It is already more than half a year since I arrived in Poland. Time goes by so fast, although not all the time: days were so long until now, today dark is taking over the days. After the summer, I have been visiting the city of Konin with my workmates from Stowarzyszenie Na Rrecz Spóldzielni Socjalnych once in a while, roughly every other week.
Konin seems a very quiet city, with around 80,000 dwellers living there nowadays. Since the end of the Second World War, this Polish city embraced a coal mine which allowed a fast progress of the surroundings. Now, however, initiatives like #Konin2050, carried out by Urban Workshop (@), tries to overcome a post-industrial foresight, once the mine will likely close within 20 years.
Apart from this, I don’t know much about the city of Konin yet, but basically the main street up and down and the main square, where also Kowes centre takes place. Their overall objective is to strength the development of the social economy sector in Konin as well as to coordinate different cooperatives of the city, like Kraśnica and Blues Hostel, which I had the chance to discover lately.
Smells like social cooperative
To begin with, I feel like eating some homemade pierogis… let’s go then to Wielobranżowa Spółdzielnia Socjalna Kraśnica, not far from the centre of Konin. About seven people work there, five in the kitchen, two in the shop. It was already lunch time when we arrived, so it turned out rather a bad moment to talk with them. Even so, we could talk both with cooks and sellers for a while. Generally speaking, all them feel good working for a cooperative: “In my previous jobs I had to follow instructions all the time but here I can be more creative, I have more space to experiment”, confessed Żaneta, the cook in charge of preparing pierogis, the house speciality.
Going sleep while whistling B.B. King
After that, what about taking a snap in a nearby place? Blues Hostel, placed in the main street of Konin, could be a good option. This young hostel (because it was born this year and because it is focused on young people), is leaded by a group of cooperativists that love blues music. “All the people that set up this hostel feel the blues”, admits Katarzyna Wagner, director of this social cooperative, which is all decorated with blues music elements. Apart from that, the aim of this hostel is to make everybody feels confortable: all infraestructures and equipments are adapted to make blind people, phisically disabled people as well as people with limited mobility an easier and pleasant stay.