‘Make Art Not War’ – the Anders Artists in the Middle East

Date: 15-05-2022 Hour: 19:00

Event place: online

An exploration of the influence of Anders artists on local artists alongside the influence of the local art and culture on them.

About this event

Thousands of Poles initially imprisoned by the Soviet Russians as far away as Siberia at the outset of the war were then released when Russia joined the allies. General Wladyslaw Anders was appointed to run the military. He did not want to put his forces on the Eastern Front in Europe and received permission to take his people (soldiers and their families and orphan children) on a long trek from Russia to the Middle East, first Iran , then Iraq, then Palestine – all those countries then under British ‘protection’.

The soldiers included many artists and intellectuals (indeed those were the ones, along with other professionals, that the Russians were interested in arresting in the first place).

While they were staying in different places and , for our story,in Iraq especially, the artists were able to practice their art and to meet fellow artists among the local population. We are hoping (as he has recently had to return to Iraq on family business) to have present at the meeting, an Iraqi artist, Yousif Nasser, whose art teacher was a man very influenced by Polish artists. He has for long had an interest in this meeting of Western and Middle Eastern artists and what resulted from that meeting.

While the focus of the meeting will be those war years and their effect on artistic developments, it may be that a fuller discussion of the mutual cultural influences between East and West in the twentieth century will emerge.

Talking and Exploring together with Acton History Group are pleased to have our Polish Heritage Days project selected and supported by the Embassy of The Republic of Poland in the UK again this year. in 2022, Polish Heritage Days is celebrating the lives and achievements of three important generals from the Second World War – General Wladyslaw Anders, General Stanislaw Maczek and General Stanislaw Sosabowski. They were all born in the same year, 1892, so this year is their 130th anniversary! Our walking tours celebrate the three generals on routes and in places related to the generals in London whereas in this online meeting we would like to discuss a specific aspect of the well researched phenomenon of the so called Anders’ Army.

We hope to attract participants who could contribute their memories and knowledge to the topic as well as those who would like to learn about this aspect of the Second World War, the war which was to be the last one.

The role of art, culture and heritage cannot be underestimated and in this meeting we would like to celebrate the mutual influences and fruitful connections made in those difficult times between the Occident and Orient.

Personal stories are always welcome and if time doesn’t allow everyone to share, please feel welcome to email us.

Below you can see a book cover. ‘Artysci Andersa’ by professor Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz is a great source of knowledge on the topic, an irreplaceable one. Professor Sienkiewicz devoted years of his life to thoroughly research all the available archives and other resources. We hope the book will soon be translated into English.

Zoom link to the event will be provided at a later date to those who sign up.

WHEN: Sun, 15 May 2022 19:00 – 21:00 BST

WHERE: online

TICKETS: free, but you need to register here

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