AGAIN IN THE UNDERGROUND
It was a meeting of conciliation and understanding, solidarity and hope for the common winning – freedom. As always in Polish history – ours and yours.
The idea of this concert comes from the prominent artist and photographer, indefatigable knight of issues which are allegedly hopeless- Stanisław Markowski. Among co-organizers there were among the others: Clubs of ‘Gazeta Polska’, the Association ‘Pokolenie’ in Kraków, ‘Gazeta Polska’, Televizja Republika, there was also a known woman- the social activist, dr. Grażyna Jasieniak-Pinis. It was a little miss and there would not have been the concert of solidarity fighting with Ukraine. The Russian branch office of impact turned out to be very vigilant, first the parish priest of the church of St. Jadwiga the Queen was forced to be moved to the quarries named John Paul II in a church of St. Joseph near mountains, here there also appeared pressures on the parish priest, and ‘unknown culprits’ hang a red stained flag of Ukraine on the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in front of the quarries. On the wall of the bookshop of “Gazeta Polska” an unknown hand wrote: ‘Death to criminals from Donbas’ and destroyed informative tables.
In the quarries in near Kraków
It is only determination of Stanisław Markowski to which we owe the fact that there was the concert of solidarity. A small room of the quarries near the mountains is a place marked with good memory – here during the martial law there were many cultural events, organized by the underground ‘Solidarność’ (Solidarity). The audience was – how symbolically – in the place which is very significant for the Polish fight for freedom in the 80s of the last century. Again we found what is the most important, in the underground, in catacombs.
The concert in the crowded hall, with the participation of the vice-consul of Ukraine – Mrs. Tamila Shutak, finished with a great success. The word ‘success’ sounds false and meaningless here. It was a meeting of conciliation and understanding, solidarity and hope for the common winning – freedom. As always in Polish history – ours and yours. However, the organizers and co-creators of the concert – Stanisław Markowski and prof. Andrzej Nowak, Grażyna Jasieniak-Pinis – still receive insulting mails full of threats. The prosecution authorities – getting to the blogger so willingly recently, which allegedly insulted the president – strangely did not notice anything. It is not necessary to explain it why.
Relay of freedom of both nations
Nobody who observes the Putin’s war with Ukraine carefully, will not allow for being persuaded to think that whole Ukraine are Banderovites under the sign of the UPA, heirs and descendants of these ‘stricliw’ who did bloodshed on Poles from Wołyń. This is a painful card in the Polish-Ukrainian relations, but the revolution of Majdan has nothing in common with it, although there attempts to persuade us to think so by the Russian branch office and its Polish ‘sub-executors’. Today in Ukraine, as once in Gdańsk and Warsaw there is a fight not only for freedom of one nation, but for the image and future of whole Europe. Nobody better than the bard Andrzej Kołakowski did not sum up the situation in Europe and Ukraine: ‘Putin took Ukraine, the European Union took an attitude’. Kołakowski was the creator of four songs in the quarries. Two of them – ‘Bój’ (‘Battle’), ‘Obrona dworu’ (‘Defence of the court’) – inspired by the art of Artur Grottger, referred to the tradition of the January Uprising, similarly as the ballad ‘Execution of the national government on the slope of the Citadel’. But the biggest impression was made by the song ‘Station I, Jesus sentenced to death’. It referred to a grotesque court case against Christ, organized in the 20s of XX century by Trocki in the Soviet Union, in which Christ sentenced to death again, was to be exiled from the heart of a new Soviet man – ‘homo sovieticus’. The fact that this operation was not successful – which is proved by the history of post-war Poland and today’s Ukraine – Ukraine of Majdan. This Ukraine was represented at the concert in Kraków by an excellent band ‘Chorea Kozaka’, led by Taras Kompaniczka.
