Our Streets (2024)

Following the successful street event “Where will the flight take us?” Beetroots Collective has been developing another community art project. 

Our Streets’ is a multimedia project about Active Travel and reclaiming urban spaces for pedestrian use. Award winning artists -Marta Adamowicz and Robert Motyka (Beetroots Collective CIC) – in association with Causey Development Trust and Sustrans have worked with the local community to create a stunning spectacle of outdoor projections at The Causey square.

They have organised linocutting workshops where participants created artwork about their favourite forms of active travel and landscapes they like to travel to. The participants’ artwork has then been turned into a short animation that will be displayed on the building of The Causey at 8 pm on the 8th of March.

The event will run in association with Causey Development Trust, Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh Critical Mass, Infra Sisters, Na Przełaj, Living Streets and Buccleuch Free Church turning it into a splendid celebration culminating in a short Sing-a-long version of the song ‘Our Streets’ by Dan Abrahams.

Borscht – community film screenings (2024)

Borscht – community film screening of Eastern European films in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Curated by Agnieszka Koperniak-Kerr and Dr Małgorzata Bugaj.

City of Hopes (2024)

Project in development.

City of Hopes is a community-driven art documentary project.

In May 2024 Poland will celebrate the 20th anniversary of joining the European Union. As a follow-up to a successful multimedia project “City of Homes” Beetroots Collective artists would like to create another one with the theme of joining and belonging to the European Union and its values and hopes. The conversation will include how the Polish community feels in post-Brexit Scotland.

Beetroots Collective would like to run several art workshops with the Polish community in various places in Scotland including remote ones. During the art workshops participants will learn how to create linocuts, prints, paper cutouts (wycinanki) and collages and will have informal chats in their first language about their feelings, thoughts and experiences.

During the workshops, participants will also be interviewed on camera. Both interviews and created visual and audio content will be edited and animated into an art documentary film, which will be presented in May 2024 as part of Poland in EU celebrations in Scotland. The film will also be shared with international partners of the project.

Project partners:

  • Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh
  • Feniks
  • Citizens Rights Project
  • Sikorski Polish Club in Glasgow

Christmas Party at the French Institute (2023)

The Polish community in Edinburgh – pupils of Szkoła bez Granic im. Niedźwiedzia Wojtka, girl Scouts of 67 Drużyna Harcerek Regle and adults and families of Cześć! Spotkania po Polsku in the Southside Community Centre created Polish traditional paper cut-outs (wycinanki), which became a decoration for the Christmas event at the French Institute, organised by Łukasz Lutostański, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh.

Where Will the Flight Take Us? (2023)

‘Where Will The Flight Take Us?’ is a community art collaboration project which culminated in a celebrational outdoor street event. Local artists Kate Leiper and Robert Motyka worked with a local school, Preston Street Primary, encouraging the pupils to imagine and draw their own bird. They were inspired by the meaning of birds, both real and imaginary – what they can tell us about ourselves, the environment, community, migration, and climate collapse.

The pupils’ work was digitalised, formed into a short animation along with a soundscape, and then projected on the buildings surrounding the Causey at a public event. The Causey is currently an ugly traffic island but the space was magically transformed with the animations, demonstrating the power of imagination and creativity in place transformation and strengthening community bonds.

Future Tales (2022)

We worked with Feniks Counselling, Personal Development and Support Services, Scottish Arab Women Association, Amina the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, Saheliya, Govanhill Housing Association, Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre to run workshops with minority ethnic women and trans women to talk about what a Scotland free of violence against women and girls would mean for them.

These workshops were a space to explore Scotland free from men’s violence against women and girls by looking at women’s place in traditional fairy tales and how we may rewrite these narratives. Women wrote new fairytales and illustrated them using linocut. Thank you to all the women who shared their experiences and vision for ‘A Scotland free from men’s violence against women and girls’ with us.

City of Homes (2021)

by Rachael Disbury, Director, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival

Marta Adamowicz and Robert Motyka’s audiovisual artwork, City of Homes, is an outcome of their residency, in which they worked closely with Polish communities in Edinburgh, as part of Culture Collective. Using sound, interviews, animation, collage and video projection, the work explores and presents lived experiences of migration and complex notions of belonging, while questioning the link between the geography of place and the concept of home. 

Adamowicz and Motyka invited participants to make linocuts of buildings that provoked emotions associated with the word ‘home’. The resulting artworks featured vast and diverse responses, which the artists then worked into an audiovisual live performance, with projection-mapped imagery and a soundscape created from fragments of collected interviews. The result was shown in the Southside Community Centre in Edinburgh, and filmed to create this subsequent moving-image work, which features the added layer of the audience we see in the frame – the participants from whose lived experiences these sounds and images take meaning. 

