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What does Poland feel like? This lovely video by Maggie Olkuska should give you a flavour of Poland.
Watched over 130,000 times, this video was shot by Maggie in 2012, when she decided to visit Poland with her camera. She backpacked all across the country to capture the essence of the place and its people.
Poland is a country with a very brutal past, really.. the World Wars, Holocaust… but I believe that all these experiences only made the nation stronger! As I experienced through my journey – Polish people are so hardworking, very hospitable, very ambitious; there are so many passionate artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers there… ! Moreover, when a Pole decides that he’s going to achieve something, a goal, a dream – I bet you – he will!!! (*and he is going to be passionate about it!*)
“Warsaw is more hipster than Paris, which is elegant.” Now, I’m not sure this is a good thing, but this is what I learned from this New York Times video about what people in Poland wear these days.
The video’s title is self-explanatory: “Intersection: Divided Styles in Warsaw”. Like everywhere in Poland, Warsaw has its share of fashionistas and a lot of people, for whom fashion is still decided by the price tag. And Plac Zbawiciela, which features in this clip – a more upmarket and liberal part of central Warsaw – is no different.
Even in this video the clash is pretty evident.
And hopefully the clip will also dispel certain myths about how people dress in Poland and if you’ve never been there – no, we don’t wear bear skin coats. *eye roll*
Normally when I post something on a Sunday, it’s a music clip. And normally it’s my post.
Today will be another music post, but with a difference. This one wasn’t written by me. For the first time in the history of this blog, I’m posting a guest post. Hooray! The text below was written by the Polski Blog’s fan and reader, Matt Lindley, who has something special for all you (Polish) jazz lovers. Matt, over to you….
Coming to London later this month will be a programme of Polish experimental and jazz music as JEMP Festival hits town. Running from 25th November to 5th December, Jazz and Experimental Music from Poland is a six-day series of concerts at various venues around the city,including Café Oto and Vortex Jazz Club in East London. From Free Jazz to Electroacoustic Improv to Noise, we take a look at three of the JEMP highlights.
Mikołaj Trzaska / Mark Sanders Duo and Mikrokolektyw
Formed out of the ashes of Robotobibok, Mikrokolektyw are a stripped-down duo comprising Kuba Suchar (drums) and Artur Majewski (trumpet). Both members also contribute analogue synth to the mix. Influences from Chicago’s jazz and post rock scene of the 90s are certainly evident, but Mikrokolektyw’s forward-thinking drift is entirely their own. They will be performing music from their new album Absent Minded, out now on Delmark.
Later in the evening, legendary saxophonist Mikołaj Trzaska and drummer Mark Sanders will take to the stage for a special one-off collaboration. Trzaska is best known as a founding member of Polish jazz group Miłość (see below) and has gone on to collaborate with Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark and others. London-based Sanders is equally well-travelled and known for his diverse and constantly creative drumming.
Piętnastka’s (AKA Piotr Kurek’s) massively psychedelic Dalia tape was one of the music highlights of 2011. Kurek’s music weaves synth and organ tones to create fairytale soundworlds inhabited by the ghosts of Eastern European folk music. Hearing him perform live with percussionist Hubert Zemler will be one of the high points of the festival.
Later in the evening, Kurek will be joined by London musician Andie Brown for another JEMP exclusive. Brown has collaborated with Cindytalk and operates under the solo moniker These Feathers Have Plumes. It will be interesting to hear how her atmospheric ambient drone textures merge with Kurek’s keyboard reveries.
Coming to Dalston’s Rio Cinema will be a special one-off screening of Filip Dzierżawski’s documentary about Polish jazz group Miłość. Founded in 1988 by Tymon Tymański, Miłość were the first Polish band to integrate elements of punk rock, folk and techno into their sound, creating a new style of music known as ‘jass’.
Dzierżawski’s film tells the dramatic story of Miłość ten years after the band broke up, as they prepare for a reunion tour. Will the magic still be there? Expect new interviews, archive material and concert footage as the band discuss their early days and the legacy of their jass sound. The film will be accompanied by a Q&A session.
The third edition of JEMP looks set to be the best yet, so we hope you can make it down to some shows!
A protected area with 25 Medieval castles, often built on tall white rocks, by Kazimierz the Great, the Polish king. The trail itself is over 160 kilometres long and passes through all 25 castle sites, including the most famous Polish castle, the Wawel Castle in the heart of Kraków. Many of the castles were destroyed or damaged during the Swedish Invasion of Poland in the 17th century.
2. Where is it?
In the south of Poland, between Częstochowa and Kraków.
3. Why bother?
The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests is one of Poland’s best and most picturesque trails. You don’t need to follow the entire trail, of course, you can just pick a castle and go there. The Pieskowa Skała Castle, for example (see above), is easily accessible by car and bicycle. It’s a stunning location, perched high on a tall rock, with lovely views and garden.
4. And you don’t want to miss…
… the Maczuga Herculesa (‘Hercules’s bludgeon’) rock. Called that thanks to its distinctive shape resembling a bludgeon. It’s located just a few minutes down from Pieskowa Skała.
5. Want to know more?
Watch the lovely promotional video (no, I wasn’t paid to show it, I just came across it on YouTube), created to promote the region. Oh, and when you visit, go in the summer or early autumn…