It started in Poland in the early 1990's
The above photo is taken from a demonstration in the south of Poland in the early 1990's against Marek Kotanski. The placard in the picture bears the crudely painted words 'Won Kotanski!!!!' which translated into English basically means "Kotanski fuck off!!!". Marek Kotanski was a well known Polish psychologist and charity worker who pioneered the highly successful MONAR system of drug rehabilitation and also did some pioneering work in supporting people out of social exclusion
His work began in the 1970's working in a psychiatric hospital outside Warsaw where he came up with an innovative method of support for drug addicts, known as the Monar method. This was during a period when the Polish authorities claimed that drug addiction didn't exist. A great humanitarian, Kotanski worked to bring the socially excluded into society - not just drug addicts but homosexuals, ex-offenders, people with HIV, the destitute and homeless, and single mothers.
He became popular through a phenomenal amount of charity work, founding Monar for addiction and Markot which resettles homeless people and single mothers. Not long after becoming popular he died tragically in a car crash in 2002 aged 40. His legacy are the 157 Monar centres which operate throughout Poland and a similar number of branches of the sister charity Markot.
The roots of her interest in social exclusion
Stella Baker is a former Fringe dramatist and stage director who got to know about Marek Kotanski shortly before the middle of the 1990's. She lived in Poland between 1993 and 2005 where she worked in theatre and taught English, developing several small theatres, staging her plays and running drama workshops. Stella Baker learned the language, history and culture of Poland from scratch and today still speaks fluent Polish. Shocked at the earlier demonstrations against Kotanski, who for much of his life faced widespread opposition from many people, she became interested in social exclusion and started researching into it and developing ways to support people out of it.
A different direction
She wrote plays on social realism, some were quite controversial, including one play which some believe broke the social taboo on domestic violence. She ran a series of successful drama workshops seeking to work wiith the disadvantaged, the LGBT community, people with disabilities and others. However unlike Kotanski who worked towards integration, Stella Baker worked much more towards inclusion. Some of her drama workshops in Warsaw involved both professional actors and the homeless. The last theatre she created in Poland included former drug addicts, alcoholics and people with mental illness.
The discovery which led to Qultura
After her return to the UK late in 2005 Stella Baker continued working with theatre and the homeless while developing a new theory of modern drama. In 2008 she developed Qultura Fringe as a charitable theatre developing Qultura as a parent organization which was actually formed from a governing body of trustees one of who was David Fisher, the other foudner of Qulrura. In 2009 when she discovered that energy existed on a spectrum and developed her Theory of Creativity (previously the drama theory) this is what led to the formation of Qultura, with Qultura Fringe being relegated to a drama project.
Stella Baker is the head of Qultura electing the title of Primary Administrator which is reflective of her role as she is in charge of Qultura's administration and development. She works unpaid and has elected to share her theory and her work freely for the purposes of public good and non-comemrcial, humanitarian objectives. She has shaped her role to be much more about facilitating individual projects, guidance, mentoring, and supporting others rather than being a typical CEO or authority figure. She is supported by a small team of volunteers who work with her to handle the administration side of Qultura's functioning which is why she describes her role as Primary Adminsitrator.