The vocal fragments included in the piece vary in perspective and interpretation, ruminating on which criteria are relevant to solidify where home is, and conjuring the conclusion that home itself is an expanded and dual concept. Several accounts reflect on the idea that home is inside each of us, multiple and diverse. A hopeful thought for communities in Edinburgh, in any city or town, that our places and populations hold so many homes. 

The formal and conceptual qualities, as well as the gently-paced layering of images and fragmented text, speak to the wider themes of the work – the fluidity of home, the concept of plural identities, the vibrantly collaged nature of community. In the centre of City of Homes’s composition is a door. Among the shifting and changing elements which pull us in various directions throughout the piece, the door is our constant anchor, and reveals the fabric of the community centre in which the participants sit, rooted in that moment to this place. It is a dimension to which the exhibition context at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2023 adds further texture, presenting the work as a projection onto the interior brick of Borders Textile Towerhouse’s barrel vault.

Imaginery Cityscape (2020)

By Iliyana Nedkova, curator

Imaginary Cityscape Once upon a time, an awful pandemic struck the city of Edinburgh. A tiny spiky disruptor caused the closure of Abbeyhill Primary School. However, imaginary and surreal creatures walked past and moved in. Abbeyhill cityscape changed forever – Arthur’s Seat radiated with the colours of the rainbow, swans strolled the streets and bears rode bicycles. The artisan houses were ablaze with multicoloured raindrops and festival banners. Even the world-famous scientist Albert Einstein, albeit in disguise, took residence.

Imaginary Cityscape by Agnieszka Mietkiewicz and Robert Motyka Artists-in-Residence at Abbeyhill Primary School

Illustrated by P7 pupils from Abbeyhill Primary School

Bloody Foreigners Campaign (2015)

Bloody Foreigners isn’t yet another tabloid article – it’s a UK-wide movement aimed at raising awareness of blood donation; promoting a positive image of migrant and ethnic minority groups and demonstrating that they are fully capable of integrating and giving back.

Blood is in high demand and despite the fact that there already are many regular donors more are needed every day. So why not become one? It’s as simple as registering with your local blood centre and donating roughly once every three months.

Join us NOW and help us saving lives! We are Bloody Foreigners, and we know how to give back!

Archive Facebook page: LINK

Vote You Are At home Campaign (2014-2016)

This project was set up to raise awareness about voting rights and enhance the political participation of the Polish citizens living in Scotland. Our aim is to provide information about voting rights. We are not associated with any political party. This campaign is run voluntarily by the Polish Cultural Festival Association in association with Jestes u siebie zaglosuj campaign initiated by the School for Leaders Association from Poland.

Polish Scottish Heritage Project (2013-2014)

The Polish-Scottish Heritage aims to promote a greater awareness of Poland and Scotland’s shared heritage. It is especially important now that the Polish community in Scotland is larger than ever before (67 000), to discover those long lasting connections, preserving and celebrating the shared histories of places, events and people for present and future generations.

Youtube Channel: LINK

Polish Food and Culture Festival (2012)

A series of culinary and cultural events. The events were designed to introduce people to the exciting flavours of Poland while giving them an opportunity to learn more about Polish culture. The series of tasting events were run alongside interesting exhibitions, movie screening and games, as well as with songs for children introducing Polish traditions of Christmas and Polish celebrations like St Andrews day . (audience 500 people)

Polish Kaleidoscope (2011)

A series of public lectures and cultural events presenting different aspects of Polish modern culture. Throughout the year, the PCFA showcased Polish contemporary cinema, design, animation, literature, urban design, history and language to a mixed Polish and Scottish audience to stimulate interest and discussion. (total programme audience 1525)

Bajka-Fairytale Project (2010)

 Art and theatre workshops for Polish and Scottish children. The script for the play used Polish and Scottish fairy tales as well as songs and rhymes. Polish and English speaking children acted in the play.  (20 children acting, 150 people saw the shows)

The Experiance of Polish Scottish Integration (2010)

A research and community consultation project funded by “Investing in Ideas” Big Lottery Fund. The project created a platform to discuss the process of
integration in Scotland, and allowed us to learn more about the needs and barriers to integration for the Polish migrant community in Scotland. It also generated ideas and recommendations to design better informed services and projects responsive to the needs of the community. (The Polish-Scottish Heritage Trail is one of the projects based on the outcomes of this research).

Confident Careers (2010)

Career development workshops for Ethnic Minority Women delivered with Skills for Scotland, and Edinburgh Napier University. (60 women took part in total of 3 workshops)

Polish Cultural Festival (2009)

week long programme of events (20-26th April 2009) showcasing theatre, heritage, visual arts, film and music. The festival was a great success and attracted an audience of almost 7 000 who participated in 20 different events run in venues all over Edinburgh

Archive Facebook page: LINK