The Eastern House is a concrete place in Poland, but, above all, it is an immediate idea of the fruitful historical dialogue between nations, historically inhabited Eastern Europe and separated by the bloody history of the XXth century. The aim of the Eastern House is to create such home-like space for Poles, Ukrainians, Russian, Jews, Belorusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Georgians, Armenians etc. where individual memory of any nation could exist, the same time peacefully confronting and discussing in the areas of the still unresolved conflicts of the past.
The Eastern House will ultimately be located in the palace and park complex of Mordy near Siedlce after the gradual restoration of this historical estate. Temporarily it will reside also in Warsaw.
Henryk Przewłocki's heirs, whose family owned this property for centuries and regained it in 2018, have signed a letter of intent with the management of the KARTA Center in Warsaw already 20 years ago. According to this document, the estate, the former family mansion will be transferred for public purposes. The returned and restored palace as well as its surrounding has to become a place for activities related to the history of the region and dialogue between nations.The entire facility (total floor area of the palace and the outbuilding is nearly 4000 square meters and 10 hectares of park ) needs a thorough renovation; this work is being started.
Mordy is located 120 kilometers east of Warsaw, on the border of Podlasie, relatively close to Vilnius, Minsk, Lviv and other cities important to the nations of this part of Europe. The task of the Eastern House is to create an international circle of cooperation, namely a space for dialogue between nations whose historical conflicts still cannot be eliminated.
The House in Mordy has to become an example and model of such peaceful communication that recalls traumas of the past in order to weaken, by joint efforts, their destructive power in the present. By the means of public diplomacy it is aimed to prove that the tensions of history can be neutralized, and even the nations, most acutely conflicted in the past, can communicate in hope for genuine reconciliation in future. Through a series of discussions, as well as through conferences, creative scholarships, publications, etc., we are planning to take up unsettled Eastern European historical controversies, mainly of the last century. The same time we intend to initiate archival and museum work centered on relations between neighboring communities of the region, including the fate of national minorities.
The Eastern House is committed to support the national communities of this part of Europe in their contemporary coexistence, but above all in such common reworking of the past, especially of XXth century, that would eliminate mutual mistrust and hostility between the nations of the region ("bloody lands''), resulting from the different interpretations of history. It has to become an "|extraterritorial space", where nations, acting in solidarity with each other could keep their subjectivity and equal status, while national minorities in Poland could find the conditions for preserving their historical memory in their own languages (archival and library collections).
Renovation of the Eastern House, i.e. palace, outbuilding and park Mordy will be realized by the Foundation of the Eastern House. The work is scheduled for the coming years in such a manner that we could successively introduce new areas of activity. Finally, after the renovation and improvement, the palace will combine the functions of the residence for the creative work, meeting space, library and archive, exhibition area and organisational center. There will be guest rooms with a restaurant, common meeting hall, multimedial exhibition about the history of town of Mordy and the Przewłocki family, space for the National Groups (initially Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish and Russian, each of them will represent the model of the civil society), hall of the "Bloody Lands" and a bookstore.
Zespół pałacowo-parkowy w Mordach przystosowywany będzie do głównych, międzynarodowych celów Domu Wschodniego, jednocześnie jednak posłuży i społeczności lokalnej, i ruchowi turystycznemu. Planowana rewitalizacja ma przywrócić funkcjonalność budynkom i parkowi, obecnie nienadającym się do wykorzystywania. Całość będzie stale otwarta dla mieszkańców miasta i okolic, a zarazem dostępna dla zwiedzających (część muzealna i wystawiennicza). Miasto zyska przestrzeń parkową i spotkaniową (festiwale, pikniki, prezentacje filmowe etc.), zaplecze hotelowe i restauracyjne, których nie posiada; mieszkańcy uzyskają nowe miejsca pracy. Wspólnie innymi podobnymi placówkami regionu, Dom Wschodni tworzyć będzie atrakcyjną sieć obiektów żywej historii.