The Strangeness of Existence


Poland’s Hidden Reverse

Marching to a different drum. Poland is often as not out of step with itself as much as its powerful neighbours. But at noon on Sunday 11 April, beneath overcast skies threatening rain, all differences are temporarily set aside for two minutes of silence to honour the 96 people who died alongside President Lech Kaczynski when the presidental plane crashed in fog outside Smolensk, souther Russia.


Joy isn’t the first emotion you associate with Polish culture. For much of the 20th century, its literature, films and music tackled Poland’s thwarted aspirations towards the nationhood she had reclaimed from the Austro-Hungarian empire between the First and Second World Wars in hymns of resistance and celebrations of heroic failures. From the Hitler-Stalin pact to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Soviet-style communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the first full free elections in Poland in 1990, the Poles had little to overtly celebrate. Yet even under communist rule Poland rarely felt as culturally repressive as its Warsaw Pact neighbours [...].


‘The strangeness of existence: Polish Visions in sound from Witkacy to Scianka’ is a heightened audio reverberation of Biba Kopf’s journey¬†from Warsaw to Krakow tracing roots back to the Solidarity movement of the 1980s, via indigenous variations of post-punk, No Wave, and avant garde sounds’.

Read more about this journey in July’s issue of The Wire.

Curated by Biba Kopf himself, mixed and scaped by Inga Tillere with commentary from Bogusz and Johny.

Artwork by Witkacy.


Comments are closed.