Nemoland Poland - Międzylesie
(Ramberg) 5 - 58-512 Stara Kamienica - tel.
(48) 75-7693605 –
Navigation: Google Maps type "Nemoland Polen” - GPS location: 50° 53.857',
15° 31.857. Altitude 520m
Pictures Nemoland 2013
Pictures Nemoland 2014
More information about Nemoland, projects and
Stara Kamienica (pdf-file)
information about the Pol Skal mining plans in Stara Kamienica near Nemoland
Internship and research reports
of the region
The secrets of Nemoland: becoming nemo
and travel to the legends
- New website
Films about Nemoland, the mining plans
and the Polish region
OFFER 2018 FOR VOLUNTEERS -
- HISTORY PROJECT
CENTER NEMOLAND POLAND
free space to connect people and earth
Welcome in Nemoland!
We invite you to contribute your energy and enthusiasm to building a community
that sees the earth as a source of inspiration.
In 1997 the Dutch grassroots nature association Nemo founded Nemoland as a
non-profit cooperative and autonomous zone to live with what nature and the
Polish village Stara Kamienica has to offer.
Nemoland, meaning ‘no man’s land’, is situated in the
heart of Europe, between Prague, Dresden and Wroclaw, in the Sudety area of
Polish Lower Silesia. It is hidden between Isermountains (Góry Izerskie), Giant
Mountains (Karkonosze) and the Bóbr Valley Landscape Park (Park Doliny Bobru).
Because of the turbulent history this border land in the centre of Europe became
a no man’s land, where time lost its forward direction, went back and unveiled
hidden memories. This uniquely beautiful mountain area provides a micro-climate,
with an extreme variety of elements, quick changing weather types and
Reconnecting with the earth: walking and working in nature, learning,
reflecting, celebrating ecology, history and legends of the landscape, getting
to know the Polish village, its inhabitants and customs. These are the tools to
explore the energy and gifts of the earth, to re-create and re-invent yourself
but also to protect it from mining plans and other threats to nature, landscape
and local community.
At Nemoland we welcome visitors, volunteers and partners who want to share their
capacities and talents within the cooperative, based on the concept that the
process is much more important than the product. In 2017 Nemoland will be
re-opened with a new concept, a new logo and new activities under the name
“Back2earth”. The program is aiming at involving all nationalities, traditions,
minorities and ages. Being a bridge between Eastern and Western Europe, Nemoland
invites international NGO’s, students, youth and disability organizations to
participate in the Nemoland-project.
Program ‘Back2earth’ 2017/2018
- Eco farm activities: gardening, cutting wood,
keeping animals and making natural products
- building huts
- recovery of historical landscape, restoration of footpaths and bridges and
development of a walking network for the village
- educational exchange with village organizations and local schools
- organization of a village festival
- production of a film about local history and legends
- art and handicrafts workshops: wood sculpting, weaving
- personal development workshops and activities
- survival camps, bushcraft workshops and vision quests
- 'roots’: workshop/research for new meanings
- building an oloroon: a 4D art construction
- for children: bushcraft, swimming in the creek, building huts, storytelling
program, rock climbing
- 34 ha remote nature reserve around the Ramberg and
the Kamienica river, with absolute silence and darkness
- walking and hiking routes all over the region
- small Eco farm with vegetable gardens, orchard, meadows, animals
- place to stay, work and live in a natural environment with modest and
ecological facilities (natural camping places, dormitories, rooms, huts, small
campers, sanitary, kitchens) for groups and individuals
- facilities for activities: theatre, fire places, atelier for felting/weaving,
legend hall, library, studio for yoga and meditation, Africa workshop
- workshop space for local eco-products and handicrafts
- youth programs for internships and volunteer camps
- exchange projects for NGO’s, creative groups, choirs, schools
NEMOLAND COOPERATIVE IS LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS
The Nemo Association wants to strengthen the Nemoland Cooperative giving
opportunities to new partners within the concepts of Nemo, focused on:
- Agrarian development; gardening, animals, natural products
- Education, coaching or DIY-projects
- Handicrafts and art (installations, theatre, music, film)
- Events and festivals
- Intercultural exchange
Nemo was founded in 1988 in the Netherlands as a non-profit association for
walkers and walking interests. Soon it became a broader association for nature
related activities. The association, financed by its members, is independent of
any government, fund, company or NGO. It has two locations: Nemoland Westerpark
in Amsterdam and Nemoland Poland in Stara Kamienica in the Lower Silesia region
in Poland. For the administration of Polish Nemoland, in 1997 Nemo founded a
separate Polish organization: Fundacja Nemo.
