The SEMBET project involved working with a group of senior scouts who used to live in the Środka neighbourhood in Poznań. The older gentlemen shared their sentimental attachment to the area through stories about their youth there. It was precisely these oral narratives that became the inspiration for the “Meetings at Śródka” sessions.
The meetings, gathering together seniors and young people, were given a head start with a discussion of revitalisation efforts and possibilities of developing the urban cultural landscape without erasing local memories of the past. Our two overarching aims for the project were 1) finding an effective way of transmitting memories from one generation to the next, and 2) preserving and consolidating the seniors’ oral narratives.
The most important element of our meetings was a walk around Śródka, where the seniors had a chance to talk about their memories connected to the place. As they were talking, they were recreating the specific climate of the place through their captivating stories.
Meetings with the seniors took place from June until September (with a possibility of extending the timeframe of the project). We are currently working on creating a guidebook around Śródka, which is going to take the readers on a journey through time, leading them through the seniors’ memories. The young participants were responsible for writing down the memories and creating the graphic design, while the seniors reviewed their work and corrected it. The guidebook will be available for download online for free from our website: http://www.srodeckiespotkania.pl/