MEDICAL SOCIETY POLISH-AMERICAN PROJECTS
The Kalejdoskop Polski MN project started with the purpose of the story of the Polish-American Community, especially the stories of the post-WWII immigrants who moved to Minnesota. The goal is to add information about the postwar Polish American immigrant experience in Minnesota culture and America.
The project aims to educate about issues of immigration, the diversity of the Minnesota population, and the importance of oral history narratives from a microhistory perspective and touches upon many universal values (solidarity, dignity, freedom, resilience, post-traumatic growth, community building, inclusiveness, health access, and equity.) We will consider it a success if Polish Americans feel included in Minnesota's story of immigration and if observers experience a powerful sense of empathy in witnessing the stories through a positive and compassionate lens.
The Kalejdoskop project combines oral history interviews with documentary photography. The first two phases of the project have been completed. Phase One of the project focused on Polish Solidarity activists turned prisoners and political refugees. Phase Two focused on the post-WWII era Polish immigrants. We are in planning stage of Phase Three, focusing on the immigrants who escaped from behind the Iron Curtain during Cold War.
Dr. Katarzyna Litak is the project manager, exhibitions curator, and graphic designer. She conducted oral history interviews for the project.
Documentary photographer Grzegorz Litynski was contracted for the visual part of the project. www.litynski.com
The project has received grant support from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Metro Regional Arts Council, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. We also have partnered with the Landmark Center, Ramsey County Historical Society, East Side Freedom Library, Roseville Public Library, and the University of St. Thomas and Kowalski's Market.