[LIVE] Reclaiming our space – University of Amsterdam

I was just travelling and visiting friends in Amsterdam, when unexpecedly I landed in the middle of events. Trying to understand the movement and the protest it’s been impossible to stay just an observer.

6.03.2015. It’s been a 9th day of the proceedings of De Nieuwe Universiteet (The New University) in the Maagdenhuis – the headquarter of UvA (University of Amsterdam). At the moment there are few hundred people in the building. The place has become my home for couple of days and nights now.

This is what was happening in the very same building in 1969.
Occupation of Maagdenhuis in 1969

Maagdenhouse is the second building taken over by students within last weeks.
The first one was Bungehuis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungehuis_Occupation
After police evicted Bungehuis on 24.02.2015, the street protest went towards Maagdenhuis which was taken over with spontaneous, brave, determined and powerful action after short clash with the security.

Students and teachers demand rights, participation, democratisation, fair contracts, no cuts on humanities, no for profit-driven corporate management and regaining the status of academia.

More details:

Every day lectures, debates, workshops and cultural events like concerts take place in Maagdenhuis. Press room, cafeteria, legal support, info point, catering corner, security are on-site.

Why this all happens? What does it stand for? This article might give you an answer.
Why we occupy: Dutch universities at the crossroads

The negotiations with the former (?) board of managers and directors are in progress. Status Quo remains.

What can you do to help?
Stay positive, necessarily share this info, send energy, talk about it, get involved, read more, rethink your individuality and solidarity, organise actions in your city/country.

This petition, signed (among the others) by Noam Chomsky, you can sign right now.



My music

At the moment my main instrument is happy steel drum that I call Gazofon.  I have a couple of them and use them for busking, relaxing, jamming and bringing the light, ambient sound and soothing energy. Two of them were designed and produced by my friend Bozdek. The rest we created on our own with my other friend in MiMa workshop in Wrocław. Some people call them Hangs, but this not accurate at all. Although the idea of post-industrial metal sound is similar, Hangs are totally different. They used to be made by PanArt studio in Switzerland. The production was stopped and one reason for it was abusing the trademark and big popularity of the idea of Hang.

My second favorite instrument is acoustic guitar. I write lyrics and compose songs. I have learned couple of must-to-know covers too.

Some years ago we set a rock band in Wrocław. All My Bliss was the name and it was really a great fun to be playing concerts. We even won some competition and played on the roof ;) Our career was just as our songs: strong, energetic, loud, ambitious, emotional and short ;) Anyway it was great time! Thanks for Asia (drummer), Adam (guitar), Arlen (voc.) and Czarek (guitar). I played bass.

Every now and then I am happy to get some attention and to feed my artistic soul. Slamming and freestyling is a lot of fun!

I hope to record and be able to upload more of my music soon.

Top travel movies

Im Juli
Daniel is a young physics teacher in a school in Hamburg. He lives very regular life.  When Juli offers him a ring with a symbol of the Sun the magical adventure begins. Easy, but no trivial. Very optimistic, romantic and inspiring. For all freedom lovers. The name of Turkish-German director Fatih Akin is a guarantee of fun. Watching this movie I really had the feeling of being involved in the trip personally.

Into the wild
After finishing studies Alexander starts his great trip to Alaska to follow the call of nature in his soul. Dealing with most of American dreams. Obligatory lecture for everyone who feels like leaving everything and hitting the road.  Great soundtrack by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam vocal).

One day in Europe
Comedy. 4 stories in 4 different locations (Turkey, Spain, Russia, Germany). Concept quite similiar to Jim Jarmusch’s “Night on Earth”. This time, however, the unifing elements are not taxis, but football, police, thieves and tourists. Gives you the taste of little intercultural differences.

Tony Gatlif’s movies are rarely easy. Vengo is no diferent. Feeling of flamenco and Andalucia, honor and blood.  Amazing music and landscapes.

Breathtaking adventure. This movie will take you all the way. Picturesque documentary with outstanding photos and no dialogues. World, nature, humanity. Highly inspiring. Big screen and external speakers recommended.

To be continued…

Festival Balonolas by SZTUKiSZUM

Wroclaw is my city. First time I came here was some 12 years ago. In here I studied at University, worked, lived and loved. Here I played bass guitar in a punk rock band All My Bliss, played football with Odrzańska Bryza. Finally here with a group of friends we formed an association named SZTUKiSZUM.

