About our association

The Witold Dynowski Ethnographic Laboratory Association is a Polish non-governmental organisation established in 2006 by the students and graduates of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw who would like to practise anthropology and promote ethnography outside the academic or the museum walls.

The patron of the Association is professor Witold Dynowski, a chairman of long standing in the contemporary Ethnography and Ethnology Department at the University of Warsaw. The honorary name was chosen not without a reason as the professor was known for his faith in young people and their potential. He was an excellent organiser, able to gather a well-coordinated team of co-operators. An enthusiast who successfully combined private life with the career by making his tenement on 74 Hoza Street available for the Department’s use. To this day there circulate stories of “a certain professor” who used to invite his students for dinners to his apartment. He was the one to initiate the Inter-University Ethnographic Camps – the sphere where the Ethnography students from all over Poland met. Not only did they carry out research or exchanged experience but they also integrated. By establishing our Association we wanted the values which professor Dynowski adhered to continued to be cultivated.

The ideas lying behind the establishing of the Ethnographic Laboratory Association involved supporting and preserving the cultural heritage, promoting ethnology as science, building up the attitude of openness and tolerance, understanding one’s own culture and overcoming the stereotypes as well as stimulating and supporting the creative initiatives on the local scene which aim at social communication, developing sensitivity to the reception of cultural events and integrating the community of young culture researchers.

So far, there have been several projects carried out under the aegis of the Ethnographic Laboratory Association. They involved, among others: an ethnographic film (“Tradition is what I love most” by Pola Rozek, Maria Malanicz-Przybylska née Oleksiak and Maria Majewska), a meeting “The Warsaw of Many Cultures” within the 5th Polish Forum For Non-Governmental Initiatives, ethnographic workshops within the Festival of Science, a meeting “The Anthropology of Culture – a know-how” within the extensive cycle “The Anthropological Spheres” and a retrospective of Zbigniew Rybczynski’s films. In 2009 we carried out an “Academy for the Development of the Animating Activity” – a project whose aim is to support young organisers of cultural activities in the realisation of their first projects.

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