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Hate crimes are on the rise in Poland. In response, a new YouTube video aspires to foster tolerance by having people from marginalized groups bake and sell bread to customers at a Warsaw bakery. Above, some of the loaves baked and handed out as part of the campaign. Each loaf is wrapped in a black ribbon with a photo and information about the person who baked it.

Salti is participating in a new Polish campaign called Nasz Chleb Powszedni, or "Our Daily Bread," which aims to inspire tolerance and understanding in Poland by having people from five marginalized groups — gays, Jews, Muslims, refugees and black people — bake and sell bread to customers at the Putka Bakery in Warsaw. The experience is encapsulated in a three-minute video released on YouTube. The next part of the campaign includes selling bread baked by minorities in various cities around the country.

The video jumps between shots of the participants preparing, kneading and dusting bread among snippets from events in Poland containing nationalist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-Muslim messages. Although Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak claims that xenophobia is a rare occurrence, the numbers tell a different story.

The National Public Prosecutor’s Office reports that the number of cases against racist, xenophobic or homophobic crimes has been rising steadily since 2012, when there were 473 cases reported. In the first part of 2017 alone, that number was 947.

"Hate speech and violence motivated by prejudice are not rare in Poland. They are poisoning the public sphere. The amount of hate based on someone’s ethnic origins, race, nationality or sexual orientation is huge in Poland," says Damian Wutke, secretary of the Association Against Racism and Xenophobia, one of the two organizations involved in making the video. The other is Chlebem i Solą (With Bread and Salt), which is devoted to helping refugees.

Salti has been living in Warsaw since 1991, and he says he feels both Syrian and Polish. He is now a well-respected gynecologist, but claims that he still occasionally hears racial slurs, such as "dirty Arab." He says he replies to them with humor: "Thank you for letting me know. I’m now going home to take a shower."

To counteract these trends, Bińczyk and Korzyńska decided to dig deep into the symbolic importance of food, and most specifically, bread. "In Poland, bread has a place on every table, regardless of our opinions and prejudices," Bińczyk explains.

"Food is not just food. It’s one of life’s basic pleasures. Not everyone likes drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, but a common meal can bring people together. You can eat my food. I can eat your food. And the gap between us has decreased," he says.

Although the makers of Nasz Chleb Powszedni had problems convincing bakeries to participate (many owners were worried about how business would be affected by such a campaign), the video was hugely popular in Poland, and gained the attention of several major media outlets, including Gazeta Wyborcza, the country’s most prominent newspaper. The video attracted more than one million views on the first day.

"It was so popular because it left the viewer with a feeling of reassurance, it’s very positive. And that’s what we’re missing in Poland the most," says Bińczyk. And despite some rather frightening events in Poland — a 14-year old Turkish girl was violently beaten in Warsaw in January — there is some hope that "hate will never become our daily bread. I believe that Poland can be a country where everyone feels safe," says Wutke.