MEMORY PELLETON 17.09 HAS COME FOR THE THIRD TIME!
September 17, 1939 is a special and symbolic date for many people from Białystok. The Soviet aggression onto Poland brought for inhabitants of our region a time of deportations, wanderings, breakups of families and trauma of exile to Siberia and to Kazakhstan. The Peleton of Memory organized for the third time (on 17.09) is an event that brings up the memory of human experiences from that period of time. Every year, we move through the streets of Białystok and we stop in places related to people whom lives became a testimony of deportees fate. Some of them returned home, others stayed in Siberia forever.
We began the peloton at Kilińskiego Street - a place associated with Bolesław Augustis. He was a Białystok photographer who, arrested at the turn of 1939 and 1940, never returned to Białystok. He left Siberia with the Army of General Anders, and after the war he settled in New Zealand. He left behind photographs (borrowed by The Association for Cultural Eduaction 'Widok'), in which he consolidated the inhabitants of Białystok. The participants of the peleton could move into the world of Augustis photos. The large format photographs were accompanied by the exhibition of characters ‘taken out’ from the photos and among them were students of Primary School No. 19, the Technical and General Education School Complex with Integration Departments in Białystok and the Opel car from 1930 lent by 'Moto Retro'. The space arranged in that way showing the carefree pre-war world collided with an exhibition showing people going to cattle cars. Their Siberian ordeal has just begun.
This year's weather has symbolically allowed us to experience inconveniences and extreme weather conditions. The participants of the peleton, in the pouring rain, reached the next stops on the route. At Mazowiecka Street 35, we mentioned the late Ryszard Kaczorowski, who was a Białystok citizen, a Siberian deportee, the last President of the Republic of Poland in Exile. At Węglowa Street we could feel the atmosphere of the building construction of The Sybir Memorial Museum. This is where the Peloton of Memory was dissolved. Delegations of employees of The Sybir Memorial Museum, The Polish Fishing Assosiation in Białystok, The Association of Siberian Deportees and local residents laid flowers and candles at the monument dedicated to deported Białystok citizens. The words of the Siberian anthem had a special significance there.
On September 29, 2019, the Peleton of Memory was summed up with the concert ‘White stop’, to which Siberian deportees, participants of the Peleton of Memory and Białystok citizens were invited. The musical tale about the fate of the Siberian deportees, directed by Michał Jarmoszuk, a lecturer at The Puppet Theatre Art Department in Bialystok, was presented on the guest stage of The School Theater of The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art (The Department of Puppet – Theatre Arts in Białystok). It was created by the words of poems written by Anna Rudawcowa and memories of Irena Bujalska. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the staging the performance!
Thank you to all Partners of The Peloton of Memory 17.09: The Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy (The Puppet Theatre Art Department in Bialystok), The Assosiation of Enthusiasts of Old Automobile and Technique ‘Moto Retro’, The Association for Cultural Education ‘Widok’, The Cycling Białystok, WOAK Białystok, The Technical and General Education School Complex with Integration Departments in Białystok , Chilli Pizza, The Polish Scouting Association - Ryszard Kaczorowski, The Polish Fishing Association in Bialystok and to the media patrons: Polish Radio Białystok, TVP3 Białystok, TVP Kultura.