ZAKOLE is a project rooted in a wetland located near the heart of Warsaw. The Zakole Wawerskie (Wawer Meander) area consists of a picturesque, mostly inaccessible marsh and vast meadows. Its inhabitants are a variety of creatures: beavers, birds, frogs, mosquitoes, alders, reeds, grasses, and people. Our goal is to discover Zakole Wawerskie, its inhabitants and visitors, and to identify and map its various meanings. In ZAKOLE we search for ways of telling the stories of such areas and experiencing them as well as foregrounding the perspective of thecreatures forming their complex ecosystems. We find it crucial to highlight the significance of similar sites in cities, primarily for the reasons of biodiversity and climate, while focussing on the complexity of relations and interests of various actors.

In order to get to know Zakole Wawerskie better, we have developed a variety of observational methods, which make it easier to approach its ecosystem. We organised intimate gatherings to exchange experiences, information and thoughts about Zakole and similar places. These also offered an opportunity to reflect on our capacity of understanding other organisms and thenetworks of dependencies they build. We also sought answers to this question by conducting experimental walks with a group of artists and biologists, during which we practised attunement to non-human entities.

Activities within the ZAKOLE project create possibilities of generating and exchanging various kinds of knowledge: historical and scientific as well as personal, embodied and based on sensory experience. We also gather information about administrative proceedings concerning Zakole Wawerskie and potential scenarios for the future of the area, while constantly asking ourselves how to think about the multispecies right to the city. The gathered knowledge is shared on our continuously developed website


ZAKOLE is carried out within the European MediaActivism project conducted in Poland by Krytyka Polityczna. Original members of the group working on the project include Zuzia Derlacz, Krysia Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Ola Knychalska, Olga Roszkowska and Igor Stokfiszewski, however, we treat ZAKOLE as an open project – broad alliances and cooperation with actors interested in the future of the Wawer Meander are important to us. We want to create and develop a new language and cognitive tools around it. We hope that these efforts will help to shape a community that cares about this place.


Rita Müller