To any American ex-pats who might have taken part in last Friday’s Independence Day march, the stark difference between the 4th of July and the 11th of November must have been hard to miss. I don’t just mean the weather — late autumn isn’t the right time for barbecuing and enjoying fireworks shows, and there’s little we can do to change that. But I can imagine foreigners thinking to themselves, “Wouldn’t you rather celebrate than demonstrate?” The complexity of Polish history and politics makes the entire matter even more puzzling to the outside observer.
Biweekly#30 cover by Filip ZagorskiBut I can imagine foreigners thinking to themselves, “Wouldn’t you rather celebrate than demonstrate?” The complexity of Polish history and politics makes the entire matter even more puzzling to the outside observer.
This fortnight we take an international perspective on Polish culture. Joanna Mytkowska looks beyond the local context of Alina Szapocznikow’s oeuvre and finds an international language through which to appreciate it. Dara Weinberg offers an ex-pat’s view of Chór Kobiet, an all-female ensemble whose pieces overcome language boundaries and have been performed all over the world, from the UK to Japan. James Hopkin reflects on the pleasures of listening to Polish translations of English speakers at the Joseph Conrad Festival, an event devoted to an author whose personal and literary history spans the same language pair. Finally, Eliza Szybowicz points out the pitfalls of writing about Africa, and tells us whether Małgorzata Szejnert’s new book about Zanzibar successfully sidesteps these traps.
Welcome to the world of 7 billion. Let’s move it around a little.
Biweekly#30. Editor: Arthur Barys. Cover by Filip Zagorski. Published 14 November 2011 at 15:00.