POWERBANK / The Strength of Women


Our powerbank is a space for building and charging energy. Once this was the branch of a large bank, today it’s a place of new kind of power.

Instead of credit, saving, and accounts, we offer objects to stir the imagination. Every one of them is the point of departure for stories about women who are tangled up in the history of the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow in different ways.

Where a bank machine once stood, herbs bloom. Several dozen women’s faces stare down from the walls of the treasury. Women’s voices ring out in the old staff room.

Visitors to the exhibition will be equipped with a Handbook. This will give you a closer look at the thirty-six protagonists of the exhibition. In fact, there are many, many more of them. Embroiderers, paper cut-out artists, painters, designers, maids, aristocrats, ethnographers, goddesses, housewives, women’s libbers, outsiders, social activists… Their fates reveal astonishing connections. The experiences of following generations of women are charged with their power.

We invite one and all to take part in charging the powerbank. Everyone can leave a trace at the exhibition, answering the question: “Where do you draw your strength?”
Join us!

Curators: Dorota Majkowska-Szajer, Katarzyna Piszczkiewicz, Magdalena Zych
Content support: Bożena Bieńkowska
Arrangement design: Katarzyna Piszczkiewicz

At the curators’ invitation:
Herbarium, wall painting, Olaf Cirut, 2022
Sisterhood, auteur technique, Olaf Cirut, 2022
My Mama’s Heart Aches, anonymous work from the collections of the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, music and performance by Maja Luxenberg, 2022
Installation by Elżbieta Mirga-Wójtowicz, Wojciech Szymański, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, and Monika Szewczyk, 2022

Text (unless otherwise noted): Dorota Majkowska-Szajer
Editor: Ewa Ślusarczyk

English – Soren Gauger
Ukrainian – Yaroslava Muzychenko

Digitization of photography: Lablab, Marian Długosz, Mateusz Król, Andrzej Sułkowski,
Preparation of audiovisual materials: Andrzej Dybczak
Conservation: Agata Barczyńska, Katarzyna Lebowska-Mazurek, Iwona Matuła, Nadia Wywiórska, Aleksandra Szalla-Kleemann, Agata Mielczarek (ARTAM, Conservation of Works of Art and Artistic Crafts), Michał Bosek (BOSEK, goldsmithery and conservation of historical objects), Magdalena Naruszewicz (MAGA ART, textile conservation)

Production and set-up: PHU Lisowski, Grzegorz Kurek, Tomasz Ostafin
Technical design and execution of the switchboard: Michał Kopeć
Technical consultation: Jacek Szymański, Adrian Tomasik
Promotion: Natalia Ciemborowicz-Luber, Dagmara Smoła