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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Acclaimed Moroccan writer and painter Mahi Binebine visits the UK

Acclaimed Moroccan writer and painter Mahi Binebine visits the UK

Mahi Binebine will visit the UK in April 2013. He will be in conversation at St Anne’s College, Oxford, with Oxford Student PEN on Tuesday 23 April. There will also be a film screening and Q&A at the Institut Français on Wednesday 24 April, and a discussion at the Royal African Society (SOAS) on Thursday 25th April.

Rainbow Becomes a Prism to View Gay Rights / NY Times




WARSAW — The 30-foot-tall rainbow sculpture in downtown Savior Square here is looking somewhat the worse for wear these days, half covered in patches of artificial flowers and half bare from being set on fire. What was intended as a work of public art without an overt political message beyond the need for inclusiveness, according to the artist behind it, has instead become part of a culture war over homosexuality that has been brewing in one of Europe’s most Catholic countries.

read more by clicking on the image below (external link)





Surviving Objects



This page is still under construction. Additional details and links to follow shortly.

Surviving Objects is a theatre performance created and directed by Teresa Murjas. It was first staged in December 2012.The completed version will be re-staged in June 2013 (details to follow), in the Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Building, University of Reading.

Surviving Objects is a devised, multi-media practice-as-research performance based on extensive interviews conducted with my elderly mother. Our conversations concerned her experience as a child refugee, following her violent deportation by the Soviet Army from Eastern Poland to Siberia (1941). She described her subsequent journey, via Persia, to a British-run refugee camp in Bwana M’Kubwa, Northern Rhodesia. There she remained for 6 years before arriving in the UK. In order to aid my mother’s recollection, our recorded conversations focused on the objects remaining from that period in her life – my ‘inheritance’. The material presence of this handful of objects is central to the ninety-minute performance.

Surviving Objects is my attempt to locate a theatrical form that will engage with my mother’s marginalised voice. The end-on performance explores themes of intimacy and failing memory, and my constantly shifting relationship with my mother. It searches for cross-medial pathways that will enable her experience, and my experience of her, to play-out. Surviving Objects involves:

  • live performance from two silent female actors handling my mother’s objects and presenting them to the audience.

  • two synchronously-playing, large-scale film projections exploring the objects by means of a highly-magnifying (macro) lens.

  • my mother’s recorded voice, taken from our interviews, which were conducted in Polish, with my own verbal contribution excised.

  • my translation of her stories, appearing as written text overlaying the projected imagery.

Surviving Objects engages with the British-Polish diasporic and refugee experience. Its main focus is on the marginalized deportation narratives of the post-war British-Polish community. Additionally, the project serves to document – through a combination of live and mediated performance-based strategies – a particular aspect of Polish diasporic history, one that intersects with British Colonial and African histories. As such, it is of interest to a range of both academic and non-academic communities.


http://www.reading.ac.uk/ftt/research/ftt-survivingobjects.aspx .


WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE / Agata Blaszczyk

Or about the emigration today

Agata Błaszczyk


The last two weeks appear to have been packed with events around migration to Great Britain.

On Friday 22 February 2013, “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?, a live show and the world’s biggest family history event, gathered under one roof professionals and amateurs exploring their past. This year the event revolved around immigration and migration. East European countries were represented by Kresy-Syberia, an organization which promotes and supports research, remembrance and recognition of the struggles of Polish citizens in the Eastern Borderlands and in exile during the Second World War.

The Polish community is often seen as one of the UK’s newest ethnic minorities, but less well known are the 250,000 Polish citizens that came to call the country home just after the Second World War. They are the parents and grandparents of hundreds of thousands of Britons today who arrived here by chance, having found themselves forced into slave labour by Stalin in 1939 and deported to Siberia. Unable to return to Poland after the war, the displaced Poles were allowed by the British government to settle successfully all over the UK.

During this event, Agata Blaszczyk-Sawyer explored the subject of the Polish citizens resettled in the UK and talked about the Polish Resettlement Camps, where the Polish troops and their families found temporary accommodation after the war.



On the same day in Manchester, representatives of Polish cultural and educational institutions discussed the future of the Polish migration archives in the UK. Participants highlighted difficulties associated with the organization and digitalization of the existing documentation and emphasized a need to collaborate on this subject more tightly. The workshop entitled “Archiving the History of Polish Exile in Great Britain” was organized by Ewa Ochman, a lecturer in East European Studies at the University of Manchester.


In addition, on 28 February 2013, the Polish Embassy in London organized a viewing of a short documentary “The Journey of a Polish Migrant” which recounted the story of homeless Polish migrants in the UK. For all the viewers gathered in the Polish Embassy, this document proved to be an alarming signal of rising homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction among recent migrants arriving from Eastern Europe. The screening followed a discussion on the above mentioned topic, which involved representatives of British charities cooperating with Polish organizations, both aiming to help migrants caught in a trap of homelessness.


Finally, a week ago, on Tuesday, 5 March 2013, the Jagiellonian University Polish Research Centre in London, in cooperation with the Polish University Abroad and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London, organized a lecture delivered by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, on “The Role of Research Universities in the Global World”.
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, examined the roles that universities had played historically and how they have changed in the 21st century. Professor Borysiewicz is one of the country’s most respected medical researchers and a leading physician. He was a major figure in the development of the cervical cancer vaccine. He is also the son of Polish parents who were captured in eastern Poland at the outbreak of the Second World War and spent two years in Siberia.
In 1947, they shared the fate of thousands of Polish political refugees who were offered resettlement in the UK.





Cultural Citizenship – Mobile Loyalties







Between the Wallpaper and the Wall by Helene Amazoulou

An exhibition exploring artists’ responses to the shifting nature of being a citizen in changing societies.

This exhibition will continue till the 12 April 2013   10:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday


12 Star Gallery, Europe House

32 Smith Square SW1P 3EU


This exhibition celebrates the European Year of Citizens 2013

The exhibition has been assembled by the young curator Lily Hall on behalf of the Association of Creative Professionals and the Société Mutuelle pour artistes EU (www.smarteu.eu)


Migration The 2013 British Comparative Literature Association Conference





The 2013 British Comparative Literature Association Conference explores the theme of migration, understood as the migration of various kinds of texts, stories, and myths across cultures and time, media, genres and species, as well as the migrations of peoples across lands, seas, and worlds.

It concerns itself with odysseys, expeditions, quests, transits; departures, destinations, arrivals, Heimat; globetrotting, globalectics; borders, boundaries, crossings; exile, displacement, Diaspora; nomads, refugees, sailors, pirates, Argonauts; worlding, world-litting; glossolalia, polyphonies, palimpsests; re-telling, reinscription, re-visioning; transmedia, cross-genre, adaptation; metamorphosis, mutation, metempsychosis.

The conference includes panels, plenary sessions, readings, and key note addresses.

Online registration for Migration is now available.

Thank you all who came to our packed out opening lecture…




With Irit Rogoff, Joanna Rajkowska and Urszula Chowaniec