The McGill University campus in Montreal, Canada was the setting of a recent international conference organized by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada on the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Europe. From Totalitarianism to Democracy: Twisted and Unfinished Road took place on October 21-22, 2009 and featured seventeen speakers from Canada, the United States, Poland, Germany and Australia.
It was 1967. I was twenty-four, a freshly-minted architecture graduate spending a year abroad. After driving through France and Spain, and an idyllic several months on the island of Formentera, I was back in Paris, staying with my uncle and aunt, before returning to Canada. But first, I wanted to visit Poland… Architecture critic Witold Rybczynski reminisces.
I recently reminisced about my son’s visit to England when he was eighteen. He took his bike with him and had his itinerary well planned. It included a trip to Hatherleigh, a little town in Devon where my family spent a year when my parents were reunited after their long wartime separation.
Bizarre grimaces, faces looking dazed, absent; others almost transparent or invisible and desperately staring ahead. All of them inhabited somewhat unspecified mysterious places: empty streets, decadent cafés, stylized shop displays, bourgeois lofts, modish ateliers.
The Canadian immigration representative seemed perplexed. What was he think of this Polish matriarchy living in mud huts surrounded by lovely gardens with trimmed hedges and a view of the great mountain in the distance? The children in their smart uniforms didn’t help. He was looking for labour in Canada’s mines and forests.
CR once again welcomes an article by Vince Chesney in which he writes about a new book and about Slavic hospitality. Pennsylvania coal country, a rural enclave dotted by small towns is distant enough from major centres — two hours from Philadelpia and Baltimore, three hours from DC, and four hours from Pittsburgh – to have retained its own identity. Says the author: “I am pleased to share this area’s heritage with you…”
From 1683 to 2009: the [Secret] Link Between the Battle of Vienna & Poland’s “Lack of Positive Spirit”
Poles have been accused of “selling their soul to the devil” to join the EU and then of making no efforts while finally in. Is this accurate? The author probes Marc Maresceau, a lawyer and Gorbachev-era specialist.
Professor Norman Davies presents a living history lesson – about compensation for properties lost during World War II in Eastern Europe.
October 5, 2008 marked the 75th annual Pulaski Day parade in Philadelphia and at the same time the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Polish Americans with John Smith’s Jamestown settlement.
True friends are known in misfortune, author Adam Mickiewicz wrote. What about true Poles? They are often found far from their homeland, busy looking for their roots as exiles. And there is no better place to be an uprooted Pole (or polonophile) than at Poland in the Rockies, a biennial conference taking place in Canmore, Western Canada.