16mm film with sound, 19’07’’
supported by Responsa Foundation (UK), research supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute (PL)

[paˈlʲit͡sʲ] explores the borderland of Bialowieza National Forest. Building upon the land’s histories of repression, persecution
and destruction, the work considers common scars share with its human and non-human inhabitants. Searching for alternative
systems of relating and belonging, it turns to soil as a depository of memory, follows the river, tracing its passage across time
and space and speculates around the character of a biologist who lived inan uncanny proximity with the forest’s animals for 35 years.
[paˈlʲit͡sʲ] approximates borders as zones of transition and interaction and sees “every living being as both indigenous and migrant,’
challenging dominant, state-driven narrative surrounding the territory. Opening with a prologue set in the collection of specimen
at the The Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Bialowieza, the film collides scientific, classifying approach
with the closing scenes filmed at the house of Jakub, retired dendrologist and poet, and Anna, botanist. There, ideas of care,
interspecies entanglement and coexistence explored throughout the main body of the film in more abstract ways materialise
in all simplicity and seeming ordinariness. As the forest is split in half by the newly-built 170 km steel and barbed-wire wall,
[paˈlʲit͡sʲ] shares its stories in both Polish and Belarusian, reflecting the dual heritage and bearing witness to the echoes
of both languages reciprocally permeating the imaginary, yet material border.

I buried them deep
dead bodies
bones and hides
religious relics
royal jewels
missed bullets, guns and swords
molecular memory transcribed across my depths
I am a trophic depository of old and future civilizations
mycorrhizal neural network
dead and alive, human and animal
weightless, I hold you.

Ghosts of the past return to us in fluvial waters,
Those who lived through and with these lands, making kin, becoming-with
Kinships not without trauma, but always in proximity;
The poetics of relation.

Did you really talk with the animals?
Did your skin smell of the forest? Or was it the forest that smelled of you?
Like fireflies in the space of dark night new languages born in movement
The space between, alive and glowing and uninterrupted

In the brief moment between night and day,
I listen to the bulrush
swaying around the shores of the river that brought us all here.
She hosts and is being hosted,
absorbed and excreted,  enriched and depleted.
A pharmakon, a language in motion,
she sings to me,
trickles in my gut,
pools at my feet

I am a body infected, porous and swarming
burrowing within itself, resilient and vulnerable
eaten by fungi, roundworm and bacteria
I am memory transferred by viruses, polymorphic and non-linear
you are part of me and I am part of you
together, we stand in uncertainty, in an act of co-breathing
the soil shifting underneath

A FILM BY Ania Mokrzycka
WITH Edka Jarzab, Krtistina Drobysh, Karolina Kraczkowska
Jakub Dolatowski, Anna Dolatowska

CAMERA Barbara Kai Kaniewska
SECOND CAMERA Ania Mokrzycka
SOUND Miko Szatko

POETRY Jakub Dolatowski
TRANSLATIONS Edka Jarzab, Kristina Drobysh, Ania Mokrzycka

LOCATIONS Bialowieza National Park
The Strict Reserve, Bialowieza
Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences

FUNDED BY Responsa Foundation (UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute (PL)