It has been sung, tamed, followed, immortalized and, above all, commemorated with dignity. The Sports and Culture Center in Garwolin celebrated Miron Białoszewski’s year and the 100th anniversary of his birth with a series of different events. The project received funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
This year marks 100 years since Miron Białoszewski was born. On this occasion, the Seymik of Mazowieckie Voivodeship recognized the year 2022 in Mazovia as the year of Białoszewski. The Sports and Culture Center decided to celebrate the writer’s year with the project “Miron for his birthday”.
– The series of events related to Białoszewski’s birthday was very diverse. We wanted to show Miron in many ways, both as a man and as a writer. We wanted to highlight different aspects of his work, show how his creative output can be inspiring and can be interpreted in many different ways. The process of “taming” Miron was written about several events. Some were typically aimed at young people, others were open meetings – says Barbara Kupczyk-Mikulska, project coordinator.
Taming Białoszewski’s work is a process. The process is adventure and fun at the same time. This was the purpose of the organized recitation competition. His guest of honor and chairman of the jury has been actor Adam Woronowicz for several years now. Because of the level of difficulty, primary school children did not recite Miron’s works, but Wanda Chotomska’s poems. Chotmoska and Białoszewski met in 1949 at the editorial office of Świat Młodych. For years they wrote poems and theater and cabaret scenes together. They worked so well that they created Wanda Miron under a common pseudonym. Students in grades 1-6 in the reciter’s repertoire had only poems by the author of “The Five-eater”. On the other hand, the seniors and young people of high schools recited poetry and a fragment of Miron’s prose – this year “Zawała”.
The nomination competition took place on 3 June. It was attended by school students from different parts of the Garwolin poviat. In addition to prizes in the form of gadgets with Miron (bags, mugs, T-shirts) and books, the winners of the competition also received a very encouraging word from Adam Woronowicz. He encouraged people to reach for poetry in general, try competitions, overcome their own shyness and discover their talents.
It was a great opportunity to meet Miron Białoszewski. On June 14, the screening of “A Few People, a Little Time” directed by Andrzej Barański, attended by high school students, took place at the Wilga Cinema. It is the story of a friendship between Jadwiga Stańczakowa, a blind editor and writer, and Miron Białoszewski. Krystyna Janda plays the main female role. Andrzej Hudziak played the role of Białoszewski. Stańczakowa took care of the poet’s home and professional affairs – she recorded and typed Miron’s works, but also cooked for him and took his things to the laundry. He helped her overcome successive depressions, took her on crazy escapades around the city, and was also the first to review Jadwiga’s poems. Their relationship was based on what is called “soul relationship.” Prior to the screening of the film, there was a lecture led by Professor Jacek Kopciński of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. The biographical film was preceded by an interesting introductory word that Miron did not set clear boundaries between reality and creativity, life and art, he did not separate them, or even distinguish them. On the contrary – he borrowed his art from his life. He tried to live his daily life in such a way that it would become a source of creativity. The entire meeting was intended to facilitate the “experience” and understanding of Białoszewski’s difficult but extremely important work.
To capture Miron
The originality of the “separate poet”, as well as his relationship with Garwolin, is emphasized by the mural on the wall of the Sports and Culture Center. The decorative elements are ducks and the most famous fragment of the poet’s poem in Garwolin: ‘All life in Garwolin? – Why not?”. The wall dedicated to the image of the poet measures 3.80 by 7 meters. The mural was unveiled on the 39th anniversary of the poet’s death – on June 17.
– Miron liked to look at the world. He looked at everything: things, phenomena, events and people. And this mural is a bit off the beaten track, and a bit off the beaten track… I think Miron would be happy with this place, because it’s a great place to watch the residents of Garwolin – Barbara Kupczyk emphasizes- Mikulska.
The duck motif from the famous poem was also an opportunity to enter an art competition and the accompanying outdoor action entitled #Garwolin? Why not?, aiming to follow the image of a duck in urban space. First, CSiK announced a contest to create a duck template. There was one prize in the competition, but it was very attractive. The author of the winning template, together with Miron Białoszewski, received a smartwatch and gadgets: a mug, a T-shirt and a bag. The winning template was repainted in several locations around Garwolin and a duck search campaign was launched on social media. Spontaneously uploaded photos of the places where the image of the prize-winning duck with the indicated hashtag was found appeared on the web.
The work of Białoszewski is an extremely demanding material. Giving his poems a good note is a difficult task. For years, the first and actually only musical association with Miron is “Carousel with Madonnas”, sung by Ewa Demarczyk. Meanwhile, Sasha Strunin tackled the task courageously and with an idea. In June 2019, the young artist Sasha Strunin released an album with selected poems by Białoszewski and the music of Gary Guthman. She was musically supported by the Filip Wojciechowski Trio with a guest appearance by the composer. Premiere concerts of the project “Self-portraits” – Miron Białoszewski in jazz took place at the Museum of Warsaw Praga and at the 25th international festival “Jazz in the Old Town”. In September 2019, she was nominated for the Koryfeusz Polish Music Award in the Discovery of the Year category. Jazz proved to be an ideal medium for an extraordinary textual fabric, giving artists countless possibilities of expression. Nine unique, coherent compositions on Białoszewski’s poems were created.
You could also hear how they sound live in Garwolin. Sasha Strunin’s concert took place on June 17 at the CSiK auditorium as part of the Garwolin Days celebration. The musical party that lasted more than an hour aroused many good emotions among both the audience and the musicians who emphasized the special atmosphere during the concert.
– We hope that with the implementation of the project “Miron for his birthday” we have managed to honorably celebrate and immortalize Miron Białoszewski, and that he will become one of the figures associated with Garwolin – says Jarosław Kargol, director of the Center for Sports and Culture in Garwolin.
The total cost of the project “Miron for his birthday” was almost 40 thousand. zloty. The Sports and Culture Center in Garwolin received a grant for its implementation worth PLN 31,500 under the Book Institute’s “Promotion of Reading” program. These funds come from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
(press release, edited)
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