The Krakow #AddingColorToLives mural: reflecting culture and opportunity
Park Inn by Radisson Krakow supports a local youth at risk organization called Klaj. It’s located in small house about 35 km away from Krakow. Actually, its not that easy to get to, so unfortunately, not too many organizations are willing to offer their support. Seven young kids from the ages of 14 to 17 years old live there in the house. All of them have moved into the house for different reasons. For some, their parents were not able to take care of them anymore, while others were mentally & physically abused. The house is a safe place for the youth, where they can find themselves again.
The Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Krakow aims to support the youth with an 18 month program of cooperation. The first 6 months is focused on getting to know the youngsters with community based activities, including a hotel visit, gardening and mural painting. The remainder of the program is focused on awakening a passion for hospitality and bringing this further to life in the hotel by providing a placement or even an apprenticeship. It is hoped that this will set the foundation for further education.
What was the inspiration for the mural?
Mythology is always a central subject in the youth project. During the workshop, we discussed the story of Smok Wawelski. That is the Wawel dragon defeated by Krak, a Polish shoemaker by feeding the dragon a sheep filled with sulfur. The representation of good vs evil represents the situation of the youth at risk. By expressing these themes through the mural, the youth have a voice. The process can be emotional, and therefore it’s great to have colleagues of the Park Inn by Radisson hotel supporting the youth and being adult role models.
What is the meaning of the trumpet player in the mural?
St. Mary’s bugle call (a short tune) and a trumpeter from Krakow are featured in the mural as well. The Krakow signal bugle call, or Hejnal Mariacki, dates back to the Middle Ages and was used to announce the opening and the closing of the city gates. The trumpeter also played the tune to alarm his fellow citizens of danger, such as a fire or the enemy forces. So, in a way, you could say that the trumpeter is a city guardian.
Ewelina (Krakow) says: “Adding Color to Lives has already influenced my daily life, because I am more open now. I would have never approached an unknown person before and talked to them. A lot of people in the youth center have changed since the project, we are all more open and we understand each other better because we know everyone was going through hard times –not only me…”
The mural was designed and created within a time period of a week in support of Adding Color to Lives in Krakow, Poland.