A tree that can hold many wishes


02.07 / 17:00


02.07 / 17:00




Polish, English


e-mail registration (limited number of seats): zapisy@malta-festival.pl

It’s amazing that there are so many wish trees across different and distant cultures around the world. Take, for example, the Japanese Festival of Stars (and love), the Tanabata, during which people hang strips of paper (paper of desire) on bamboo trees. Or the Irish hawthorns  decorated for Beltaine with ribbons symbolising wishes. Or the Turkish Dilek Agaci hung with nazars to protect people from the evil eye. All these customs are based on the same belief in the power of trees. During the workshop we will think about where this belief comes from, and we will create our own tree of wishes, dreams, thoughts, questions and answers. We don’t have to use words to express them. We can weave them into ribbons, make talismans and amulets to hide them, entangle them in threads or paint them. Trees understand every language? Do they grant all wishes?

Recommended for children aged from 6 to 12.

The workshop is part of the Children at Liberty programme, curated by Maja Brzozowska and Elżbieta Niewiadomska-Wieczorek. This year, the programme is celebrating its 10th anniversary. 


Geographies of imagination for Children at Liberty

Children at Liberty was born out of the need to create an artistic space and draw an imaginative map that would allow us to reach the world of children’s thoughts and actions without any shortcuts. We wanted to let ourselves be led by these nonadult guides, to celebrate children’s artistic work, their freedom and nonconformity; to hang question marks where we would normally put periods asking: Who are the little people in the urban space? How do they feel within it? What artistic languages can they use to mark their agency?  To answer these questions, we designed incentives for diverse, multi-sensual explorations and spaces where children are at liberty to feel important, have fun and enjoy being who they are. 

Today, during the anniversary edition which crowns a decade of our exercise in imagination, we are celebrating, above all, our mutual independence, no longer fearing that children are submissive because we don’t give them agency, or passive because we don’t let them be active. Nurturing our feelings of (co)participation, we invite you to celebrate sharing in activities that awaken our senses and flows, that merge times and spaces into a geography of imagination. We will search for our roots and creatively think about what it means to be replanted. In a dense web of dreams and wishes, we will become part of the multicultural tradition of entrusting to trees the most precious thing we have: hope. We will indulge ourselves in memories and textures of flavours and smells. We will participate in movement, flow, changeability and time. We may be wonderful just for a moment, but it is wonderful that we are.

Maja Brzozowska
Elżbieta Niewiadomska-Wieczorek (programme consultant)