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Why the Summer Camp in Chlewiska? 

Our Association’s nine-year experience (especially its music and dance aspects) has clearly shown a continual lack of educational programs that put emphasis on direct contact with living traditional culture and heritage. It is only through personal contact – meeting the musicians, singers, dancers and craftsmen – that a genuine and thorough understanding of village culture can be achieved. In order to understand it, one has to experience it at its very source, and not, as often happens, from a distance or mediated by different kinds of stylisation. Direct contact shapes an openness in approach to tradition and can inspire and trigger creativity.

People often do not appreciate their own heritage, especially if they have grown up ignorant of it. It is especially characteristic of village people, who are now experiencing a kind of cultural shock, which comes from a mixture of fascination with mass culture and ignorance of local traditions. In our efforts to deal with this situation, we take inspiration from the Hungarian tanchaz movement and similar initiatives in France, Scandinavia or Ireland, where “dance houses” are an everyday occurence.

We want to show you the culture that has enchanted us, and we want to encourage you to have a taste of it yourselves.Our efforts will be supported by our guests and friends, musicians and dancers from France and Hungary, whose work for their local communities is parallel to ours.

Why the Radomskie and Opoczynskie regions

Our bonds with the Radomskie and Opoczynskie regions date back to 1994. Since then, we have been doing ethnographical research and documentation in villages (under the supervision of Prof. Andrzej Bienkowski), as well as inviting village artists to Warsaw. An important factor in our relations with villagers is that they have formed long-lasting friendships. The above regions are rich in original and well-preserved ethno-musicological culture, which in some places is still alive. An amazing variety of unique and typically Polish music and dance can be found here. There also remain extremely interesting traces of former coexistence of Polish and Jewish music. The most excellent musicians of the Polish lowlands come from the area. Religious songs of medieval origin are still sung there (the first known composer of Polish church songs – the blessed Wladyslaw – lived in the area).

 Places of interest in Chlewiska and the surrounding area. 

There are many high rate historical monuments in Chlewiska and its surroundings: historical  19th-century steelworks, a 13th-century fortified palace of the Odrowaz family (rebuilt during the Renaissance and the Classical period), a 12th-century parish church (originally Romanesque, rebuilt in the Gothic style). The surrounding fields and forests are also a wonderful area for walking and cycling – the region lies at the foot of the Swietokrzyskie mountains.

There is a variety of museums in the region. The Museum of Folk Instruments, based in a 15th-century castle in Szydlowiec (former residence of the Szydlowieccy and Radziwillowie families), is unique in Europe. Szydlowiec also boasts a late Renaissance town hall and a late Gothic St. Sigmund church. In the nearby Przysucha, there is the Oskar Kolberg Museum, situated in the manor house where the famous Polish ethnographer was born.

A place worth visiting in the city of Radom is the Radom Village Museum heritage park. 

The Camp in Chlewiska

Participants will set up their own program of activities during the day, choosing from the workshops offered. Apart from the workshops, everyone is welcome to participate in seminars and discussions, as well as dances every night.