Our Pet Queen & Polish False Friends

Hi,The Queen died a few hours after I sent out my last newsletter. Sad news and certainly a seismic change for the UK.Other than The Queue, the most fascinating consequence is how you realise nobody really remembers the Queen not being around. You ha...

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Sep 15, 2022
Pola Nireńska + rewriting Twitter bios - test

Hi,A short one this week, as I've been preoccupied with family matters.Polish stuffA few weeks back I helped prepare some of the materials for this online conversation next week at YIVO about Pola Nireńska. It's with Weronika Kostyrko, the author of...

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Sep 11, 2022
Pola Nireńska + rewriting Twitter bios

Hi,A short one this week, as I've been preoccupied with family matters.Polish stuffA few weeks back I helped prepare some of the materials for this online conversation next week at YIVO about Pola Nireńska. It's with Weronika Kostyrko, the author of...

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Sep 08, 2022
Overusing Twitter, land of trolls & journalists

Hello there!Our household had stomach flu this week and it kinda messed up a lot of plans. So I'm mostly just gonna ramble about Twitter this week.Polish stuffDue to the writing course I've been doing, I've been spending a lot of time on Twitter. Lik...

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Aug 25, 2022
PASSENGER

Several years after the war, a strange encounter in the heart of Paris made Zofia Posmysz, a former Auschwitz prisoner, start wondering what it would be like to meet her camp overseer. Posmysz turned her fantasy in a successful radio play in which sh...

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Jan 27, 2022
EXILE

Get to know Piotr Szkopiak, a London-based film and TV director who’s spent a good portion of his life pondering the nature of his identity. Piotr Szkopiak was born in the United Kingdom but into a Polish family. As he grew up, he learned...

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Dec 18, 2021
REVOLUTION

Nicolaus Copernicus, born in 1473, was the orphaned son of a copper merchant in Toruń. Thanks to his bishop uncle, he obtained a first class education at the Kraków Academy and then in Italy, where he became an avid observer of the night sky – even t...

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Nov 10, 2021
DAISIES

Vera Chytilová was the most important woman director of the Czechoslovak New Wave – although she remains relatively unknown outside of Central Europe. As the first female student of the prestigious FAMU film school in Prague, she had to fight in orde...

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Oct 07, 2021
VISIONARY

Stanisław Lem was a science-fiction writer whose works, abilities and quirky sense of humor convinced Phillip K. Dick that he was too brilliant to exist and must have actually been a committee of people! Indeed his rare gift for blending philosoph...

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Sep 07, 2021
Announcing Season IV

This year we have more great stories for you! There's going to be a bit of sci-fi, a pinch of socialist realism, a good portion of astronomy, and some old-fashioned moving testimonies from a region that never sleeps! Stay tuned: the first episode dro...

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Aug 24, 2021
The Fusionist: Zbigniew Namysłowski

Like most Polish jazz musicians, Zbigniew Namysłowski learned the basics of jazz listening to Willis Conover’s “Jazz Hour”. Originally starting his musical career playing piano, cello and trombone, Namysłowski became infatuated with the saxophone...

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Jul 29, 2021
The Virtuoso: Adam Makowicz

Adam Makowicz grew up in a house where a piano was the centre of the home. His mother had long planned for him to become a classical virtuoso, but a meeting with a musician who introduced him to jazz changed this path completely. Adam packed his...

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Jul 16, 2021
The New Yorker: Michał Urbaniak

“Polish jazz group - 100$ a night” Displayed on the posters in Michał Urbaniak’s band’s van while playing across Europe in the 60s, this hippy traveling player was soon to become one of the most innovative Polish jazz musicians in history....

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Jul 01, 2021
The Queen: Urszula Dudziak

Urszula’s love for unruly musical experiments got her kicked out from music school when she was a young girl. A few years later, like many young Poles, she stumbled upon The Voice of America - a radio station meant to bring American culture and c...

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Jun 17, 2021