Iwona Nowacka and Janek Turkowski are theatre-makers from Poland who have been working together nationally and internationally since 2013. They create video-storytelling performances that use archival film and their own recordings to explore the process of documentation and narration.
Their performances are characterised by their investigative methods, humour and self-irony. Their recent work has focused on ‘the place of action’. They believe that every place carries a story that wants to be told, and they explore this through the repetition and re-enactment of crucial events from a location and its community.
In 2015 and 2016, Iwona and Janek collaborated with a small community of neighbours at Elm Hill in Norwich, UK, to create a portrait of the city: It’s happening in Norwich premiered at Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Their long-term project Smalfilm focused on events from April 1945 in the Dutch city of Groningen, it was commissioned by Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen and Gronings AudioVisueel Archief, and presented in the Grand Theatre in March 2018.
Iwona Nowacka and Janek Turkowski took up residence with Galeria Labyrint in the Juliusza Słowackiego estate in Lublin, Poland from 27 February to 4 March 2019; 29 July to 4 August 2019; and 9 to 21 September 2019. Following their residency in Lublin, they travelled to the UK to take up residence in Quarantine’s Tenancy house on the border of Manchester and Salford from 25 October to 8 November 2019.
Photo credit: Piotr Nykowski