Literature & Culture

A Polish Artist's Take on Immigration

Warsaw-born Edinburgh-based artist Monika Szydłowska's new book "Do You Miss Your Country" is a humorous, insightful and poignant comic book looking at issues of Poles and immigration. Written in both English and Polish, the book examines--through…

Poland's Lost and Stolen Art

WARSAW, POLAND — The Division of Looted Art at Poland’s Ministry of Culture is a small office with a big mandate. Since 1992, the four-person unit has been charged with collecting and digitizing information about the more than 63,000 objects…

Poland's "Lost Museum"

LONDON--A few years ago, a Polish friend and I had lunch in a cozy little café in Warsaw’s Powlisle district. Somehow during the lunch, we got on the subject of Poland’s lost art works that were stolen by the Nazis in World War II. I was…

Guest Edit: Budapest's Cultural Mismanagement

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY***--When I arrived at the Ludwig Museum—Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest on March 1, a colleague told me in a near whisper how the day before the Director of Finance had received a letter instructing that Barnabas Bencsik,…

Generation Unexpected

LONDON, UK--I first met Katka Reszke and her partner, Slawomir Grunberg, when I was working on a story about Jewish Poles involved in the arts. I happened to be in New York and they happened to also be in the city, having just moved to the suburbs.…

Sarajevo Museums in Crisis

LONDON, UK—A few years, when I was on assignment in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for Newsweek, I happened to venture into Sarajevo’s National Museum. Situated on the road that during the war was called “Sniper’s Alley”, the place was…

Reasserting and Redefining Jewish Culture in Poland

WARSAW — Zuzanna Ziolkowska — sitting at a Warsaw sidewalk café with her long dreadlocks wrapped in a colorful turquoise and orange scarf — said she first learned of her Jewish roots about a decade ago. Her mother told her casually…

"Explosions of Silence"

LONDON, UK--Vesna Goldsworthy has always had the soul of a poet. Back in the days before Yugoslavia was confined to being just an entity on a historical map, Goldsworthy (née Bjelogrlic) was something of a celebrated young poet in her homeland. At the age of 23, the Belgrade native read out her poetry to an audience of 30,000 as part of a celebration of President Josip Tito’s birthday.

A Newfound Freedom of Expression

LONDON--Earlier this year when I was reporting out a story about the rise of Romanian culture for Global Post, I had a chance to speak with Filip Florian, one of the country’s most respected contemporary authors. I asked him about the state…