The River Sisters evolved from Polish Mothers at the Felling collective. The first activists involved were Cecylia Malik, Anna Grajewska and Agata Bargiel. In 2018 they were joined by the Let's Save Rivers Coalition and thus they plunged into the water to become the River Sisters. The happenings were coordinated by Anna Grajewska, while Cecylia Malik took care of their visual and conceptual aspects.
Cecylia Malik invented the River Sisters campaign in 2018. It was a beautiful protest to publicize the demands of the newly formed Coalition Save the Rivers. Other rivers came to rescue their sister the Vistula, which the government of the United Right wants to dam up with a huge dam in Siarzewo. The women gave the rivers a voice and emphasized their subjectivity, reminded their names. To become a River Sister, all you had to do was dress in blue and hold up a sign (resembling a road sign) with the name of your beloved river. Since then, this women's collective has been working to protect wild rivers.
TRAILER OF CECYLIA MALIK’S FILM ︎︎︎
Nearly a hundred women gathered at Cecylia Malik's first happening on the former beach near Wawel Castle in 2018. It was then that the first performance of the Rivers Sisters Songs took place, led by Agata Bargiel as the Vistula River calling her Sisters - the Vistula's tributaries and other Polish rivers – for help. The world ones also arrived: the Loire and the Euphrates. Since then, many events, workshops, performances, and artistic interventions have taken place, and more Rivers and Brooks joined the collective.
When it comes to organizing actions and happenings, preparing food or writing a press release is just as important as sewing and painting a beautiful banner. We do actions and campaigns together as a group. That is our power. However, we sign texts, photos, films, projects, happenings, banners, or embroidery individually - we do not do collective authorship, which was best expressed by the exhibition called You will not stop the river shown in June 2020 in Cracow. The working space for River Sisters is provided by CCA Squirrel. They are also supported by Greenmind Foundation which is a co-organizer of our happenings.
ABOUT RIVER SISTERS ︎︎︎
The permanent members of River Sisters are: Cecylia Malik, Agata Bargiel, Anna Chmiel, Anna Grajewska, Sylwia Gawlik, Ania Górka, Małgo Grygierczyk, Monika Jarecka, Monika Konieczna, Monika Łabędzka, Aga Miłogrodzka, Anuszka Łachowska, Kasia Pilitowska, Paulina Poniewska, Dominika Serzysko, Grażyna Smalej, Zofia Szyrajew. The Lubuskie River Sisters and the Warsaw River Sisters were also formed.
Visual artist and environmental activist. Author of many artistic projects, including‘365 Trees’ and ‘6 Rivers’. Co-founder of ‘The Alcon Blue Collective’ - an action in defense of Cracow Zakrzówek against construction and a cyclical event on the Vistula River ‘Water Critical Mass’. In 2017 she initiated the action ‘Polish Mothers on Tree Stumps’ / ‘Polish Mothers at the Felling” against the LEX Szyszko law. She belongs to the Save the Rivers Coalition. She is the author and the leader of the nationwide social campaign ‘River Sisters’. She has won many awards including the 2017 Person of the Year of Polish Ecology Award and the 2018 Katarzyna Kobro Award.