HCA NEWS The HCA bicentenary in Poland

Presentation of the Polish Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial events including a new translation of Andersen's fairytales into Polish. Appointment of Polish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors by former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann Jensen.

By tkr - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 04 March 2005

On 4 March 2005, the Polish contribution to the worldwide celebration of the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary was presented at a press launch at Fabryka Trzciny in Warsaw. At the launch, the First Lady of Poland, Jolanta Kwasniewska was appointed Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador and jazz singer Anna Maria Jopek, the leading Polish polar explorer Marek Kaminski, and actor and film director Jerzy Stuhr were appointed as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.

The Polish Hans Christian Andersen events include a new Polish translation of Andersen's fairytales, a Polish translation of the critically acclaimed Andersen biography by British scholar Jackie Wullschlager, several theatrical performances staged throughout the country and a touring exhibition set to feature nationwide during 2005. For a complete list of the Polish bicentennial events please see below.
Former Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen presided over the ceremony. As foreign minister, Mr Ellemann-Jensen established close ties with the leaders of the democratic opposition in Poland prior to political change in 1989 and helped gather support for democratic renewal throughout Central and Eastern Europe following events in 1989. The Danish ambassador to Poland, Michael Metz Mørch, and the Royal Danish Embassy in Warsaw hosted the event in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Mr. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen appointed the Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador and three Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors, who are all to represent the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation in Poland as well as the HCA-abc Foundation, which is a humanitarian foundation established to address illiteracy worldwide in the name of Hans Christian Andersen.

Project Responsible for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Jakob Steen Olsen presented the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005. Director of the Danish Cultural Institute in Poland, Boguslawa Sochanska, presented the programme for the celebration of the Andersens' bicentenary in Poland.

The Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary in Poland

The launch of the Andersen bicentenary in Poland

The National Library, 31 March 2005, Warsaw
The launch of the Andersen bicentenary celebrations in Poland will be hosted by the Danish Cultural Institute in association with the National Library in Warsaw. It will take place on 31 March 2005 at 2 pm, at the National Library. The launch will feature the opening of two exhibitions: "Hans Christian Andersen 2005", which is an exhibition on the life and work of the Danish storyteller organised by the Odense City Museums in collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, as well as an exhibition entitled Andersen in Poland that conveys the Polish reception of Andersen's work and his influence on Polish culture. The launch will be accompanied by a presentation of a new translation of Andersen's fairytales into Polish as well as the presentation of theatre performances at three theatres in Warsaw:

"The Tinder Box" at the Baj Theatre (30 - 31 March and 1 April) - premiere
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" at the Guliwer Theatre ( 31 March and 1 - 2 April)
"The Snow Queen" at the Lalka Theatre ( 2 April)

A new translation of Andersen's fairytales into Polish

In celebration of the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary, a collection of Andersen's fairytales will be translated into Polish directly from Danish for the first time. The translation will be published in March by the Media Rodzina publishing house with sponsorship from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Publication of Jackie Wullschlager's Andersen biography

In April 2005, the Andersen biography, "Hans Christian Andersen - The Life of a Storyteller", by Jackie Wullschlager will be published by W.A.B. Publishers. The biography has already achieved critical acclaim and offers surprising insight into the life and work of the famous storyteller and his day and age. Maryna Ochab and Boguslawa Sochanska has translated into Polish.

Jackie Wullschlager, born 1962, is a scholar of language and literature from Oxford. She has since 1986 been assigned to the Financial Times as literature and arts critic. In 1995, she published her acclaimed Inventing Wonderland that deals with Victorian and Edwardian children's book authors from Lewis Carroll to A.A. Milne. In 2000, Jackie Wullschlager published the celebrated biography Hans Christian Andersen - The Life of a Storyteller. In 2002, Jackie Wullschlager received the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Hans Christian Andersen educational resources in Polish

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has initiated a worldwide educational project for children and the young. The Centre for Children's Literature has in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation compiled an inspiring set of educational resources about Hans Christian Andersen for primary and secondary school schoolteachers working with children aged 6 - 16. The resources will be made available in numerous languages, including Polish, and will consist of articles about the life, work and contemporary world of Hans Christian Andersen. The material features a virtual exhibition, which together with the other resources can be downloaded from the official website of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 hca2005.com. All resources will be available free of charge. 

