VI International Biennale of Miniatures 'Tell me about Poland in 1920' - post-competition exhibition

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The hundredth anniversary of the historical events of the year 1920 is not only a chance for commemorating brave deeds of soldiers fighting in the Polish-Soviet war. This time makes us also think about the civilians' situation. These ordinary men often struggled with the dramatic everyday life associated with an economic crisis and with painful experience after the World War I.

In 1920 Poland struggled with the last waves of a flu epidemic - the Spanish influenza which decimated the population worldwide. Moreover, at the same time people were scared of the march of the Red Army. During bloody fights almost 100 thousand Poles died. The entire families suffered because of losing their belongings through the scorched earth tactics applied by Bolshevik soldiers.

The reviving Polish state rebuilt its structures after 123 years of the captivity. It struggled with many internal problems, such as the revival of the national identity of Polish liberated residents. The new regained independence of Poland was endangered by the first victories of the Bolshevik march, almost impossible to stop, it seemed.

And suddenly a miracle happened. 16 August - during the Warsaw Battle, the Principal Leader of Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland, the first Marshal of Poland - Józef Piłsudski supported by Tadeusz Rozwadowski, defeated the Bolshevik army, the army having much greater military strength at its disposal. A counteroffensive of Polish military forces started from this moment. This event went down in history by the name  "The Miracle on the Vistula" which we commemorate as national holiday on the 15 of August, together with the celebration of the Assumption of Most saint Mary of the Virgo, the Queen of the Polish Crown.

Thanks to the efforts of our ancestors wanting to regain Polish freedom, we can celebrate as Poles the independence and the national identity. And even though it seems that these 100 past years between history and our present time are different, in my opinion the same problems can be seen in both 1920 and 2020. It is a perfect example for the next generations - for young people from the entire world - to show the universal message that when people are united, they are able to win against all odds. The lesson coming from history is bringing hope for us in our reality.

These all messages can be found at works sent to us. Looking at the works, we can see an interesting, diverse collection that shows us the sensitivity of young artists, young students of artistic schools from Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania.

In such forms as - picturesque, sculpting, graphics, drawing and weaving short pieces, a promising potential is visible. We can examine from the close up, feel an individual relation with the authors, their thoughts, emotions and ideas. Through this close contact, we can spot in details the wealth of traditional techniques, as well as unconventional solutions, experiments with applying unusual materials and forms of the plastic expression, in which all fields of art meet. All these works create the story about the past and the present, about suffering, erased memories, about the anonymity of many soldiers killed in action and about great victory and shared joy, about power in the unity that gave people hope of an independent, rebuilt Poland.

PhD Anna Krzemińska

Płock, 17.11.2020


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