
On 13 March, there were citizens’ protests in many Polish cities against the policy of the new minister. The minister had compromised himself before in 2007, when he opposed the famed defence of the Rospuda Valley – and yet he was chosen again as a minister following the recent elections (October 2015). Prior to the Krakow protest, local people spent two weeks painting mandalas, which symbolised shields to defend the forest. During the happening, the mandalas were also used to represented the trees themselves. Saws were used as instruments in the concert, and Krakovians fell to the ground like trees that had been cut down.