Since 2012 there’s a festival BALO NOLAS being organised. It takes place on one of May weekends and is situated in one of down-town suburbs of Olbin district. BALONOLAS means BalloonForrest and was originally inspired by a French artist’s Alexander Grey (Al Gruk) idea about installing nets, platforms, ropes, tree-houses etc. in public space and making them accessible to audience. First edition of minus budget and pure volunteer activism became a beginning of a great series of events. Last year (BALONOLAS 2014) edition focused on synaesthetical trials to boost local creativity (the 6th sense). The animation of the courtyard was a great success. Check the gallery:)

This year is a breakthrough. SZTUKiSZUM was officially registered as an association. The organisation is applying to the city council for a donation. If given, the range of BALONOLAS can be even more impressing.

Hitchhiking Europe

Why hitchhiking?
Hitchhiking is more than just a way of travelling. It is a state of mind.
It is not only cheap way of getting around. You will reach the places that normally you would never hear about and meet many people. While talking on the train/bus becomes kind of a challenge these days for commuters, hitching is usually all about having a conversation!

How to hitchhike?
Good mood and optimistic approach are essential
Good to have Plan B. It might be a tent or a sleeping bag that will allow you to spend a night anywhere and not suffer cold/wet/harsh conditions. That’s right. Plan. Obviously we are spontaneous and going with the flow, but we are also the masters of our destiny. Find your way, find the way ouf of the city. It might be a very good idea to write a card with the name of your destination – you can show it to the people that you have no chance talking to. There are 2 basic ways of getting a lift – weaving or asking. First – you stay by the road in a convenient place for cars to stop and weave your hand, finger or expose the card. Second – you go around the service station or parking and keep asking people if they go your direction. In both situations you have to make good first impression so be shiny! :)

If it doesn’t go very good – like 2, 5 or 10 hours in one place (my record – 2 days waiting for a lift), just keep it up. Smile and enjoy the place where you are and the time together with your partner. Be patient and don’t spill your nerves on each other.
It is not your fault. No explanations like “if only i had more money for the train or hostel” – it is not the clue. This is exactly the place where your adventure begins (again) and no money can buy it.

Alone or with a friend?
Companionship is good, adds safety, gives you extra energy in the difficult moments, helps you to coordinate hitching (ie. one person can guard the luggage while the other one is going around and asking the drivers).
However extending your boundaries on your own is a powerful feeling and gives extra point to your self-esteem. But be careful – are you really on your own? While asking the strangers for help, while to refuse your friends? Sometimes there is just no chance to go with a friend by your side. But if you have a colleague or an aquaintance he/she will probably become your close friend after your trip. And if you travel along with a friend, it is a great adventure together and experience that can really tighten your relation.

One good reason to go with a friend is when you are a girl and don’t feel too comfortable with men flirting with you every single moment. However most of the people you will meet they will be angels carrying you forward on their wings, you will also meet some fools. Beware on them and use your attention. Learn how to trust your intuition and feel free to reject a ride for any reason.

Hitchhiking online
The art of travel is not what it used to be. Although becoming a tramp might seem like quite an  old-school adventure, the use of technologies among the vagabonds is no longer a surprise and possibilities are endless… Check the web for offers of free/cheap rides in your country/area. Use GPS or online maps to navigate. Don’t know what is the best spot to hitchhike out of Paris? Try hitchwiki. The sense and spirit of a low-budget traveller with a smartphone or a laptop in your pocket might be discussive, but the hi-tech world is surrounding us so much these days. And everywhere…

Paying for the lift?
Even though the autostop according to many is free, there are countries in the world where the payment will be expected by a driver who takes you from the road.

Another popular option is sharing a ride in exchange for participation in the costs of fuel.

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Volunteering in Ankara, Turkey

Six months living in Turkey with Güçkobir, kids and strong team of international volunteers.

For me, it was a big experience, a significant part of life-long learning process, great dose of fun and travelling inspiration, several beautiful trips and many friendships. I’m also happy to have been able to contribute to local society – especially the wonderful Turkish and Kurdish children.

Our activities were focused on inter-cultural education through sport, activities, art, music, language learning or just simple every-day interactions. It was my first long-term volunteering position, but not the last one.

Big thanks to all the team, our mentor Murat Berksun and my sending organisation: Fundacja dla Wolności.

EVS in Ankara

Art community in the old railway station

It’s amazing how we can re-create the space, the planet and the Universe with our actions.

When in early nineties group of theater students purchased an old railway station, the building remained in harsh conditions. Stacja Wolimierz slowly became not only a home for Klinika Lalek (Puppets’ Clinic) and a ground for an art festival that takes place every year. Now it’s a destination for many like Polish hippies, alternative travelers and international volunteers.

I spent two winters and two summers here volunteering. 

One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
Stacja Wolimierz will remain forever in my heart.
If you want to visit this place, deliver a project or work here just drop me a line and I will give you guidelines.


Fot. Peter Klocháň

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