Remnants of Prayers is a large-scale project that aims to document the chosen sacred objects from Poland, Norway and Iceland and to familiarize people with them. It is a continuation of the undertaking Save the National Heritage that ended in 2011 but now it considers a bigger territory and a bigger number of investigated objects.

Within the project Remnants of Prayers, planned for 2013 – 2016, we would like to document thoroughly, visually and ethnographically, at least 1500 sacred objects: roadside shrines from Kociewie, Żuławy, Powiśle, Southern Kashubia and the Słowiński Lake District as well as Icelandic and Norwegian churches. We are planning to take photos of the objects and realize documentary films and additionally do terrain interviews, in the audio version as well.

Our research team responsible for making the documentation consist of a photographer and two ethnographers whose aim is to find as many shrines as possible, learn about their origin, find their authors and define the role that these shrines play in life of local communities. All these will let us investigate the animation character of the objects and specify their potential in creating history of the region.

Next, we are heading towards North Europe. We are going to watch how our partners from Norway and Iceland work. We know that they have access to a large museum documentation of sacred objects and that they have an extensive policy of promoting the cultural heritage. We would like to benefit from their experience, initiate an international and intergenerational dialogue.

How do we want to grasp your interest and persuade to learning more about the folk sacred objects?

Step one...

We will keep on adding new objects to the MAP which was introduced during the previous project Save the National Heritage. Precisely determined geographical coordinates of all objects will enable you to find even the most hidden shrine. Rich photographical documentation, available in PhotoSynth technology, will also allow – without going out of your house – watching each of the objects in a 3D space and taking a closer look at the details.

Step two...

Collected and scientifically arranged information about Pomeranian and Scandinavian sacred objects we will want to present during exhibitions, meetings and concerts. One of the main aims of the project Remnants of Prayers is familiarizing with the knowledge about the chosen sacred objects, especially in the context of their multicultural tradition. We will share it during four planned exhibitions – in Gdańsk, Reykjavik, Bukarest and Poznań – and three informational and educational meetings – in Kashubian Sławoszyno, which is located on the border of Żuławy and Kociewie, and in Budapest.

Step three...

We will provide you with two unique monographs of sacred objects prepared by experts in Scandinavian studies and ethnography. The monograph of Norwegian stavkirke will be prepared by dr Wojciech Tadeusz Lange from Adam Mickiewicz University who specialises in Scandinavian wooden architecture. Pomeranian shrines will be described by dr Tomasz Siemiński, President of the Polish Ethnological Society. Both books will be donated to the public libraries in Poland, Norway and Iceland which will enrich the knowledge about the unique sacred architecture from two different cultures.

Project is realized by the National Museum in Gdańsk, co-financed by the Programme “Promotion Of Diversity In Culture And Arts Within European Cultural Heritage” within the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.