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Trouble in Paradise – online meetings


A series of online meetings and panels accompanying the exhibition in the Polish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, the opening of which was postponed from May to next year in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The starting point for the events was the question How will we live together? – the main theme of the upcoming Biennale Architettura.

‘We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together: together as human beings who, despite our increasing individuality, yearn to connect with one another and with other species across digital and real space; together as new households looking for more diverse and dignified spaces for inhabitation; together as emerging communities that demand equity, inclusion, and spatial identity; . . . and together as a planet facing crises that require global action for us to continue living at all’ – fragment of the statement by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition.


Trouble in Paradise
21 May, Thursday, 5 p.m., Zachęta Facebook page
Meeting in Polish

On the day of the originally planned inauguration of Trouble in Paradise in the Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2020, we invite you to a meeting with the exhibition curators: PROLOG +1 (Mirabela Jurczenko, Bartosz Kowal, Wojciech Mazan, Bartłomiej Poteralski, Rafał Śliwa and Robert Witczak). Host: Hanna Wróblewska, Commissioner of the Polish Pavilion, and Michał Duda, Museum of Architecture in Wrocław.

The Trouble in Paradise exhibition treats the countryside as an independent area of research and seeks within it for answers to the main theme of the Biennale Architettura 2020: How will we live together? The authors of the project claim that in times of growing local and global crises, rural areas are an important element of building sustainable human environments.


What is the purpose of exhibitions of architecture? Development of architecture and critical thought.
27 May, Wednesday, 5 p.m., Zachęta Facebook page
Panel organiser: Architektura-murator
Watch the panel (Panel in English)

Every important architectural exhibition allows visitors not only to get acquainted with the current problems of contemporary architecture, but also to look into the future. However, the pandemic has made many of even the latest visions fade away in a month or two. What questions have become relevant? What new tasks and challenges have arisen for architecture? The panellists will discuss new challenges for architecture, the Biennale Architettura 2020 in the face of the pandemic and the role of architectural exhibitions in shaping architects’ attitudes. Can international architecture exhibitions really be an architectural seismograph?

Hosts: Ewa P. Porębska, editor-in-chief of Architektura-murator magazine, and Marcin Szczelina, architecture critic and curator (Architecture Snob)

Panel guests:
Aaron Betsky, curator, critic, rector of the School of Architecture at Taliesin (USA)
David Basulto, editor-in-chief and founder of ArchDaily, the world’s leading architectural online platform (based in Chile)
Ole Bouman, curator, publicist, critic, currently Director of Design Society Shenzhen (China)
Juulia Kauste, historian and curator of architecture, former long-time director of Arkkitehtuurimuseo / Museum of Finnish Architecture, now an independent expert


The Countryside In a Time of Climate Disaster. Food production, supply chains, role of the state, relationship with the land, the countryside as a place of residence
28 May, Thursday, 5 p.m., Zachęta Facebook page
Panel organiser: Autoportret
Panel in Polish

What are the most important trends shaping today’s countryside on a global and local scale? In the 21st century – the era of industrial food production (‘food as the oil of the future’) — the countryside is becoming a place of industrial production on a huge scale. What impact does this have on the transformation of rural areas? How do these transformations affect social change? What entities become owners of land in rural areas? What happens to individual farmers? In the discussion we will address the effects of rural industrialisation in the context of the climate crisis. We will consider how the modern functioning of the countryside affects the emission of greenhouse gases (food production, global transport, loss of biodiversity, mass animal husbandry in giant farms, etc.). As part of the food production and pandemic issues, we will analyse modern food supply chains and the possibilities of shortening them.

Hosts: Marta Karpińska and Dorota Leśniak-Rychlak, editors of Autoportret magazine

Panel guests:
dr hab. Piotr Nowak, professor at the Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University, conducts research on rural development and agricultural policy
Magdalena Zych, cultural anthropologist, coordinator of research projects at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow
Paweł Hałat, a PhD student at the Institute of Public Affairs of the Jagiellonian University, President of the Krakow Przestrzeń-Ludzie-Miasto [Space-People-City] association, deals with the development of regional strategies
Jan Czaja, leader of the local community in the Tarnów district, among others the initiator of the Paczka od rolnika [Package from a farmer] project, runs an agricultural farm


Exurbanites, or About New Rural Residents
29 May, Friday, 5 p.m., Zachęta Facebook page
Panel organiser: RZUT
Panel in Polish

The starting point for the discussion will be the tensions between new arrivals and locals, which became apparent during the ongoing pandemic, when a wave of city dwellers flooded the countryside, causing anxiety among local communities. The escape of the urban middle class into the countryside is no longer a marginal phenomenon, but a process defined and analysed by sociologists. The participants of the discussion will try to answer the following questions: are fugitives from the city colonisers, do they gentrify the village, and how does this affect its identity? What is contemporary chłopomania [the intelligentsia’s fascination with, and interest in, the peasantry] and can architects offer the countryside a new identity?

Hosts: Milena Trzcińska and Łukasz Stępnik, editors of the RZUT quarterly

Panel guests:
Krzysztof Janas and Jan Szeliga, the authors of the work Wieśland awarded by the Stefan Kuryłowicz Foundation
Agnieszka Pajączkowska, culture expert, creator of photographic, cultural and educational projects
dr Ruta Śpiewak, Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences
dr hab. Marcin Wójcik, Director of the Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Space Organisation at the Faculty of Geographical Sciences, University of Łódź


Trouble in Paradise – online meetings
21, 27-29 May 2020
Zachęta Facebook page

A series of online meetings and panels accompanying the exhibition in the Polish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice

Online meetings organised by Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in collaboration with „Architektura-murator”, „Autoportret”, „RZUT


graphic design: zespół wespół, photo: Paweł Starzec