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Last week, the Freedom Collection team journeyed to the snowy landscapes of Poland. There we visited Gdansk and Warsaw to capture the stories of brave dissidents who opposed the Soviet Empire and cultivated freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1980, Gdansk’s Vladimir Lenin Shipyard became the birthplace of Solidarity, a free trade union led by Lech Walesa that would carry the banner for organized resistance against Soviet rule in Poland. Ironically, they used Lenin’s own doctrine of proletariat revolt against the elite’s oppression as the basis for their movement. Their testimonies reach beyond history to inspire present day freedom movements, each providing a blueprint to dissidents for organizing nonviolent resistance.
Stay tuned to www.freedomcollection.org to meet the people behind Poland’s Solidarity. Until then, here are a few teasers from behind the scenes of the Freedom Collection:
Former President Lech Walesa has his microphone hooked up before his Freedom Collection Interview
A sneak peek at Speaker of the Polish Senate Bogdan Borusewicz during his Freedom Collection Interview
Senator Zbigniew Romaszewski and Zofia Romaszewska wait for the cameraman to say "action."
Bronislaw Wildstein prepares to start his Freedom Collection interview.
Andrzej Gwiazda and Joanna Duda-Gwiazda wait for the camera to roll during their Freedom Collection interview.
Czeslaw Bielecki between takes during his Freedom Collection Interview
This post was written by Christopher Walsh, Program Coordinator for the Freedom Collection.
Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.
A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.Full Bio
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