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Click Academy: Locomotive Project

01-10-2011 01:22 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: CLICK ACADEMY

A pinhole photography exhibition at the Menier Gallery in London on 10-15th January 2011. Artists Marta Kotlarska, Anna Udowicka and Curator Olga Glazik from Polish group Click Academy who have collaborated with a group of Polish young people living in London in order to prepare illustrations for Julian Tuwim’s Locomotive poem.
Pinhole photography is lens-less photography where a tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole and an image is formed in the camera. In principal, a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper at the other. Pinhole images are softer, or less sharp than pictures made with a lens. The images have infinite depth of field and wide-angle images remain absolutely rectilinear. Exposures are long, ranging from half a second to several hours.
Julian Tuwim was born in Łódź, city in central Poland into a Jewish family. He is one of the most famous authors of children’s poetry in Poland and his poetry is widely recognized as being amongst Poland’s national cultural treasures. The Locomotive poem was written in 1938, just before the World War II began. It is still very famous for its rhythmical and onomatopoeic language. Almost every Pole will now this charming and entertaining story about a train which setting on its journey. The poem was translated into English by Marcel Weyland.
The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in Europe and served as the centre for their culture, starting from a long period of religious tolerance and prosperity among the country's Jewish population.
The Jewish cultural scene was particularly vibrant in pre-World War II Poland with numerous Jewish publications and over 116 periodicals. The Jewish authors of the period, among them Julian Tuwim, made important contributions to Polish literature and in Poland, generations of children have read the classic Tuwim’s children’s poem “Locomotive”. The funny and amusing story about a train written by Tuwim in beautiful, onomatopoeic language was published for the first time in 1936. Tuwim’s poem starts with the words: “A big locomotive stands at a station, looming, and gleaming with hot perspiration, greasy and wheezing.”
The Polish-Jewish common history ended with the near complete genocide of the European Jewry committed by the Nazis in the 20th century. Following the German and Soviet occupation of Poland in 1939 and the ensuing Holocaust millions of Jews were forced into the trains and killed in concentration camps.
The group of Polish young people dedicated their free time and worked really hard since mid October in order to produce a beautifully illustrated, bilingual, professionally-printed picture book for children using an unusual technique called pinhole photography. They planned public events scenarios and designed various tools such as a super-sized version of the book, games and music activities with musical instruments and a specially-prepared nursery rhyme song in order to make events as engaging as possible for kids. The book has had 1500 copies printed and is being distributed for free during public events taking place in London Libraries and other centres for children and learning. A series of events for children age 3-7 are taking place throughout the January and February 2011 in order to promote the book. Participants have the opportunity to make their own depictions of trains, learn and sing the Locomotive song, which was especially created for the events; as well as to read the story using a gigantic book and make the various sounds also using the instrument created by them in order to imitate the sounds of a train. Every child receives a free copy of the book after each event.
During the workshops in December the group was working with Jewish young people on illustrations inspired by the Chanukah celebration. These illustrations, as well as the book illustrations, posters, video installation and the gigantic book will be presented at an exhibition to be held at the Menier Gallery in London on 10-15th January 2011.
The "Locomotive" project is financially supported by The Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Polish Cultural Institute and Mediabox. We also have the full attention of the Polish immigration press and we are working towards uniting them all under media patronage for this project. We have also invited the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Renaissance Magazine to take media patronage over it. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has already declared their support for the project. The project has also received references from Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Jewish Community in Poland.
The "Locomotive" project is financially supported by The Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Polish Cultural Institute and Mediabox. The project has also received references from Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Jewish Community in Poland.
Akademia Pstryk / Click Academy ( is an art group using pinhole photography as a means of social change through empowering communities. Since 2004 we have been working with young people from ethnic minority groups, to address the issues they face. Click Academy‘s Locomotive Project is the latest solution intending to build bridges between young people of different cultural backgrounds.

Events calendar:
Exhibition Menier Gallery 10-15 Jan’11 10am-6pm
Private view 13th Jan’11 6-8.30pm 51 Southwark Street,
London SE1 1RU

Children Event Topolski Century 16th Jan’11 12-1pm & 2-3pm 150-152 Hungerford
SE1 8XU London

Children Event
Paddington Library
22nd Jan’11
Porchester Road,
London W2 5DU

Children Event

Pimlico Library

22nd Jan’11


Lupus Street, London

Children Event

The Discover

23rd Jan’11

am & pm

383-387 High Street,
Stratford, London E15 4QZ

Children Event Mayfair Library 4th Feb’11 4-5pm 25 South Audley Street,
London W1K 2PB

Children Event Orpington Library 12th Feb’11 10-11am The Priory, Church Hill,
Orpington BR6 0HH

Children Event Bromley Central Library 12th Feb’11 12.30-13.30am High Street, Bromley

Children Event Anerley Library 12th February 15.30-16.30 Anerley Town Hall,
Anerley Rd,
Anerley SE20 8BD

Children Event at Jewish Book Week

Jewish Museum

13th Feb’11


Raymond Burton House,
129-131 Albert Street,
Camden Town, London



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