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The Warsaw Voice » Society » June 25, 2008
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Women's Magazine Honors High Achievers
June 25, 2008   
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Zwierciadło (Mirror) women's magazine held its annual Crystal Mirrors Ceremony at Warsaw's Królikarnia palace June 17 to honor outstanding cultural, academic, artistic and political figures. This year's awards went to American author and journalist Anna Applebaum, theater and television director Agnieszka Glińska, and businesswoman and impresario Elżbieta Penderecka.

Applebaum, a columnist for The Economist and The Washington Post, won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction for her book Gulag: A History. Zwierciadło praised Applebaum for taking us on a "shocking journey into a Soviet gulag... for rekindling memories of the shameful practices of communist totalitarianism... for her sensitivity, inquisitiveness and journalistic integrity."

Glińska, who has directed for some of Poland's best theaters, specializes in contemporary psychological drama.

Penderecka is chairwoman of Heritage Promotion of Music and Art, Poland's first private art agency, which she co-founded in 1990. Since 1992, she has been helping her husband, composer Krzysztof Penderecki, organize the Pablo Casalsa Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She also organizes the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival which was held in Warsaw for the 12th time in March this year.

Zwierciadło awarded a special prize to social and political activist Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943, for his "courage in standing up for his ideals, for the lives of other people and for the truth... for acting in accordance with his beliefs throughout his entire life... for his magnanimity, fortitude and modesty."

Zwierciadło also handed out a Mirror Crystal award to up-and-coming young authors for the first time this year. Zwierciadło readers chose philosopher and artist Jarosław Marek Spychała from among a list of nominees chosen by the magazine. Spychała picked up the award for the Lego-Logos project he devised to popularize teaching philosophy as a way of developing creative and independent thinking in students.

The Crystal Mirrors Ceremony has been held for 13 years during which time statuettes have been awarded to 50 people. Previous winners include Polish poet and Nobel Prize laureate Wisława Szymborska, Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, community worker Marek Kotański, British historian Prof. Norman Davies, film director Agnieszka Holland, writer Olga Tokarczuk and astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan.

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