Cichago Colony

Nowe Miasto Lubawskie/Ciche, 2016

New Warmth Festival: Economic System Building

a documentary, installation site-specific

New Warmth: Building with Economic System, Nowe Miasto lubawskie, 2016

In the beginning of the ‘90s, my parents bought one of the several recreational land lots in the Brodnica Lake District, in the village Ciche. They were cut off by one of the farmers from his land and in a way they laid foundations for a new colony. In 20-years’ time, a small settlement of recreational houses sprouted, named facetiously by the present owners ‘Cichago’. In my project, I research the stories behind their choice of the place, I discover the dreams and cares of the finders of the oasis of peace. Finally, I establish a new administrative unit – Cichago.

The name ‘Cichago Colony’ was coined together by the community of this place and it indicates their values, important events, but also delineates the divisions of the social hierarchy.

The board, delusively similar to an official ones marking administrative units, was placed by the road leading to the colony, on the lot belonging to one of the characters of the documentary. The installation itself caused quite an uproar, both positive and negative. Some of the inhabitants were bothered by it so much that they reported it to the police, partially due to the fact that is was overcrossing the community terrain. Just two days after it was installed by the aforementioned farmer, he was given a fine and was ordered to remove it immediately.

In the Cichago Colony, the inflammatory issue turned out to be territoriality. Crossing even the symbolic borders of one’s land often evokes emotions. One of the expression of territorial behavior is fencing the land, but also giving it a name.