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79th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising – program of celebrations

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On August 1, Warsaw will stop to honor the heroes and heroines of the Warsaw Uprising. On the occasion of the 79th anniversary of the uprising, many different events will take place in the city for several days. Planned i.a. concert, exhibition, theatrical performance, joint singing of insurgent songs or a photo contest.

– The uprising of Warsaw is a myth inextricably linked with the city, its inhabitants. This is the time when we meet all over the city, commemorating the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in very different places: at monuments, plaques, places of commemoration, in cemeteries. Because the celebrations take place all over the city – said Aldona Machnowska-Góra, vice-president of Warsaw, during the Wednesday conference devoted to the program of the celebrations. – We already have the Warsaw Uprising in us. Subsequent generations have also assimilated its values, principles and message, she noted.

Machnowska Góra appreciated the role of cultural events organized by the museum on the occasion of subsequent anniversaries. As she said, “new interpretations allow us to constantly talk about the uprising in a modern way” and “pass its subject matter on to subsequent generations.”

Concert, photo contest and game at the bus depot

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One of such contemporary interpretations is the album and the concert promoting it every year. This year, the museum invited the band Sorry Boys to cooperate, which recorded the album “My Heart in Warsaw”. Its premiere is scheduled for July 21 in Park Wolności. The concert will be broadcast by TVN24.

On the same day, the photo competition “Memory in the Frame” will start, both for professional photographers and amateurs. The museum encourages the submission of photos from official and less formal anniversary events. – You need to take a photo or a photo report from the celebration of the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and send it to us. Single photos and reports will be judged. It is important that these photos do not have to be taken in Warsaw, explained Jan Ołdakowski, director of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. The jury will include photographers Zbigniew Furman, Wojciech Grzędinski, Jacek Marczewski, Chris Niedenthal, and the main prize is PLN 10,000.

On July 27, in the hall of Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe, “Labyrinth ’44. Ghosts of Paris of the North” will take place, i.e. a family outdoor game combining elements of educational puzzles, escape rooms and historical reenactments. Its script was based on events and memories from the Oral History Archive. “Players move around a reconstructed part of the pre-war Śródmieście district. The street grid is a labyrinth and a playing field at the same time, with dozens of hiding places to find and several rooms with tasks to complete” – announce the organizers.

For younger children, an outdoor game “Glory of Warsaw Uprising” will be organized (July 29).

“W” hour. “Fleshmob for several hundred thousand people”

On July 30, in Park Wolności, participants of the Warsaw Uprising and their relatives will meet with the presidents of Poland and Warsaw.

The most important events will of course take place on August 1. As part of the “Freedom connects” campaign, museum emissaries will appear on the streets of the city from the morning. – In places of remembrance, where there are plaques commemorating the dramatic events of the Warsaw Uprising, there will be guards made up of scouts and volunteers who will hand out commemorative anchors. Some of these places are located on the main streets, but some are hidden in the depths of the second or third courtyard. You have to make an effort to get there, but we want all such places to be remembered – explained Jan Ołdakowski.

Punctually at 17.00 sirens will howl and the city will stand to honor the memory of heroes and heroines. – We are getting signals that tourists from abroad come to this event to see this amazing moment, a kind of spectacle, a flashmob for several hundred thousand people. I think that in most European countries it would be impossible for people to arrange something grassroots on such a scale – said the director of the museum.

Probably huge crowds will also come to Piłsudski Square in the evening to sing “Warszawianka”, “Marsz Mokotowa” or “Sanitariuszka Małgorzatka” together. The orchestra and choir will be led by Janusz Stokłosa. – This year the square will look different, because part of it is dedicated to archaeologists. But we promise that the part that emerged from the ground will be beautifully illuminated. The event itself is moving a bit, we will occupy parking lots in front of the buildings of the Polish Army. I hope that everyone will fit in and we will be able to sing together – encouraged Jan Ołdakowski.

A theater performance, an exhibition, a march and a bicycle ride

The tradition of the celebration is also a theatrical performance, which premieres at midnight. This time it will be directed by Michał Zadara and it will be the second play he will produce for the museum. 12 years ago, in Sala pod Liberatorem, he staged a formally unique, because taking place simultaneously in several sets, “Warsaw quarrel”. Silence is also interesting. It will consist of two parts: in one there will be a lot of words, in the other there will be no sound.

– In the 1960s, Krzysztof Konkolewski published a collection of fictionalized interviews with unpunished criminals of the Third Reich. The most shocking among them was the conversation with Oskar Dirlewanger. It will be a unique original performance, for which the text of the reportage will be the starting point. A certain task will also be waiting for the viewers, but I will not reveal the idea – said Ołdakowski. In the cast: Barbara Wysocka, Jacek Poniedziałek, Rafał Stachowiak, Mariusz Zaniewski. Next performances: 3, 4, 5 and 6 August.

On August 3, the museum will open a temporary exhibition “The Journey of Heroines. Women’s Uprising”, showing the female perspective of the uprising. On August 5, civilian victims of the Warsaw Uprising will be remembered. A silent March of Remembrance will set off from the Monument to the Victims of the Wola Massacre towards the Warsaw Insurgents Cemetery. On August 6, the insurgent Critical Mass will travel along the route of the II District of Żoliborz.

Celebration theme: “Love is always there”

The graphic design of the posters promoting the anniversary events included photos of young people connected by feelings. – These are photos from the Warsaw Uprising and inspired by contemporary photos taken in Warsaw. They show youth, joy and, above all, love, the strongest feeling – said Jan Ołdakowski.

“Love always exists” is also the theme of this year’s celebrations. – In this way, we wanted to invite young people for whom the world of feelings and relationships is so important. We want them to notice something that was unique in the generation of Home Army soldiers. They were never lonely, they always worked with other people. And the violence of the Warsaw Uprising also showed the violence of feelings – summed up director Ołdakowski.

Detailed program, tickets and invitations on the website of the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

Main photo source: TVN24 archive

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