Home » Articles posted by Admin-EmigratingLandscapes (Page 2)

Author Archives: Admin-EmigratingLandscapes

Session 1: Film about Polish Artists

Session 1: Mally Yina in discussion with Urszula Chowaniec

(Saturday, May 11, 1-2 pm)

PolinArts i Prometeusze


Come to this session to see a film and take part in the lively discussion on Polish Artist and their search for identity….


Artist: Mally Yina

Project title: PolinArts i Prometeusze / PolinArts and Prometheus (Presentation of the Documentary on Polish Artists in London)

  1. Questions you may be asked before the film:
  • Based on your life experience, how could you describe your national identity?
  • What elements from your national identity do you consider most important?
  • From your knowledge, what is a general opinion about Polish people?
  • How many Polish people do you know personally?
  • What are their jobs?
  • Have you heard about Polish artists who work in London? Why/How?
  • Do you know any Polish jokes?
  1. Discussion after the projection:
  • Was there anything in the film that was new to you?
  • Was there anything that especially surprised you?
  • What are your reflections about the identity of migrants?
  • What are your reflections about your own identity?
  • Would you like to know more about any of the artists?


Artist’s Profile:

Mally Yina is a theatre director and an award winning filmmaker.

2014 UCL Festival of the Arts (29 May)

eMigrating Landscapes Project presents a series of event

Telling Mother Tongues.

I am Polish: Meet the Artists


29th of May: UCL Roberts G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, 

Roberts Building, Malet Place



The numbers of migrants and their economic impact are often measured and discussed in the media. But these figures miss the human element: the cultural, literary and artistic perspectives of emigration and migration. The eMigrating Landscapes Project, led by dr. Urszula Chowaniec, investigates how language underpins activity after displacement. What happens to art when its creator relocates? Meet the Poles making both art and homes in London.

These events are aimed at an English-speaking audience. (Polish and non-Polish speakers welcome.)

  • 29th of May: I am Polish: Meet the Artists:  drop in sessions: come along and take part in interesting discussions and presentations of various activities, initiatives and events that are taking place in Polish community in London and UK.


  • Joanna Rajkowska on her Project with UCL SSEES and UCL Art Museum;
  • Małgorzata Gryglicka Dawidek, a drop in session chaired by Urszula Chowaniec;
  • Dominika Akuszewska, Agnieszka Szara & Play Poland Full Festival on contemporary migration in films;
  • Queer Poland chaired by Richard Mole (discussion with the artist Katarzyna Perlak.



  • 29th of May: Polish Posters Exhibition and film/presentation (English subtitles) on the theme of migration, organised by the Play Poland Film Festival.

See all Festival’s page

The series of events are financially supported by the Centre of East European Languages Based Areas Studies CEELBAS


and Polish Cultural Institute in London

2013 UCL Festival of the Arts (11-12 May)

UCL Festival of the Arts, UCL SSEES, Off-Press AND LoVArts invite you for the drop-in sessions to on May 11th and 12th, when there will be 5 drop-in sessions with some snacks and drinks – No registration needed, just come and enjoy!:

Polish has become the second most frequently spoken tongue on these Islands (The Guardian – “Polish becomes the England’s second language”), present all the time on the Tube, at bus stops cafes, restaurants, libraries and universities… but who are your Polish neighbours?

Come and meet some of the Polish artists and activists living in London: you will meet film makers, photographers, poets, writers, thinkers and teachers who came to London to start new lives and to make the capital a bit different.

Come and learn a bit of Polish, find out about famous Polish people, national curiosities and discover the map of Polish London (via a map of Polish tweets in London).

9 December, 2013: Polish Literature in Transformation (book launch)

Celebrating Literature…

Polish Literature in Transformation

9 December, 5 pm


4th floor Masaryk Senior Common Room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

Discussion on Literature and Transformation around new publication of

Polish Literature in Transformation, edited by Ursula Phillips with the assistance of Knut Andreas Grimstad and Kris Van Heuckelom. (Polonistik im Kontext, Band 2). Berlin [et al.]: LIT Verlag, 2013, 320pp.

Publisher website here

Consisting of a substantial introduction by the main editor and seventeen other essays, this book emerged from the conference “Polish Literature Since 1989” held at the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies in November 2011. It is not, however, a reflection of the conference proceedings or a collection of isolated, unrelated essays but a multi-authored volume coordinated by a single overarching theme, to which the individual authors contribute the fruits of their own detailed research into a number of sub-themes. These contributors are drawn from several different countries and scholarly traditions: Poland, Britain (England and Scotland), Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium.

