WELCOME by MNRT* (co-published by the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and the Foundation for Visual Arts) is a photobook about the migration crisis. The publication includes texts by, among others, Anda Rottenberg, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Dorota Masłowska, Syrian-born poet Kholoud Charaf, Chechen writer Polina Zherebtsova, as well as photographs and paintings by artists including Karolina Gembara, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Joanna Kunert, Omar Marques, Natalia Wiernik.
All profits made from the sale of this book will be donated to Rescue Foundation (Fundacja Ocalenie).
“[…] the refugee is truly ‘the man of rights’ the first and only real appearance of rights outside the fiction of the citizen that always covers them over.”
The idea for this project germinated for several years, allowing for a gathering of observations relating to issues of migration and its causes and effects. While working on the publication, specialists from various fields—sociologists, writers, historians, and art theorists—met to initiate a dialogue with the artists on phenomena related to migration, such as fear of the unknown and the exclusion or manipulation of information (‘fake news’), duplicated for ad hoc purposes. The final shape of the book was influenced by events connected to the plight of refugees from the Middle East stranded on the Belarus–Poland border, as well as radical upheaval on a European and global scale triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has generated information and images of such significance that new chapters of history are opening—as in the case of the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
*MNRT – The MINORITY is an international collective of contemporary artists, photographers, and academics working in Poland. The collective is the initiator of both the WELCOME publication and exhibition, as well as of related activities.
The team includes Gabriela Basta, Aleksandra Krajewska, Magdalena Krajewska, Joanna Kunert, Omar Marques, Natasza Styczyńska, and Natalia Wiernik.