Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 2, No 9
6 March 2000

Cultural news from Poland C U L T U R E   R O U N D - U P:
Poland's Week in Culture

Wojtek Kość

This week we take a brief look at a new book in the Silesian Library, witness the censoring ambitions of Polish TV and encourage the readers to visit a few exhibitions.

In this week's overview of cultural events in Poland we have:

Click on the appropiate heading or just scroll down to browse.

Book of the Week

A priceless 1486 volume of Epistolae Familiares by Pope Pius II became the property of the Silesian Library in Katowice. The book proved very important for studies on Poland's past as it clarified many semi-mythological aspects of Poland's early history. Epistolae... was one of the first printed books in Europe, although it still imitated manuscripts. Understandably, the Silesian Library will grant public access only to a copy of the book. Those interested will also be able to view it on the Internet.

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Slots advertising the controversial American movie South Park appeared on state-owned Polish TV. Nothing special, if it were not for a fine detail. In one of the adverts viewers were to hear the sentence: "Satan is gay and Kyle is a Jew." Polish TV decided to censor the words "gay" and "Jew," replacing them with a sound. An official responsible for censoring the spot said it would be interpreted as discriminating against homosexuals and Jews. Another sentence: "Cartman's mother stars in porn films" did not raise doubts.

The Golden Ducks, or the Film monthly awards, given on the basis of its readers' votes, were distributed on 28 February. Best Polish actress was Grażyna Szapołowska (Pan Tadeusz) and the best actor Michał Żebrowski (Pan Tadeusz, Ogniem i mieczem). Best movie award went to Jerzy Hoffman for Ogniem i mieczem. Wojciech Kilar was awarded for his music to Pan Tadeusz.

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A Century of Poles 1900-1999 is the title of a very interesting photo exhibition in Kraków. Every year is represented by a picture, sometimes by two or three. Together, the exhibition shows in a very suggestive way the fates of Poles and their country. For example, 1978 is illustrated - predictably - by a picture of Pope John Paul II; 1968 - the year of aggressive anti-Semitic campaign - by a picture of Polish Jews departing from a Warsaw rail station. There are pictures of scientists, politicians, and activists. The exhibition also underlines that recent times, after 1989, proved to be less "political" than they might seem: the symbol of 1998 is a dying forest. Additionally, one can learn from the exhibition that the first color photo in Poland was taken in 1907!

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Cultural Announcement

The ninth International Musical Meeting, Wschód-Zachód (East-West), begins in Zielona Góra on 3 March and will last until 6 April. This year the event is organized together with Music Days in Frankfurt. Polish and German orchestras will entertain audience with pieces from Grieg, Vivaldi, Kilar, Górecki, Shostakovich, Bach, Penderecki and Brahms. Info: 0048 68 325 65 12.

An exhibition of painter Jerzy Duda-Gracz and the Osobni (Separated) Group takes place in Katowice from 4 March to 2 April. Duda-Gracz's exhibition is organized to mark his 60th birthday. The Osobni exhibition gives the opportunity to see paintings from Beksiński, Fałat, Hasior, Michalik, Panfil and Starowiejski. Info: 0048 32 585 663.

Jewish and Israeli Culture Days are being held in Poznań from 5 March until 20 March. An exhibition - called W cieniu synagogi (In the synagogue's shade) - has gathered everyday objects used by Poznań Jews in their home and religious life. Info: 0048 61 852 20 35.

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Compiled by Wojtek Kość




A Failed Protest

Martin Mejstřík
'89 Student Leader

Revolting Students?

Glory or Glorification
Book Review


Sam Vaknin:
Faustian Financiers

Catherine Lovatt:
Dirty Elections


Haider or History?

Aquatic Chernobyl

Balkan Burden

No Croatia this week
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First Symphony

Music Shop


Leander Haußmann




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After the Rain: How the West Lost the East
By Sam Vaknin


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