2014 is a year of anniversaries in Poland commemorating a hard-won success, a tragic historical event, and another paying homage to a man with a special significance in Polish history.
In this spirit, Cosmopolitan Review features an article by Anna Mazurkiewicz about Solidarity and its journey from martial law to democracy. She shares with us her father’s photographs taken from the window of their home, which happened to be right where the action was.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, so CR brings you a review of Alexandra Richie’s new book, Warsaw 1944, a “definitive work on the topic for many years to come.” Richie made extensive use of the archive of Władysław Bartoszewski so we add a special profile of this extraordinary man whose friend and comrade during the war, Jan Karski, is being honored this year.
A new Jan Karski Graphic Novel is now available in English and highly recommended for Dr. Karski’s admirers of any age, and also for school and public libraries everywhere.
Agnieszka Tworek profiles the sculptures of Ursula von Rydingsvard whose work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Luba, Ogromna, Droga, Ona, Zygmunt, Moja, Elegantka, Dorotka, Ślepa Gienia, Damski Czepek, Maglownica, and Czara z Bąbelkami are titles that testify to her Polish roots, but she is also strongly influenced by the indigenous art of Mexico, Africa and Japan.
Can one ignore 600 years of friendship? Stephen Drapaka thinks not, so treats us to a colorful journey through six centuries of Polish-Hungarian amity. Lara Szypszak, for her part, writes of her love affair with her favorite city in Poland, Lublin.
These are great times for film buffs, notably the gift from Martin Scorsese’s foundation, a restored collection of Masterpieces of Polish Cinema. Cornell film professor Don Fredericksen’s review of Krzysztof Zanussi’s Camouflage shows us why these films have been an inspiration to serious filmmakers. Moving to contemporary film, Jodi Greig writes a thought-provoking review of Paweł Pawlikowski’s beautiful Ida.
Two great new works in translation have come our way: Witold Szablowski’s lively book about Turkey, The Assassin from Apricot City, reviewed by Katarzyna Zwolak and Marek Hłasko’s Beautiful Twentysomethings reviewed by Alena Aniskiewicz.
For a special treat, read Daniel Ford’s Poland’s Daughter: How I met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy and Learned About Love, War and Exile, a many-layered story about the sentimental education of an American student in post-war Europe told with wit, sensitivity and elegance.
On a different note, Justine Jablonska, who loves chatting, spoke with a very interesting man about an equally interesting topic: Sex and Gender, Tolerance and Fear. Culture wars in Poland? Why not? Everyone else has them.
And finally, to address a question that we get from time to time, namely: Why did we pick Cosmopolitan Review for our name? And, is it not a Polish Review? We guide you to the red pol in the cosmopolis. That’s what we are, Poles wherever they may be in our wonderful world. A re we playing with a word? Of course. So join us, this issue, in Poland, Hungary, America, Turkey, Italy and England. Happy reading!