Saunatic: Sharing the passion
What started as a personal passion for the hot and cold sessions of sauna transformed into creating an open-air educational exhibition about the bigger sense of sauna, to be shared with the public. And “Saunatic”, as the project is called, keeps evolving.
In 2018, Jacob Dammas from Denmark and Józefina Jarmużewska from Poland were visiting the Jazdów colony of Finnish wooden houses in Warsaw. It felt like the perfect spot for expanding the concept and knowledge of sauna. This became the beginning of a long learning process (which is still going on) about what is commonly known as sauna, but in fact has many other names, depending on which region in the world and in what era: it is sweat lodge in Africa and Native America, the Roman baths, the Islamic hammam, the Mayan temazcal, the Slavic banya, the Scandinavian bastu, and more. It turned out for the Danish-Polish couple that sauna contains so many other aspects than the sweating itself.
Many months and hundreds of emails later, in April 2019, “Saunatic” saw the light of day; an educational non-profit open-air exhibition about the historical, social, architectural, and health aspects of sauna culture that has existed around the world for several thousand years.
The Saunatic exhibition consists of information boards and photographs of the many forms and practices of the sweat bath, hands-on accessories, a full-scale example of a hot room, and regular accompanying events, such as visiting hours with the creators, expert talks, artistic happenings, workshops, etc.
The project was made thanks to the generous product support from private Finnish companies such as Narvi and Tammisto, financial contribution and patronage from the Finnish and German Embassies, and the help from Jazdów NGOs, volunteering local citizens, and family members.
Saunatic was located in the green Jazdów settlement in Warsaw for almost two years, until one freezing winter day in February 2021 it was transported to the other side of the city’s Vistula River, to the courtyard of the Creativity Center Targowa in the Praga district where Jacob and Józefina run their creative company StudioJOT.
Here, at the backdrop of historic Warsaw tenement brick houses and the modern glass cladded Creativity Center, the small wooden pavilion Saunatic keeps evolving. New elements are implemented and activities are organized, for example a mini sauna fashion show, and, recently, supported by Spondeo, a thematic film screening of “Steam of Life” by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen.
The next event is a photographic wall with the faces of some of the people who have visited the exhibition over the years, making the statement that on the sauna bench all our differences become less important and we are all equal. In the beginning of 2023, a neon installation will be created on Saunatic, including a meeting with the designer, and later in the year a scientific conference about sauna culture is planned.
For more information, see www.saunatic.pl
Opening hours: during the accompanying events and by appointment. firstname.lastname@example.org | +48 797 779 518
Address: courtyard of Creativity Center Targowa, Targowa 56, 03-733 Warsaw
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