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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 30, 2012
Exhibitions
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How Poles Helped Shape Australia
July 30, 2012   
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How did Poles contribute to building an old-new continent from 1788 to 1918? Who were the notable Poles who ventured to Australia in search of adventure, to improve their lot, look for gold and conduct anthropological and geological research? What were the beginnings of white settlement like? All this is explained in an exhibition called Polish Stars under the Southern Cross at the Start-Meta Mediateka culture and media center in the Bielany district of Warsaw.

The exhibition includes 40 colorfully illustrated panels. They show the contribution that Poles made to diverse fields during the first 130 years of white settlement in Australia. Some of the notable Poles in Australia at that time included Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki, Count Władysław Zamoyski, Prof. Bronisław Malinowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The exhibition also pays tribute to those Poles who, in pioneering conditions, co-created the newly emerging Australian nation, while at the same time working to help Poland regain its independence.

The exhibition was opened by the Australian ambassador to Poland, Jean Dunn, and the deputy mayor of the Bielany district, Kacper Pietrusiński.

The opening of the exhibition included an event to promote a book entitled 26 Aboriginal Stories edited and translated by Jolanta Wolska, who also came up with the idea for and is the curator of the exhibition.

26 Aboriginal Stories, beautifully published and illustrated, is one of the best available collections of Australian Aboriginal folklore. It contains some of the first Aboriginal stories told to a white person in the 19th century and are reminiscent of Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

However, this book tells the story of the bush and shows the Aborigines’ imagination, their connection with the world around them and their rich culture, which goes back some 60,000 years. Photographs richly illustrate the book and come from the same period—the end of the 19th and early 20th century. They are original archival documents that bear witness to the “civilizing” of aboriginal children, often taken from their mothers by white people and put into orphanages. This publication will be of interest to both children and adults and can be purchased by writing to jolawolski@sp-in.com

Until Sept. 10
Start-Meta Mediateka
13a Szegedyńska Street, Warsaw, Bielany, tel. 22 291-44-68, www.mediateka.waw.pl
Open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free admission
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