Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 1, No 14
27 September 1999

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

Wojtek Kosc

The Warsaw Book Trade Fest was attended by less people than expected which was a reflection of the book marketís recent troubles. Still, the Fest turned to be an important cultural event. During its three days, many new titles were presented, awards given and discussions conducted. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and George Orwell's 1984 were the first two book from a new series called Century's End Canon. The series will consist of 25 books altogether. The discussions were devoted to the state of the book market. It is assumed that it will end in the marginalization of small publishing houses and a drop in book production.

Last week's main literature event was the release of the book by Rudi Assuntino and Wlodek Goldman containing an interview with Marek Edelman, the last survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The book, The Warden: Marek Edelman Talks, gives an account of the ghetto uprising. It reminds us of some disturbing facts concerning the West's attitude to the Holocaust and finally comments on the Kosovo war. The book is published by Znak Publishing House.

The Batory Foundation awarded 40,000 zlotys (USD 10,000) to the Stacja Szamocin (Szamocin Station) Theatre which organizes performances in the former state agricultural companies (PGR) where chronic unemployment threatens communities with passiveness and alcoholism. The theatre not only performs on stage but encourages people from the threatened areas to take part.

Poet and Bruno Schulz enthusiast, Jerzy Ficowski, was awarded by the Pogranicze (Borderland) Centre in appreciation of his work for getting different cultures together and helping people understand the importance of cultural complexity.

Also in cultural news: The marketing campaign for the movie Pan Tadeusz has begun. The movie, based on Poland's national epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz, is due to be released in October. Legendary underground rock band Fugazi (from Washington DC) performed in Wroclaw on Tuesday 21 September. The 50th birthday of Lithuanian-born painter Stasys Eidrigevicius will be celebrated by an exhibition in Krakow. The exhibition lasts from September 22 until October 10. Information from: 0048 12 421 90 30 or 0048 12 421 91 55.

Wojtek Kosc, 24 September 1999




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