This band of 7 people, playing old music, mainly the baroque one, is not of the sign of the ideology of Dmytr Doncow, nor the practice of Stepan Bandera. Surely, it is of the sign of the old Ukrainian cockade – St. Michael the Arch-Angel and God’s Mother. Tradition of hetman Mazepa and poetry of Taras Szewczenko. Taras Kompaniczenko – the personification of what Ukraine is and can be in the future, son of parents (both!) born in the soviet camp near Archangielsko, active in the opposition against communism since the age of nineteen – enriched the concert with a story about what the reality of Majdan looks like. About killed friends, about how he miraculously avoided death. But, first of all, about what signs, what spirit patronized the Ukrainians on Majdan. He reminded that both Ukrainian irredentism: the orange one and the one on Majdan had started – significantly – on the reminiscence day of St. Michael Arch-Angel (celebrated in Ukraine on 21 November ). About how important prayer accompanying people on Majdan had been – sung and said. Cossack singing with the accompaniment of an excellent instruments – 2 banduras, string instruments, percussion – delighted with the purity of their sounds, one would like to say, the soulful winged music tone. The Ukrainians started their performance with a funeral march, singing a beautiful Mary’s XVI-centurial song ‘Różo slicznaja diwo czistaja’, whose chorus sounded with a begging prayer ‘Give us your hand, of Merciful Mother’. The words not needing any explanation. Later there were prayer and war songs, and among them – the Polish song about Warsaw ‘Warszawianka 1905’ translated into Ukrainian language, which – according to the words of Taras Kompaniczenka – was a kind of war hymn of Majdan. And in the end of the evening – after a panel break – the Ukrainian and Polish hymns were heard, and the whole was completed by ‘God’s Mother’ sung in Polish. One could feel a great spirit of Ukraine, the one about which Słowacki had written in ‘Beniowski’: ‘God, who did not feel you in blue fields of Ukraine…’, one could feel the common history and what is so fresh, and distanced so much in our memory – the spirit of ‘Solidarity’. The one from the gate of Gdańsk Shipyard – with the portrait of John Paul II and the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa.
Besides the bouquet of freedom and solidarity with Ukraine also Polish performers contributed significantly. Leszek Długosz – his poem of February 2014, devoted to Majdan and another one entitled ‘Memory’. The first one, written on 14 February – translated into Ukrainian on the following day, was read on Majdan. ‘Spiritus movens’ of the evening – Stanisław Markowski sang ‘The Monument of Warsaw Uprising’ (words written by Jerzy Narbutt) and a poem of Tadeusz Śliwiak ‘A word about blood’ written in the year 1956 for the uprising in Budapest and revealing an extremely current meaning in the situation of today’s Ukraine. Jerzy Zelnik read: ‘A message of Mr. Cogito’ by Zbigniew Herbert and a poem by Adam Asnyk entitled ‘As long as the thought of freedom is alive in the nation’.
During the break of the concert there was a discussion panel, led by prof. Andrzej Nowak, with the participation of Dawid Wildstein, Wojciech Mucha, Przemysław Miśkiewicz and Taras Kompaniczenka. Prof. Nowak began with indicating significant cards of Ukrainian-Polish relations, reminded about the common siege of Kremlin in the year 1617, with the participation of the Ukrainians led by Piotr Konaszewicz Sahajdaczny and this common fight against the Islam invasion at Chocim also with the participation of Sahajdaczny. Next he asked the panel participants the questions: what is going to be after the collapse of Putin’s empire? What Russia – with the face of Władimir Bukowski or another satrap? Nobody of the gathered did not dare to say when the empire would collapse and nobody doubted about it. And answers to the basic question concerned the current state which is characterized by some practical achievements. Dawid Wildstein mentioned his 90 days spent on Majdan and changes of people’s awareness taking place in his eyes. Przemysław Miśkiewicz, the organizer of help for Ukraine on behalf of the Association ‘Generation’ which has just returned from a convoy to Ukraine, spoke about great devotion of Poles, about money and donations, still flowing onto the account of the ‘Generation’. Wojciech Mucha emphasized, how important the change of awareness of Western Europeans is for Ukraine and freedom of the continent. In quite a long pronouncement Tarasa Kompaniczenko presented slow changes of the Ukrainians’ awareness. Quite recently the process of spreading Moscow power, identifying of the society with Putin’s empire, was far progressing. The Orthodox Church played here a big role. And - what is connected with the process – the elimination of the Ukrainian language, Ukrainian culture from TV and even from pop music. The situation changed when after the invasion into Ukraine, masks fell off the empire, ‘russkij mir’ does not appeal to the Ukrainians any longer, and Puttin is not ‘good’ any longer. Being aware, that in Ukraine the game is about something more than only freedom of one country, Kompaniczenko expressed his hope that this revolution was taking place – and must take place in the sphere of spirit. And not being afraid of pathos, which we are ashamed of today, he added: ‘The spirit is leading the nation, like it led you (Poles). God knows the motivation of hearts. If we are honest in the truth – God will hear us and give us victory.
Is there anything necessary to add to these beautiful words? After all, this is our idea of August 80’, the idea of uncompleted, and even, what is more, betrayed revolution of the spirit, revolution of hearts…
Finally – we must not forget about the expressions gratitude to Poles. They were said by Taras Kompaniczenko and Mrs. consul Shutak. Thanking for all kinds of help, for holidays organized in Poland for 300 Ukrainian children. Mrs. Consul summed up her pronouncement: - Divine Providence wanted us to have Russia as a neighbour. But, on the other hand, the same Providence gave us a really heroic neighbor – Poland.
Can anyone else – some manipulated ‘patriots from Lower Poland’ who appeared near the quarry – can see sinister shades of Bandera and UPA in these facts and words?