Anders' Artists: Little Poland in Great Britain

A short lecture by Magdalena Grzymkowska about the artists among the ranks of Generał Anders' Polish II Corps.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021, 19:00 on ZOOM

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About this Event

General Władysław Anders, commander of the Polish II Corps during the Second World War, well understood the importance of promoting Polish history, tradition and culture among his troops. Unable to return to their homeland after the war, the Polish diaspora in Great Britain contained a strong group of talented painters, sculptors, graphic designers, architects, actors, directors, musicians, poets and writers.

The Anders’ Artists project introduces this little-known aspect of the history of this generation of Polish soldiers and veterans, and shows how many of them developed their artistic passions during the war, through a series of books and documentaries.

This event will comprise an online lecture and screening of an excerpt from the documentaries by Magdalena Grzymkowska, journalist and managing editor at the London-based Polish weekly newspaper “Tydzień Polski”.

What We Do

Forthcoming events

Presentations and discussion about the significance of the Poland-Lithuania's Constitution of the 3rd of May 1791

This event celebrates the 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021, 13:00

Please register for the event here

About this Event

The adoption of the Constitution of 3 May 1791 was a milestone not only in the statehood of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth but also in history, constitutional law and international relations. The Constitution was an act regulating the scope of state power according to Montesquieu’s theory, including the division of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches. It abolished what had long been regarded as the two pillars of the gentry’s “Golden Freedom”: the principle of free election of the monarch, and the liberum veto. It established a constitutional and hereditary system of monarchy and vested legislative power in the Sejm, the Polish-Lithuanian Parliament. The Constitution took the first steps towards creating a definition of citizenship based on property rather than birth, which opened the way to the granting of political rights to burghers, some of whom were admitted to citizenship after 1791, and began the process of redefining the nation which would eventually lead to the granting of political rights to the rural masses. In addition, it guaranteed freedom to all religious denominations following the tradition in force in the Lithuanian part of the Commonwealth. Most importantly, it made the union governable again, as was demonstrated by the swift reaction of its neighbours, who rapidly partitioned it out of existence.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth was preceded only by the Constitution of the United States of 1787 and predated the French Constitution by a few months. The document was widely discussed in the press in Western Europe and North America, and was immediately translated into French and English. It reflected the spirit of the Enlightenment. It is widely considered to be the first modern constitution in Europe and one of the world’s greatest documents of freedom. Adopted by the votes of the Lithuanian nobility, the 3 May Constitution is as precious to the Lithuanian people as Magna Carta is to the English. In Poland, the 3rd of May is celebrated as a national holiday.

This event celebrates the 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution. The online discussion, co-organised by the Embassies of Lithuania and Poland in the United Kingdom, and the Research Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies, established in 2020 at the University of Aberdeen, will reflect on the significance of the Constitution of May 3rd for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, at the time of its adoption, and today.

PROGRAMME

Introductory remarks

  • Ambassador of Lithuania to the UK Renatas Norkus
  • Ambassador of Poland to the UK Arkady Rzegocki
  • Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Wendy Morton

Presentations

  • By Dr Jolanta Karpavičienė
  • By Prof Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski

Roundtable discussion

  • Prof Robert Frost and Prof Karin Friedrich to be moderated by Dr Kristina Sabaliauskaitė

Q&A