Faces of Solidarity-Polish Refugees in Minnesota - 3D virtual exhibition by MPMS

Faces of Solidarity-Polish Refugees in Minnesota

Fri, 12/03/2021 to Fri, 04/01/2022

curated by:

This art exhibit launched in December 2021, marking Poland's 40th anniversary of martial law. Solidarity was the most prominent freedom movement in the Eastern Bloc during the 1980s. With the support of almost 10 million members, it played a significant role in ending Soviet-imposed communist rule in Poland. After martial law was imposed in Poland many activists in this movement experienced state repression, including imprisonment. Some of these individuals and their families fled Poland, moved to the United States, and settled in Minnesota. The stories of Solidarnosc activists, in particular, have been largely absent in the popular narrative, in part because these individuals have rarely spoken publicly about their experiences during that time.

The exhibition was sponsored and curated by the Minnesota Polish Medical Society (MPMS), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We support select educational and cultural events and activities with a particular focus on the Polish-American perspective. The project has received grant support from the Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Metro Regional Arts Council.

The exhibition was successfully shown at the State Capitol ( December 2021) and is now displayed at the University of St. Thomas. Here is the link to our virtual gallery.

The project aims to educate about issues of immigration, diversity of Minnesota population, the importance of oral history narratives from microhistory perspective and touches upon many universal values (solidarity, dignity, freedom, resilience, post-traumatic growth, community building, inclusiveness, health access and equity).

We believe that it is a significant and unique exhibition that would interest your audience. Our goal is to create an immersive exhibit that allows audiences to relate empathically with Solidarnosc activists, and examine their own stories of connection to liberation movements worldwide. 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.

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