- Since 1997 Nemo brought more than 3100 foreign people to Stara Kamienica to
learn and taste the Polish village life and build Nemoland.
- More than 100 students from Dutch colleges and universities followed
internships, workshops, and did research on sustainable and ecological
- In 2003 Nemo received a subsidy (Matra) from the Dutch government to support
Polish village associations and to strengthen the local community.
- Twelve times over the course of its existence, Nemo has organized the ‘Dutch
Day’ in Stara Kamienica to exchange Dutch and Polish culture.
Since 2009 Nemo has organized three Crossroads Festivals in Jelenia Góra, as a
cultural event focused on cross border art.
Meanwhile Nemo has been collecting stories and legends of the former German and
present Polish inhabitants, because we feel that oral memories are much more
real than official history. The area of Stara Kamienica in particular, is a book
of unknown stories. We see the simple and easily accessible activity of walking
as a way of discovering, touching and reading these stories.
For the staff of Nemo their ‘Polish adventure’ in Stara Kamienica has been a
long and often challenging process of ‘trial-and-error’. They have put a lot of
effort into learning Polish language, history, customs and even cooking. From
2003 Nemoland faced a threat of total destruction by the Pol Skal mining plans
in Mala Kamienica, just opposite their front-door, and plans for Uranium mines
in nearby Kopaniec. Where national mining corporations saw potential financial
profit, they, living and working as foreigners in Poland, and thus as outsiders,
saw something much more precious: an “open mine” not of stones but of
captivating stories and legends of Polish village life and its many visitors.
After 20 years of their own metaphorical mining, the Nemo-workers want to show
what they have found! That is why Nemoland will be re-opened in 2017 with a new
concept, a new logo and new activities. Nemo welcomes groups, institutes, NGO’s
and individuals, offering a clear structure within the Polish Nemo Foundation,
with lots of possibilities to set up independent and common activities and
projects. Target groups could be locals, international youth, students,
disabled, refugees, volunteers, active tourists/families.
The region of Nemoland received, contrary to the Giant Mountains, little
attention from tourists and historians, even though the traces of the oldest
glassworks, pagan worship places, the most beautiful half-timbered weaver houses
and many natural and agricultural monuments are located here. Nowhere else is in
immediate reach such a rich variety of nature, culture and landscape. The
special features of this region are traces of early cultivation (such as stone
walls, terraces, mill brooks, fords and paths), which are mostly still intact.
The richness of nature is unique. Plants that are already extinct in Western
Europe, are still to be found here. Once the area was known as a big landscape
park, the "Toscane of Middle Europe". After the war the area became a ‘lost
land’, because the people who lived there and the people who came to live there
both lost their native land, while the landscape lost its names, monuments and
memory. Like many other border regions in Europe, this area runs into danger due
to lack of care and the threat of devastating mining projects. Protests against
the mining plans made local inhabitants much more aware of their cultural and
natural heritage. This resulted in all kinds of initiatives to protect nature
and the historical value of the landscape, the value of community-building, and
of local economy.
The philosophy of Nemo is that members, volunteers and guests contribute
something of themselves to Nemoland. Thus Nemoland is created in an organic way
and is developed by involvement of visitors who are invited to be more
participants than consumers. The idea is to establish a creative exchange where
those who come to participate in an ongoing creation of Nemoland, are in turn
given an opportunity to re-create themselves by exploring the secrets of the
Polish countryside, and ultimately promoting sustainable development of the
The philosophy of Nemo is not based on any current religion or a political,
ecological or spiritual ideology. Nemo means nobody and its philosophy offers a
way to get rid of ideology and become ‘nobody’, an empty slate. Wanting to be “a
somebody”, or being ruled by too much ‘ego’ might be the cause of most modern
time diseases. Going back to earth: walking/working in nature, living with what
nature and the nearby village offers, participating in stories and legends,
fighting the threats to nature, landscape and local community. All this requires
losing ‘ego’ and entering a symbiosis with the earth. That is why Nemoland has
no hierarchy and central ideology, but is changing all the time by the energy
and input of participants.
Sources of inspiration
The main source of inspiration for Nemo during 20
years pioneering in Poland, have been Polish people, hereby:
- the neighbours in Chromiec, Antoniów and Mala Kamienica; especially the
babcia’s, the always friendly and welcoming grandmothers with their touching
- the (power) women of the village, providing meals, making bread, pierogi,
powidla, cakes and other Polish delights for foreigners; also providing generous
advice about gardening, animals, handicrafts and household
- the colourful streetpeople hanging around, selling mushrooms and berries,
always greeting and engaging in conversations
- the village shopkeepers - heart and communication centre of the village.
