Posts Tagged ‘warsaw’

“No human community can exist without culture.”

This is the wisdom shared by Vaclav Havel.

Vaclav, a former playwright and elected first president of the Czech Republic, shared this bit of insight as part of the Wisdom project.

Wisdom is the work of 34 year old New York based photographer Andrew Zuckerman who completed the project in 2008.

Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts a generation can give to the next is wisdom gained from experience, the project consists of a collection of 50 photographs/interviews that capture the wisdom of legendary leaders and visionaries, over the age of sixty-five, from the worlds of politics, science, sports and the arts.

Wisdom exists in the form of a book of portraits, a film and a travelling exhibition.

The latter (the exhibition’s Canadian premiere) is on display at Toronto’s elegant Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) until August 5th, 2011.

Each copy of the book comes with a download code for a 60-minute film comprised of interviews from the project.

Among the global personalities featured are people such as Actor/Director (and all around Dirty Harry) Clint Eastwood, Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger, first woman to become United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Actor Robert Redford.

There are also two notable characters as far as Poland and Canada are concerned. The first is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warsaw born, McGill University educated, former United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

The second, is world renowned architect Frank Gehry who was born in Toronto and hails from Polish Jewish ancestry.

Wisdom is an inspiring and rewarding exhibition. If you’re in need of a gust of in your sails make sure to check it out. Best of all, it’s free!

And if you’re looking to combine the show with a nice dinner – we recommend either Ki  (Modern Japanese) or the eclectic Marché which are just steps away.

Enjoy your dose of wisdom!

But before you dig in, check out this trailer for the film…


Read Full Post »

The official greeting ceremony of the President of the U.S. at Poland's Presidential Palace.

As noted recently in the New York Times, the United States might not have the same pizazz in the eyes of young Poles as compared to that of their parents, but when the “Leader of the Free World” pays you a visit you roll out the red carpet.

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made a 24-hour visit to Poland as part of the final phase of his European tour.

He visited four countries over six days with his flying fortress, Air Force One, touching down in Warsaw on Friday evening.

He met with Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. He discussed security and energy issues, met with leaders of Polish democracy, and, along with Poland’s President, co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central and European states.

Obama called Poland a model for the world and praised the country for it’s peaceful and succesful transition to democracy after the fall of Communism in 1989.

He also confessed to a personal Polish link.

“If you come from Chicago and you haven’t become a little bit Polish, something’s wrong with you,” he joked.

President Obama greets young leaders at The Presidential Palace

President Barack Obama pays his respects while visiting the memorial to the victims of the Smolensk plane crash at Field Cathedral of the Polish Military in Warsaw, Poland, May 28, 2011

President Obama is greeted by Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the Presidential Palace.

President Barack Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski review troops during the arrival ceremony in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Pres. Obama meets with Polish politicians, activists & Solidarity leaders to learn about Poland's experiences in a peaceful democratic transition.

Presidents Obama & Komorowski co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central & Eastern European States.

Read Full Post »

Remember the 1990 A Tribe Called Quest classic “Can I Kick It?” (You sure can!) And, yes! It has been that long.

Well, get a load of this. It’s a live cover by Paula & Karol – the totally awesome little band from Warsaw.

We totally love it! But, is it better than the original? Let us know what you think.

And just a reminder:

Don’t miss Anna Piszczkiewicz‘s interview with Paula & Karol tonight (Saturday, Feb 19th) on Na Luzie (OMNI 1) starting at 7 pm. (Repeat Friday, Feb 25 at 2 pm).

And here is the original:

Read Full Post »

Say hello to Paula & Karol – my new favourite band!

By Anna Piszczkiewicz

First off, many thanks to YouNxt for asking me to dust off old stories that I’ve done over the years; we’ll be releasing these on a regular basis starting next week. However, before I dig into the past work, I thought that an introduction to what’s coming up on Na Luzie (Laid Back) would be appropriate.

I’m constantly scouring the internet in order to seek out talent that’s somehow related to both the Great White North and the home country. That’s how I discovered Warsaw-based duo Paula i Karol (Paula & Karol) – a duo that’s making music unlike anything else in Poland’s capital.

Photo courtesy of Tomek Ratter

Their indie-folk sound is as warm and charming as your grandma’s kitchen.

And the kids, they love it!

Their debut album, Overshare, released just two months ago, disappeared instantly off Empik’s shelves. The pair did confess to printing only 3,500 albums but, hey, the store’s racks were emptied.

And some time before that, the twosome was nominated for the ‘Discovery of the Year’ prize by Pulp (a leading Polish music magazine).

Oh, and the Canadian connection?

Paula is a native of North Bay, Ontario.

See Paula & Karol, chatting from their cute kitchen (red and white checkered tablecloth included) Saturday, Feb 19 on Na Luzie (OMNI 1) starting at 7 pm. (Repeat Friday, Feb 25 at 2 pm).

Until then, sample some tunes by Paula & Karol.

Word of warning: you’ll fall for them.

I did.