The main theme of the book is the transformation, systemic and cultural, that Poland has undergone since the collapse of communism in 1989 and its reflection in literary works (mostly in prose, including memoirs and fiction, but additionally in poetry and drama) and also in the ways literary scholars have reacted to change, both in Poland and in the West: To what extent, for example, has the import of Western theory after 1989 influenced literary-cultural studies and has there been a reaction against this?

Themes addressed include: changing conceptions of Polish nationhood and identity or of so-called “Polishness”; the impact of European integration (since 2004); the effects of migration; revised conceptions of the foreign or the marginal, and new understandings of what is understood by émigré or emigrant literature; sensitivity to issues of gender and sexual identity, as well as the impact of feminism and queer studies; the huge impact of revived interest in the Jewish heritage, in Holocaust memory, and in Polish-Jewish relations.

19 October, 2013: Migrating Stories

Polish Art Festival, Southend-on-Sea
October 19, 2013 at 2pm.

eMigrating Landscapes Project, run at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies / University College London, invites you to a meeting with authors whose works deal with contemporary migration. The seminar includes readings of their works and discussion around the phenomena of recent migration across Europe.


“Meeting balances wandering. A crossroad of two otherness, it welcomes the foreigner without tying him down, opening the host to his visitor without committing him. A mutual recognition…”
(Julia Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves)

The plan and the participants of the meeting:
1. Introduction to eMigrating Landscapes Project and the notion of Migrating Stories. Introducing the writers (Urszula Chowaniec)
2. Readings: Wiola Greg / Wioletta Grzegorzewska, poetry and short stories (Smena’s Memory, Notes from an Island): Marek Kazmierski, short stories (Damn the Source); Maria Jastrzębska, poetry (At the Library of Memories)
3. Discussion (including audience participation)
4. Philip Terry. Readings and presentation.
5. Rachel Lichtenstein: readings of Rodinsky’s Room, presentation.

25 April, 2013: Gender, Translation and Postcolonial Studies in Poland

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

eMigrating Landscapes www.emigratinglandscapes.org

Seminar on

Crossing the Borders of Reading, Writing and Translating

in Women’s Literature and Scholarship

Debate on three new publications by Urszula Chowaniec, Ursula Phillips and Marzenna Jakubczak

Discussion will be led by dr. Richard Mole

Thursday 25 April 2013, 4-6.30 pm.

Room: 431 (4th floor)

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

Event is public and free, but early registration is advised to avoid disappointment


For further details please contact: u.chowaniec@ucl.ac.uk

April 25_Crossing Borders of Tranlation, Research and Writing (POSTER)

The seminar will focus on problems surrounding:

  • gender constructs and crossing in literary scholarship after 1989 in Poland
  • potential connections between post-colonial and post-communist research
  • the role of translation in contemporary global university systems

Discussion will be held around three recent publications

  • Women’s Voices and Feminism in Polish Cultural Memory, edited by Urszula Chowaniec and Ursula Phillips (2012) http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Women-s-Voices-and-Feminism-in-Polish-Cultural-Memory1-4438-4187-0.htm
  • Translation of the novel Poganka (The Heathen, 1846) by Narcyza Żmichowska (translated by Ursula Phillips)


  • Philosophy and Literature: Generation and Transformation in Gender and Postdependency Discourse.  ARGUMENT: Biannual Philosophical Journal (2012, vol. 2, no. 1), edited by Urszula Chowaniec and Marzenna Jakubczak,

6 November, 2014: Coming Out Polish Style

“Coming Out Polish Style”

by Sławomir Grünberg & Katka Reszke

Screening followed by discussion panel with prof. Anne White (UCL SSEES), dr Richard Mole (UCL SSEES), Katke Reszke and Katarzyna Perlak

Thursday, 6 Nov, 2014 at 6.30


16 Taviton St, London WC1H 0BW

PLAY OUT in collaboration with UCL SSEES, eMigrating Landscapes Project and Women Online Writing

“Coming Out Polish Style”

Poland, USA 2011, 61 mins


The documentary offers an exeptional look into the lives of gays and lesbians in contemporary Poland. It explores the issues of gay and lesbian rights in a conservative society, which undergoes a dynamic transformation, increasingly permitting successful liberal changes.

