Tag: Warsaw

He was running across our rows for the first time. He was creating a new block out of us, the “zugangs” (new arrivals.) He was seeking, among unknown people, some men to keep order in the block. Fate willed it that he chose me, he choose Karol Swietorzecki (a reserve officer of 13th cavalry regiment,) Witold Rozycki (a good fellow from Warsaw,) and several others. (More…)

War is hell, or so the adage goes. Especially when we think back to the twentieth century, to events like Dresden, and Hiroshima. 2014 was an especially poignant year in this regard, as Europe observed the 100th anniversary of WWI, and Russia went to war again, in the Ukraine. 100 years didn’t seem like a long time, in the grand scheme of things. The world remained stuck on the cusp of the 19th century. (More…)

President Lukashenko appealed to the apparatchiks. They were fearful of the literati calling for human rights reforms, and raising the divisive issue of whether or not Russian should be Belarus’ official language, an issue that rankles to this day. He also seemed to rise above the intrigues of the post-1989 legislature, with his anti-corruption agenda, though post-mortems of his first campaign show that it was light on actual investigations, but high on image management. (More…)

The previous decade – let’s call them the noughties – showed the punk scene regrouping after the 1990s. Amid the flood of great new music, many full-lengths were inevitably overlooked or were lost in the chaos. Other releases got momentary attention, but were quickly forgotten. Here are some of the best LPs from the previous decade that are worth revisiting. (More…)

Warsaw changed their name to Joy Division to avoid conflict with the band Warsaw Pakt. Coincidentally, the name change also served to mark the break between Joy Division’s punk phase and their later, better-known postpunk era. (More…)

Arms upraised, they punched the air, shrieking at the top of their lungs in Tigrinyan. An Irish team had just scored its first goal against an unidentified Milanese team. I was confused. “Why are they rooting for the Irish?” I queried my companion. “Because they’re Africans,” he snorted. “They want to see the Italians punished for their racism.” (More…)

A Polish court has officially sanctioned two historic symbols linked with fascism and homophobia,  the Phalanx and the Celtic cross –  zakaz pedalowania  [Loose translation: Schwulen verboten/Ban the fags.] From now on, these signs will be legally protected.  They are symbols of an ultra-nationalist party, The National Rebirth of Poland, which started as an anti-minority organization in the 1930s. (More…)

Queer exhibitions are not just art shows, but platforms for furthering democracy. They not only foster visibility and equality, but foreground complex images which society conceals from itself. As contemporary art theorists Lois Keidan and Lois Weaver put it, art performs human rights. (More…)

Poland has not turned into Hungary. However, the country’s opposition leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, defeated in Sunday’s general election, told reporters on Sunday night that he still hoped to turn Warsaw into a second Budapest. To observers of Polish politics, such statements will hardly be surprising. (More…)