Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Can a memory from childhood change our life? Follow the Yellow Brick Road was developed in dialogue with school teachers and activists from Nowa Huta district to fulfill the lack of activities for children spending summer holidays in the city and replying to the deficiency of art and cultural events during the school year. It was questioning how art activism can contribute to the reinterpretation of the area, its public life, and future development. By employing the language of play, defined as the fictional realization of wishes and desires, the project motivated children to create their own footprints and handprints casts in yellow concrete, using the symbol of a Forecourt of the Stars to point out the importance of each child participating in the process.

Nowa Huta, established in 1949 near the city of Krakow, was designed as a vast center of heavy industry aimed at rectifying the class imbalance prevalent in Krakow’s middle-class society, which exhibited significant resistance to the communist regime. The authorities sought to establish Nowa Huta as a self-sufficient satellite town that was intended to be superior to its neighbor to attract residents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Initially, the population of Nowa Huta was composed of workers who had settled in the area voluntarily or through coercion to work in the newly constructed steelworks. The communist government considered it a manifestation of a “homogenous social class” and a “fortress of the proletariat.” The residents of the established Krakow community held a profound antipathy towards the inhabitants of the emerging district, and this negative sentiment endured even following the downfall of the communist regime. Presently acknowledged as a constituent part of Krakow, Nowa Huta underwent a prolonged period of disregard, characterized by an absence of cultural events.

Nowa Huta Cultural Centre
Cracow, Poland, 2011

32 concrete plates