Without the “sklep” (shop) the village would die.
- the villagers protesting against devastating mining plans and succeeding in
stopping the threats
- the young (again female) activists and community builders of the swietlica
- the (female) mayor of Stara Kamienica, always cooperative and communicative
- the coordinator for cultural activities in Stara Kamienica, stimulating and
- the friendly village priest
- English/German teachers and coordinator of foreign affairs of Karkonosze
College; making doors wide open for foreigners
- The German ‘Vertriebenen’ (refugees), born in our village, coming back every
year to reconnect with their youth memories. They are crucial sources for
information about the region in German times.
- The German “Heimatforscher”, historians who want to share their knowledge with
Polish people, creating concepts of “common history”, instead of separated
German and Polish history.
Along the very practical and simple ways of reconnecting with the earth, there
are many philosophical sources from which Nemo draws inspiration and energy. The
conditions and facilities of Nemoland function as a creative lab to uncover and
drink from these sources. For example:
Bruno Schulz (1892-1942)
Republika marzeń (The Republic of dreams 1936): “He proclaimed a republic of
dreams, the sovereign territory of poetry. On a few tracts of land, on the
canvas of a landscape cast into the midst of forests, he declared the
indivisible reign of fantasy. He demarcated it, laid the foundations of a
stronghold, and transformed the region into one enormous rose garden — guest
rooms, cells set aside for solitary contemplation, refectories, dormitories and
libraries… secluded pavilions in the midst of parks, summerhouses, belvederes…”
Wiesław Myśliwski (1932)
2006 Traktat o łuskaniu fasoli (A Treatise on Shelling Beans)
Polish literature is the best source to understand (and enjoy!) Polish
background, history, and village community. Writers like Myśliwski, Tokarczuk
and Stasiuk are revealing these stories about ‘simple people’ by their fantastic
way of writing. For Myśliwski ‘shelling beans’ is a metaphor for a simple
activity (like walking) when time & space go back (instead of forward) to the
dreamtime, to hidden memories of trauma and youth.
Frederik van Eeden (1860-1932)
Frederik van Eeden established in 1898 a commune named Walden, taking
inspiration from Thoreau's book Walden, in Bussum, North Holland, where the
residents tried to produce as much of their needs as they could themselves and
to share everything in common, and where he took up a standard of living far
below what he was used to. Van Eeden was founder of a movement for common land
property (GGB), meant as an alternative to socialism and anarchism, in order to
fight capitalism by setting up ‘back-to-the-land’ and peasant communes. World
War I became the end of the movement, but in the Sixties his ideas were revealed
and became inspiration for artist and eco-communes up till present days.
Laozi (604-507 BC)
Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher, known as the reputed author of the Tao
Te Ching and supposed to be the founder of Taoism.
“We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it liveable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.”
Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)
Lacan was a French postmodern psychoanalyst who developed a topological model to
understand and define human life and history. The model is consisting of three
connected circles known as Borromean Circles. This diagram became the logo of
Nemoland. Each circle should be able to connect the other two, and if one
circle is breaking, all circles are loosened. In modern logic the three
connected circles are used to understand and define triple relations. They are
used already by Indians, Celts and Normans to define the three main aspects of
life. The early Christians used the three connected circles to explain the
mystery of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Based on this history
and the philosophy of Freud, Jacques Lacan used the three circles as symbol for:
1. "the real" (nature, Chaos, the Freudian ‘Es’)
2. "the symbolic" (culture, the Other, the Law, the Freudian ‘Über-ich’)
3. "the fantasy" (body-image, imagination, the Freudian ‘Ich’)
Broken rings have dramatic consequences. Culture’s brake from nature and
imagination lead to destruction of nature. Imagination’s brake from language and
nature leads to borderline and neurosis. And nature’s brake from language and
imagination leads to chaos and psychosis.
A fourth ring, called ‘the Sinthome’ offers a cure to restore the broken links.
The fourth ring is a new language, coming out of ‘nothing’ (no man’s land, the
black spot in between rings). The Sinthome is dominated by ‘the real’, instead
of the Other. It is a way to enjoy language and body in a personal way,
integrating language, nature and fantasy.
Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995)
Influential French philosopher, writing on philosophy, literature, film, and
fine art. In his A Thousand Plateaus (1987), co-written with psychoanalyst Félix
Guattari, the parts about Rhizome and Nomadology are most inspiring as a plea
for ‘becoming’, a free space ‘in between’, contrary to the organization plans
and machines of the Matrix.
Meister Eckhart (1260 -1328)
German theologian, philosopher and mystic, mixing Neoplatonic and feminist
theology to new concepts in daily life language. For him it was essential to
reach the essence of life or ‘goddess’ by ‘becoming nobody’, leaving all
concepts and fantasies: “So, when I am able to establish myself in nothing, and
nothing in myself, uprooting and casting out what is in me, then I can pass into
the naked being of God, which is the naked being of the Spirit.”
Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986)
Russian filmmaker Stalker (1979). His work is characterized by long takes,
unconventional dramatic structure, distinctly authored use of cinematography,
and spiritual and metaphysical themes. It depicts an expedition led by a figure
known as the "Stalker" (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky) to take his two clients, a
melancholic writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) seeking inspiration and a professor
(Nikolai Grinko) seeking scientific discovery, to a site known simply as the
"Zone", which has a place within it with the supposed ability to fulfill a
person's innermost desires. Zone as a space in which humans can live without the
trappings of society and can speak about the most important things freely. While
it seems the Room fulfills all the wishes of a visitor, this creates a serious
problem given that these might not be consciously expressed wishes but the true
unconscious desires of those that come in. In addition it appears that the Zone
itself has a kind of sentience.
Nemoland offers free time & space and
facilities to children and youth (of any age) for a better world, going back to
earth. Without ideology, but hands in the mud…
Picture: cleaning a river. Nemoland summer
Program for landscape protection
By offering facilities we would like you to participate in our current
ecological project. The protection of the landscape and contribution to the
ecological farming are core activities of Nemoland Poland. Currently we take
part in the project of Rural Development Program for the years 2014 – 2020 (RDP
2014-2020), which is realized under the auspice of the Agency for Restructuring
and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARMA) (http://www.arimr.gov.pl/o-arimr/information-about-the-agency.html).
It has been prepared under the provisions of the European Union, in particular
the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) No 1305/2013 of 17 December
2013. As a part of EU's growth strategy "Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart,
sustainable and inclusive growth" the development needs of the Member States are
How to get to
Google Maps type "Nemoland Polen"
GPS location: 50° 53.857', 15° 31.857
Görlitz: cross the border to Zgorzelec and follow the signs to Jelenia Góra.
After passing Luban and Gryfów, 13 km before Jelenia Góra after the village
Pasiecznik, turn left to Stara Kamienica. Follow the right side of the river,
passing Stara Kamienica. In Kromnów turn right to Kopaniec and at crossing turn
right again to Chromiec.
Just before Chromiec turn
right to Nemoland.
Góra: take the route Jelenia Góra - Szklarszka Poreba.
After you passed
Wojcieszyce turn right in the village of Piastów to the direction of Stara
Kamienica/Barcinek. Then pass Piastów, and then on the crossroad turn left.
Passing Kromnów Wola and Kopaniec, go straight to Chromiec. Just before the
first sign of Chromiec there is at the right side a green sign of Nemo. Follow
the road till the split and then take the right path, slightly uphill. In 200
meters and you are at the destination.
From outside Poland to
Take the regular train to Stara Kamienica or bus to Jelenia Góra.
From Jelenia Góra by Roko bus http://ro-ko.pl/jelenia-gora-chromiec/ and
http://ro-ko.pl/jelenia-gora-antoniow/ goes from the bus station on Podwale in
Jelenia Góra to Chromiec. Chromiec is the final stop on the bus. In Chromiec,
you should go along the road towards Kopaniec. After the last house in Chromiec,
you have to turn left. There will be a wooden sign NEMO. Continue to go straight
all the time till the road splits. Take the right path, slightly uphill. In 200
meters and you are at the destination. Distance from the bus stop in the center
of Chromiec to Nemo: about 2.5 km.
cheap ticket to Görlitz. From there local train to Stara Kamienica.
By plane. Cheapest fights to Wroclaw by WizzAir
There is a busservice from Wroclaw Airport to Nemoland: 1. Town bus from Airport
to central bus station. 2 Bus from bus station to Jelenia Góra. 3 From Jelenia
to Nemoland see Roko bus.
Charter. Nemo can arrange bus service for any kind of group, for any
Apply for detailed
information and time schedules.