19.10.2022 - 18.11.2022 Events, History, Literature, News, Visual arts

Granville-Skarbek Anglo-Polish Cultural Exchange Festival

An exciting new project bringing together three of the UK's biggest Polish institutions to host a series of specially curated events celebrating the shared history and cultural heritage between the UK and Poland.

19 Oct – 18 Nov

The Polish Cultural Institute in London, the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK), also known as the Polish Centre, and Ognisko Polskie (Polish Hearth) are proud to join forces to collaborate on an exciting new project which celebrates the contribution of the Polish diaspora, one of the largest community groups in the country, to British culture and society.

It is the first time that these three Polish organisations in the UK have collaborated in this way.

The new project celebrates Polish contributions to British life and is named after Churchill’s favourite female secret agent.

Krystyna Skarbek, better known as Christine Granville was one of the most remarkable secret agents of the Second World War, undertaking many

successful missions and using her language skills, powers of persuasion, and sheer courage to save

countless lives. She was Britain’s first female secret agent, and its longest serving operative.

The Granville-Skarbek Cultural Exchange project will be comprised of TWO elements:

1) An Online Museum and Platform – Launching on 20 Oct

2) The Granville-Skarbek Cultural Exchange Festival – a series of events celebrating our shared Anglo-Polish heritage – to take place each October.

The inaugural festival will include the following events:

19th October at Ognisko Polskie (Polish Hearth), 7pm for 7.30pm

The first of two events focused on the society portrait painter Aniela Pawlikowska and her family.

Part 1: ‘A Tale of Two Sisters-in-law’: Aniela Pawlikowska and the poet, playwright and illustrator Maria

Anna Pawlikowska on her mother-in-law society portraitist Aniela Pawlikowska’s art; Professor Tony
Howard and Basia Bogoczek (Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska’s translators/biographers) on Maria
Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska’s wartime life in Blackpool and Manchester. On 2 September 1939 her
scorching satire on Hitler opened in a Warsaw theatre as his tanks invaded. She and her husband, the
pilot Stefan Jasnorzewski, made their way to England, where he fought in the Battle of Britain and her
wartime poetry expressed both a refugee’s sense of personal displacement and her new solidarity with
bombed-out British civilians

(Event in English)

Admission £10 (£5 for Ognisko Polskie members): please book at:

A Tale of Two Sisters-in-Law: Aniela Pawlikowska & Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnor Tickets, Wed 19 Oct 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

or by email at office@ogniskopolskie.org.uk

On 20th October at POSK, 4 – 5pm

Afternoon lecture: Part 2 of the event on Aniela Pawlikowska and her family: ‘A Tale of Two
: Aniela Pawlikowska and the poet and soldier Beata Obertynska’, their lives in the UK (1946-
1980) as a glimpse into Polish post-war emigration; followed by a Q&A, 4pm

Free admission: please book at media@posk.org

From 21st October – 18 November, at POSK Gallery

Art exhibition: ‘Theatre of Dreams: Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal. Anglo/Polish Cultural Exchange’ showcases the internationally renowned output of married artists and collaborators – poster designer and illustrator Andrzej Klimowski, and theatre designer and painter Danusia Schejbal. Highlights include new likenesses of inspirational Anglo-Poles and a surrealist picture representing Anglo-Polish relations.

Free admission

21st October at Ognisko Polskie (Polish Hearth), 7pm for 7.30pm

‘Secret Agents and Secret Codes: The Polish Factor in the British War Effort’ Roundtable event

Event highlighting the story of Churchill’s favourite female secret agent who was known by her British
secret agent name Christine Granville and was said to be the inspiration for Bond writer Ian Flemings’
creation of Vesper Lynd. The event will comprise several talks by Krystyna Skarbek’s award-winning
biographer Clare Mulley The Spy who Loved: the Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville, Britain’s First
Special Agent of WW II (Pan 2013); artist Ian Wolter who sculpted the bust of Krystyna Skarbek;
premiere of two short films about the Cyclometer and Enigma code-breaking machines commissioned
by the Polish Cultural Institute, as well as insights by Anna Pawlikowska, Aniela Pawlikowska’s
daughter-in-law about Skarbek’s portrait.

Admission – £10 (£5 for Ognisko Polskie members): please book at:

Secret Agents and Secret Codes: The Polish Factor in WWII Tickets, Fri 21 Oct 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

or by email at office@ogniskopolskie.org.uk

4th November at Ognisko Polskie (Polish Hearth), 7pm for 7.30pm

‘An Evening with Sir John Madejski’

Sir John Madejski returns to Ognisko Polskie due to popular demand, presenting his life and work.

Sir John Robert Madejski, OBE, DL is a philanthropist and businessman who’s commercial interests include property, broadcast media, hotels, restaurants, publishing and football.

Born Robert John Hurst, he adopted the surname of his stepfather, Zygmunt  Madejski, a serving Polish airman during World War II. 

After founding the magazine which became Auto Trader, he was appointed chairman of Reading F.C. with the Madejski Stadium named after him. In 2000 he received an OBE for his contribution to Reading Football Club and the Reading community, and in 2006 he was awarded Freedom of the Borough for his role in the growth of football in Reading, and his support for academia and the Arts.

Awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Reading in 2007, he succeeded Lord Carrington as Chancellor of the University of Reading. A lecture theatre at the University of Reading, and a gallery at the Museum of Reading are named after him.

Additionally, The Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly,  London, unveiled the John Madejski Fine Rooms at Burlington House in 2004, with The Victoria and Albert Museum opening the John Madejski Garden in 2014.

Admission – £10 (£5 for Ognisko Polskie members): please book at:

An Evening with Sir John Madejski Tickets, Fri 4 Nov 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

or by email at office@ogniskopolskie.org.uk

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