Today marks the eighty-second anniversary of the death of Teodor Axentowicz, who was a Polish Armenian and painter, and one of the most outstanding artists of the Young Poland period. He died on 26 August 1938 in Kraków. There is a good reason for recalling him now. By a special resolution of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, 2020 has been designated the year of Teodor Axentowicz. In view of this, the City of Kraków Department of Culture and National Heritage and the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland have prepared a joint cultural programme, details of which will be published soon on our website.
We invite you to listen to a programme broadcast on Radio Kraków on the subject of Armenia, the Polish Armenians and the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland (RCACP). Agnieszka Szablewska’s guest on this occasion was Dr Jakub Osiecki.
By tuning in you can find out where to go on holiday in Armenia, what Armenian food to try, and in which Armenian monastery to seek solace. There will also be plenty of Armenian music. And all of this conveyed with the humour and unstuffiness for which Agnieszka Szablewska is renowned. It is only unfortunate that travelling to Armenia is for the moment not recommended because of the pandemic.
The Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland (RCACP) is launching a new series of meetings open to the public called MY ARMENIA, MY ARMENIANS. They will be encounters with people who have formed special attachments with Armenian culture: artists, clerics, diplomats, journalists, film-makers, travellers and academics. They will primarily be Poles, and Armenians living in Poland, but we will also endeavour to invite interesting characters from Armenia and from the rest of the world. It is our intention to bring the Polish public closer to Armenia’s past, cultural heritage, landscape, and contemporary, everyday reality through stories and tales told from the perspective of personal experience. Rather than lectures, these meetings will therefore take the form of discussions or conversations that everyone interested in Armenian issues can join. Deferring to the traditions of the Krakow Armenians from the times when their collectivity was inspired by the initiatives of Professor Anna Krzysztofowicz, the meetings in the “My Armenia, My Armenians” series will be held on the last Monday of each month (for now via the Internet).
In the second half of December 2019 discussions on long-term cooperation were held in Yerevan between the National Archives of Armenia (Հայաստանի ազգային արխիվ) and Dr Jakub Osiecki, who was representing the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland (RCACP). The discussions had been preceded by an exchange of correspondence facilitated by Krystyna Yeremyan, who is active in the Polish diaspora in Armenia, to whom we express our thanks. Director of the National Archives of Armenia, Professor Amatun Wirabjan (Ամատունի Վիրաբյան), and vice-director Sonja Mirzojan (Սոնյա Միրզոյան) agreed on behalf of the National Archives of Armenia to assist RCACP in an investigation of Polish-Armenian relations that will involve all of the collections held by that institution. Further research visits will soon be undertaken for this purpose.
The Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland (RCACP) and Księgarnia Akademicka invite you to a live event with Dr Jakub Osiecki, the author of The Armenian Church in Soviet Armenia, which deals with the repressions visited on the Armenian church in the Soviet Union and, more precisely, in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, in 1920-1938. Dr Andrzej A. Zięba (RCACP director) and Anzhela Kayumova (Institute of Russian and East European Studies at the Jagiellonian University) will take part in the event alongside the author. The meeting, which will be streamed live on the Facebook page of Księgarnia Akademicka, is scheduled for 14.00 on Friday 29 May.
The final editing of Dr Jakub Osiecki’s book – The Armenian Church in Soviet Armenia – was completed in March, April and May 2020. The publication was prepared by the New York branch of the Peter Lang Group – a publisher with over forty years’ experience of editing books in the humanities and social sciences whose headquarters are in Bern, Switzerland. It was translated into English by Paweł Siemianowski and Artur Zwolski of Kraków. The book will be available to readers at the end of June this year. That the book has now appeared in an English edition is partly due to the efforts of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland.
Krzysztof Penderecki, the world-famous Polish composer, conductor and teacher, died in Kraków on 29 March 2020. He came from a family with Armenian roots, which he referred to on several occasions in recollections of his grandmother, Eugenia Szyłkiewicz. In an interview he granted to Mark Grigorian, he said:
‘At home at my grandmother’s everything was arranged and prepared according to Armenian tradition, although she didn’t speak the language. She was born in eastern Poland, in Stanisławów. I remember her well. She was a wonderful person and very warm – as well as being a caring grandmother. We were very close.’