The film focuses on the diverse and complex identity struggles involved in the process of ‘coming out.’ It profiles both celebrities who are openly gay in Poland and young people from small towns who are still in the process of ‘coming out.’

More at BLOG

The event was made possible thanks to the support of SSEES Centre for the Studies of Central Europe and cooperation between Play Full with dr Rochard Mole and prof. Anne White.

All welcome

16 May, 2014: Poor but Sexy (discussing Eastern Europe)

Culture Clashes in Europe East and West

Meeting with Agata Pyzik,

author of the latest publication from Zero Books


In discussion with Wendy Bracewell, Federica Mazzara,

Ewa Sidorenko, Dana Dȍmșȍdi


(discussion led by Urszula Chowaniec)



Friday, 16 May 2014, 6-8 pm.

Senior Common Room, 4th floor

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW


For further details please contact: u.chowaniec@ucl.ac.uk


What’s the East and the West? How do we perceive the East and its transformations? What’s behind post-1989 developments?

Excerpt from the book:

(from the introduction)


“This book should read like my coming to terms with being from the former East and what it means to me, as well as the discoveriesI made on my way. The typical view of the migrant is that every- thing is better in the new country. For me, a migrant not forced economically, equipped only with cultural capital, I looked at it from the beginning with mixed feelings. In fact, economically the contemporary West has never had so much in common with the East as it does now. Our economies may differ in scale, and though Polish propagandists like to imagine that in the near future they’ll overtake the UK, the British economy is still 70% bigger than the Polish – but in the current critical state they all function more similarly than before. This is the world of post-Fordism, a stream of cheap labor, flowing from one country to another, all equally fucked despite differences. It is perhaps this disgust with what the West did with all its opportunities, political chances, stock and philosophy that motivates this book.

Those years between 1945 and 1989 require a living and lived cultural history, where personal engagement and experience is not a curse, but a value. Many memoirs and accounts have been produced since the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc, and mine wants simply to ask the question – where are we now, after 23 years? If the Soviet Union 23 years into its existence wasn’t called post-tsarist, why are we still defined as “post-communist”, and why is it relevant? Did history take a slower pace, or was it finished, as Fukuyama said, after 1989?”

7 May, 2014: Ewa Lipska – an Encounter with the Author Ewa Lipska

Ewa Lipska


Journeys Through Memory – the Healing Image

Wednesday 7 May 2014, 6-8 pm.

Senior Common Room, 4th floor

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW


For further details please contact: u.chowaniec@ucl.ac.uk

“All of us, regardless of our historical situations, are hunting for our past….

We’ll always be talking it through with our psychotherapists, with historians

– today’s detectives.” Ewa Lipska

More about the author here



  1. Introduction (Urszula Chowaniec)
  2. Reading: excerpts from Ewa Lipska’s novel Sefer (Ewa Lipska in Polish and Tony Howard in English)
  3. Discussion: Ewa Lipska, Francois Guesnet (UCL), Katarzyna Zechenter (UCL), Barbara Bogoczek , Tony Howard (Warwick University), Urszula Chowaniec (UCL/AFM KU)
  4. Q&A
  5. Reception and book signing

(with music based on motifs from Sefer)

Ewa Lipska, Sefer, English translation by Barbara Bogoczek and Tony Howard. Published in Canada by AU Press, Athabasca University Press, 2012

Free PDF available on the Publisher’s site here


I had a remarkably original father. Father

owned the Sefer publishing house, which, although it

didn’t bring in any income, helped him cope with his

fear of depressive memories, and with claustrophobia.

Fortunately he also worked at an historical institute —

as a detective, because after all who but a detective can

write history. He left behind an unravellable will, with

which I’m still struggling today. I was an only child. In

my youth I dreamed of becoming a doctor, a solicitor,

a beggar, a musician, an actor, a demon, and a salesman.

But I went along with the wishes of my whole family,

read medicine, became a psychiatrist, and I practice

psychotherapy now. Thanks to which, I became linked

forever with the demons of our time.


The clerk stopped her work, looked at the postman and said:

“But that’s why my marriage collapsed. I predicted my

husband’s death.”

“What? Your husband’s alive, isn’t he?”

“Exactly. We were young, healthy, and in love, then one

night I dreamt I was in mourning. All that remained of

my husband in my dream was his absence. I woke up in fear

and trembling. He was still lying next to me. It seemed to

me he wasn’t breathing anymore. I tugged at his hand, and

I couldn’t believe it when he suddenly jumped up, asking

what had happened. Had something happened? Ludicrous

question, isn’t it? I began to cry a lot. I was weeping for

him. With every knock on the door, I expected a Notification

of Death. Meanwhile he kept on going out to work. And

coming back. I cooked him cranberry compote but behaved

like a widow. I started buying black dresses, blouses, jackets.

We began living a life after death. Something had to happen,

I knew. Because it was all predicted. One day my dead

husband, whom I so adored, applied for a divorce at the

district court . . . I don’t even know where he’s buried.”

She confirmed it by stamping another letter.

The postman asked, “Isn’t this work boring?”

“No. Why? There’s a different date stamp every day.”


On our way to the hotel Maria and I talked about

the double nature of language, which can suddenly flick

you from a smart sophisticate into a lout. Just a moment

ago language was entertaining us with the brilliance

of its wit and palette, only to announce suddenly in the

middle of the town square: “I’m kurwa trying to explain

it to him, and he just gobbles up his fucking sausages!”

Maria went back to rejoin her friends while I phoned

Doktor A. at the clinic. He read me part of a letter from

a patient whose history he’d tried to build into a case

study: “Dear Herr Doktor, why won’t I answer personal

questions? Because I never answer personal questions. Do

you remember what Goethe wrote about Werther? ‘Oh, how

often I’ve cursed those foolish pages that made my youthful

torments public property!’ We live in an age of collective

exhibitionism; we strip ourselves naked mercilessly, down

to the bare void. The void that traps us forever. And you,

Herr Doktor, think that I’ll tell you everything, undress down

to the last nerve. You all know too much about me anyway.

I bet when I’m wired up for my ECG, you’re recording the

love inside my heart. Nowadays everything belongs to

everybody and nobody.” Doktor A.: “So I arranged to

meet him outside the clinic. And in two hours he told

me much more than I would’ve got on the record.”

“And how’s your vegan blonde?” I asked. “Or is she

a kosher brunette now?” “Not yet, but you’d better

come back to Vienna soon. I don’t like diagnosing

over the phone.”

About the book:


Lucy Popescu’s review

Justyna Sobolewska’s review


Piotr Gwiazda’s review of Sefer in The Times Literary Supplement, Published: 22 February 2013;

Chris Miller’s review:  The Warwick Review, Vol.VII NO.4 December 2013, p.14

7 February, 2014: Grzegorz Wroblewski



Poetry Reading and Discussion with Grzegorz Wróblewski and his translators, Piotr Gwiazda and Adam Zdrodowski

Introductiona and chairing: Steven J. Fowler and Marcus Slease

4th floor Masaryk Senior Common Room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

5-7 pm

Registration HERE

Kopenhaga is the first comprehensive collection of prose poetry by Grzegorz Wróblewski, one of Poland’s leading contemporary writers. The book offers a series of vignettes from the crossroads of politics and culture, technology and ethics, consumerism and spirituality. It combines two tropes: the emigrant’s double identity and the ethnographer’s search for patterns. While ostensibly focused on Denmark, it functions as an investigation of alterity in the post-cold war era of ethnic strife and global capitalism. Whether he writes about refugees in Copenhagen (one of Europe’s major transnational cities), or the homeless, or the mentally ill, or any other marginalized group, Wróblewski points to the moral contradictions of a world supposedly without borders.

Some quote here:

“Grim, glancingly beautiful, always necessary.”

—Joshua Clover

“Wróblewski is the true poetic chronicler of our 21st century diaspora in all its absurdities and anxieties … Kopenhaga is a journey to the end of the night that always makes a U-turn in the middle, to take in the latest folly—and also self-rescue mission—of the transplant. Read it and weep—and then laugh!”

—Marjorie Perloff

For more go here


1. Piotr Gwiazda about translating of Kopenhaga

2. Grzegorz Wroblewski (in Polish) Piotr Gwiazda (in English) reading excerpts of Kopenhaga

3. Marcus Slease and Adam Zdrodowski presentation of poetry (in Polish translation and English)

4. General discussion/question and answers

Wine reception after the event

All are welcome