Read Full Post »

Co-Host/Reporter Anna Piszczkiewicz

If you watch Polish television on Canada’s OMNI channel then you’re already familiar with Anna Piszczkiewicz. She is the dynamic Co-Host and Reporter for the Polish-language arts and culture program Na Luzie (Laid Back). Ever week Anna brings viewers, across the country, interesting stories relating to community events as well as the people behind them. With a knack for staying on top of the cultural beat she profiles rising local artists, filmmakers and musicians.

We love her work and admire her great dedication.

And now, here’s the inside scoop into the professional life of…

Anna Piszczkiewicz

Education: Ryerson University

Profession: Broadcaster

Location: Toronto

Why did you choose to work in broadcasting? I came into broadcasting as a teenager, out of curiosity. And fell in love with it. It may sound sappy but it’s true.

What are you currently studying in school? I’m completing my masters in journalism at Ryerson.

How do you manage to balance work and school? I drink a lot of coffee. Preferably with a friend with whom I can go on and on about the inane but oh-so-important stuff. Also: a good breakfast, dancing in the kitchen and a daily to-do list.

What direction would you like your career to go in? I’m always open to new opportunities but long form journalism is the Holy Grail.

What are you working on now? I’m co-host/reporter for the Polish-language arts and culture program Na Luzie at OMNI TV.

What drives you in your work? Telling a good story.

What’s the most exciting thing about working on the show? Always meeting new people who are pursuing something they’re passionate about. It’s a privilege to get access to their lives and exciting to share what I’ve learned with the audience.

My interviews are on arts and culture so they aren’t necessarily things you need to know but ideas about living that, I hope, both inform and inspire.

What are your future plans? (not necessarily work related) I have never regretted spending money on travel so I’m always looking to remedy my wanderlust.

Who were your mentors growing up/who are your mentors now? I’ve always been fascinated by director Krzysztof Kieslowski — traditional cinema that’s innovative all at once. I read in an interview that he left documentary work behind for feature films, in part, because the closer he tried to get to someone, he drove that someone away. Perfectly natural, of course. The most sincere moment he was after disappeared as soon as the camera turned on. It’s idealistic, but I’m chasing after capturing that moment.

Do you have a motto that you live/work by? The Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is a good principle to keep in mind at work and play.

What was the best career advice you’ve ever received? It’s often not the best writers that become successful at their craft but the ones that don’t give up and keep at it. My university writing prof said some version of that to a class. The sentiment still rings true.

What little things in life do you enjoy the most? A good cup of coffee, a game of Scrabble as well as wild blueberries, sour cream and sugar mashed together.

Favourite TV Show: How about a small sampling? I feed my vampire craze with: True Blood. Laugh with: How I Met Your Mother. Dream with: Departures. Admire from across the pond: Top Gear.

Favourite Band or Musical Performer: A few that have been getting regular play recently: KT Tunstall, Hey, Hybrid, incarNations, and Paula i Karol.

What does being Polish mean to you? Having a double identity but not the fancy spy kind. It’s more about being on the outside looking in. Knowing the culture without necessarily living it in (we left when I was three and a half). It’s a fascinating place to be.

Why are your Polish roots important to you? They mean a different worldview, a set of priorities and I can read some fantastic literature in its original language.

Warszawa or Krakow? Someone once said that the best place in Warszawa is the train headed to Krakow. I kid 😉 I choose Krakow. It’s my hometown.

Website or Contact: I’m @katania on Twitter. This is where non-serious stuff goes like me sharing that I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. (Like you can’t relate).

Read Full Post »

If you frequent the Facebook Universe you probably came across a new music video called “Nie Ma Cwaniaka na Warszawiaka” by Projekt Warszawiak.

The clip made its debut on January 5th and has been viewed by close to 2 million people to date.

Projekt Warszawiak (“Projekt” means “Project” and “Warszawiak” denotes a person from Warsaw) is a collective of Warsaw based artists who created an EP album as a “tribute to all the Warsaw street musicians, prewar composers and song writers who gave the music spirit to this city.”

The majority of the songs are  re-interpretations of old Polish ballads with a modern twist.

“Nie Ma Cwaniaka na Warszawiaka” loosely translates to “No one is as crafty as a Warszawiak” and features actor Lukasz Garlicki in the roles of a bartender at Warsaw’s famed Przekaski Zakaski, a Turk selling kebabs and a male version of the Warsaw mermaid among others.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Read Full Post »

On April 11th, one day after the tragic plane crash that killed 96 dignitaries, including Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and the likes of Ryszard Kaczorowski (former president-in-exile) and Anna Walentynowicz (a key player during the 1980 strike at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk), Poland was to observe two minutes of silence.

Instead what happened was something straight out of  a Hollywood movie.

Simply surreal. Masses of people all frozen in shock and the wails and screams of the sirens acting to express their sorrow. Big Thanks to Polonia Blog for finding this.

The New York Times ran a terrific article written by Roger Cohen about Poland’s reaction to the accident and the Katyn massacre. If you haven’t already read it please do, you’ll be proud. One of the best lines is the following:

“Poland should shame every nation that believes peace and reconciliation are impossible, every state that believes the sacrifice of new generations is needed to avenge the grievances of history. The thing about competitive victimhood, a favorite Middle Eastern pastime, is that it condemns the children of today to join the long list of the dead.”


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »