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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • CULTURAL COOPERATION

  • 22 January 2019

    The meeting about the first wave of Polish economic migrants to Denmark at the turn of the 19th and 20th century began with a minute of silence in memory of the tragically deceased Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz. The central point of the event was the artistic installation designed by the Polish artist Żaneta Kruszelnicka.

    On January 19, 2019 at the Immigration Museum in Farum a unique meeting combining elements of history, ethnography, sociology and design took place. The event centered around a lecture by professor Søren Kolstrup, author of the book "Polish Stemmer" (Polish voices) that touches upon the first Polish immigrants to Denmark and the artistic installation of Mrs. Żaneta Kruszelnicka, a talented designer who entwined the fate of Polish workers from over a century ago known as “beetroots girls” with contemporary emigrants.

     

    Guests gathered in Farum had the unique opportunity to get acquainted with the history of the first immigration of Polish women to Denmark (1893), who worked at sugar beet farms of the Lolland-Falster islands. As part of the venture, Mrs. Kruszelnicka presented a contemporary fashion collection inspired by workwear and the heritage of Polish women, who started working on Danish farms over 125 years ago. The presentation of the collection was accompanied by historical photographs from the Museum's collections. The designer was first and foremost inspired by the shirt as a permanent element of the work uniform. The project deriving from conceptual fashion refers to the physical and mental strength, determination and unity of women, which can be found in hand-made prints and stories of contemporary emigrants told on clothing tags.

     

    Professor Søren Kolstrup dwelled upon the long journey, which contemporary Poles in Denmark had to go through - from humiliation, working in terribly difficult conditions - through a constant struggle to preserve their own culture and religion - to recognition, gaining respect and position in the Danish society. Mr. Torsten Elsvor, vice-chairman of the Society of Friends of the Museum “Izba Polska” (“Polish Chamber”), talked about the Polish Barrack’s Museum in Taagerup, where the memory of the first Polish female workers is cultivated.

     

    The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Henryka Mościcka-Dendys, also present at the meeting, thanked the Association of Friends of the Polish Barrack’s Museum, including its chairman Marek Kocuba for his efforts to maintain the “Polish Chamber”, which is the unique trace of Polish presence on the Lolland-Falster. Mr. Ole Bondo Christensen, Mayor of Furesø, expressed his appreciation for the present-day Polish community in Denmark. The director of the Danish Immigration Museum, Mrs. Cathrine Kyø Hermansen, said in turn that the story of "Buraczane Dzieci" (Beetroot children) and the project of Mrs. Ż. Kruszelnicka under the same title are an excellent example of the changing position of women in the process of emigration and the contemporary problem of looking for a place one may call home in the world of today.

     

    The meeting, which took place on the day of Mr. Paweł Adamowicz's funeral, began with a minute of silence observed in memory of the deceased Mayor of Gdańsk, who was particularly known for his commitment to the integration of migrants and tolerance for minorities.

    Renata Nowak Photography
    Renata Nowak Photography
    Renata Nowak Photography
    Renata Nowak Photography
    Renata Nowak Photography
    Renata Nowak Photography

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