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Exhibition

In celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen, the Odense City Museums in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has prepared a touring exhibition on the life, work and contemporary world of Hans Christian Andersen featuring documents, portraits, drawings, photographs and letters related to Andersen. The exhibition will be presented in 12 languages and the Polish version has been developed by the Danish Cultural Institute in Poland and will be showcased at public libraries as well as other cultural institutions nationwide. The first presentation will open on 31 March 2005 at the National Library in Warsaw.

Hans Christian Andersen events in Gdansk:

Shades of Hans Christian Andersen
The Baltic Culture Centre in Gdansk has prepared a wide range of activities based on Hans Christian Andersen fairytales.

12 May:  Andersen's New Clothes - a seminar

A new approach to Hans Christian Andersen's work - a presentation of the new Polish translation of selected fairytales as well as the Andersen biography by J. Wullschlager.

- A talk by Boguslawa Sochanska, the translator of the new Polish edition of Andersen?s fairytales and J. Wullschlager's Andersen biography.
- Discussion on the new and old translations with the participation of writers, critics and translators as well as readings of Andersen's fairytales.
- Presentation of book illustrations, posters, books and marionettes.

20-21 May:  2005 Academic conference celebrating the Andersen bicentenary 
An academic conference organised by the Department of Scandinavian Studies at the Gdansk University with participation of international literature scholars and translators.

20-23 June: Festival of Fairytales, Stories and Myths
Organized by the Association One World and the Museum of Archaeology in Gdansk.

October 2005: Least Probable Stories - A Film Festival in cooperation with the Danish Natfilm Festival
Presentations of films about Andersen and films based on the writer's fairytales (in cooperation with Neptun Film) as well as an open discussion with film critic Tadeusz Szczepanski at the Baltic Culture Centre www.nck.org.pl

Hans Christian Andersen events in Krakow:
The Third "On the Pea" Festival, featured this year as "The World of Mr. Andersen "

The Nordic House, the Royal Danish Consulate in Krakow and the Small Stage at the theatre Mr. Andersen's will host a series of events:

1-2 April 2005: Krakow for Mr. Andersen

A series of events will take place on Krakow's main plaza including sampling of Mr. Andersen's Cookies, a presentation of the fairytale "Living Images", competitions, quizzes and children's theatre group performances.

2 April: Andersen's Parade

A GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS challenge with the aim of creating the longest chain of children dressed as Andersen fairytale characters. The event will be held at the city's main square.

2 April marks the opening of an international Andersen film festival

The festival will be organized in association with the cinema "Pod Baranami" and will feature a series of theme cycles compiled by Mr. Krzysztof Gradowski. The festival will also be featured at selected art house cinemas throughout Poland.

December 2005: Fashion show and confectionary sampling

The Association of Food Industry Schools in Krakow and the Fashion Design College in Nowa Huta will host a fashion show and a confectionary sampling event in celebration of the Andersen bicentenary.
Children's interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen

The festival organisers invite schools and culture centres to take part in small theatre and puppet theatre performances at the Small Stage at the Mr. Andersen's Theatre.

Arts Festival: Faces of Hans Christian Andersen - The fairytales talk about you

A children's performance by Lucyna Mielczarek based on Andersen's fairytales to be staged in a number of Polish cities along with workshops for teachers. The event is organised by the Department of Children and Youth Literature at the Academy of Education in Krakow and is coordinated by Prof. Alicja Baluch.

A joint cooperation between a Polish and Danish newspaper

Detailed information can be found at the organiser's website: www.nordichouse.pl

The Polish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors:

Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador, First Lady of Poland Mrs Jolanta Kwasniewska:

Jolanta Kwaśniewska (1955) is the spouse of the president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who is currently serving his second term in office. Mrs Kwaśniewska has created the image of an active First Lady who is well-educated, modern and elegant. In 1997, she established the Foundation "Communication without barriers", which runs various healthcare related charities promoting the awareness of health issues. One of the many projects run by the foundation is called "The Butterfly Hospitals", which brings new life to interior designs of children's wards nationwide. Another project called  "Let's Open the World for Children"! has given many Polish orphans the opportunity to holiday in faraway countries. The "Communication without barriers" foundation finances a number of specialist children's clinics across Poland, including the construction of an oncology and haematology clinic in Gdansk to open in June 2005. Each year, Jolanta Kwaśniewska together with her husband grants endowments to outstandingly talented schoolchildren.

Mrs Kwaśniewska is a member of the UN Advisory Board - Comité des Sages - which addresses drug abuse. She has received many awards and has been decorated in Poland and internationally in recognition of her commitment to the disabled, children suffering from leukaemia, AIDS patients and drug addicts.

On becoming an Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Mrs. Kwasniewska states:

"It seems that in the depth of one's soul each of us remains to be a child until the very end of our lives. Happy moments of our childhood reappear in our memories; they comfort us, give us strength, cheer us up and remind us of the warmth of our family home. How precious became such words whispered by our mother as: "It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets."

In a semidarkness of our bedroom an amazing world of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales was entering our mind. A little match girl chilled to the marrow, Kay with an icy heart, a tiny Thumbelina who had no parents and the ugly duckling whom nobody wanted. What a great number of generations of small Poles enjoyed reading about the adventures of these characters ! The wisdom and the truth so wonderfully written down in unique works of this outstanding Danish writer taught many how to live, showed the right way to follow in life and still confront the readers with their thoughts. And it so happened in my case. And, even though in adult life the good not always prevails over the evil, it is still worth cherishing in ourselves the values that give us strength to become better human beings.

When we began the Project called "The Butterly Hospitals", carried out by my Foundation "Communication without barriers", the fairy tales were our inspiration. I decided to change the interiors of children's hospitals in Poland into a fairy-tale world and, since then, painted fair-tale characters in a way look after the ill children. In a colourful fairylike and friendly surroundings it hurts less, it is easier to stand the separation from one's family, it is easier to recover.

Hans Christian Andersen, a great friend of children's world, has a very special place in our hearts. I am delighted that I was invited to join the group of Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors and so to take an active part in the celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of the writer. The artistic works of H.C. Andersen are widely-present in Poland, both in the form of various publications and theatre performances as well as in the Polish language curriculum at our schools. But, first and foremost, Andersen is present in the awareness of the Poles."

Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Anna Maria Jopek

Anna Maria Jopek (1970) is a celebrated Polish jazz singer who has performed worldwide. Her style of singing is a fusion between jazz and folk music, and her latest album was co-recorded with Pat Metheny. Anna Maria Jopek has released more than 10 albums in her own name and several others in collaboration with other famous Polish artist, such as Tomasz Stanko and Joe Lovano. In 2003, she was asked to perform for the Polish president in a duet with pop-icon Gordon Haskel, former leader of King Crimson. Anna Maria Jopek is as an artist sometimes likened to Susanne Vega.

Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Marek Kaminski:

Marek Kaminski (1966) is a leading polish polar explorer. In 1995, he was the first to transverse both the Arctic and the Antarctic in the same year. Kaminski is a member of the Explorers Club of New York, and in 1994 he was nominated for the World Young Business Achiever's Award.
In 1996, he founded the Marek Kaminski Foundation, which aims at organising expeditions and supporting the development of projects within solar and wind-energy. Marek Kaminski has also published several books on his polar exploits.

Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Jerzy Stuhr:

Jerzy Stuhr (1947) holds a degree in Polish Philology from the Jagiellonian University and the Ludwik Solski State School of Drama in Krakow. He has been assigned to the "Stary" Theatre in Krakow since 1971. He has worked with people such as Konrad Swinarski, Jerzy Jarocki, Jerzy Grzegorzewski and Andrzej Wajda and has appeared in films directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski (Amateur, Decalogue 10, and White), Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Feliks Falk and Juliusz Machulski. He is currently director of the Ludwik Solski State School of Drama in Krakow, which is a position he has held previously from 1990 - 1997. His tenure expires in 2005. He has been a theatre director and a film director since 1994. His films have received several awards at festivals both in Poland and abroad. He has been a member of European Film Academy since 1998.