Polish Studies Newsletter


Date of the event: 12.05.2024 g.14:00 - 12.05.2024 g.15:30
Added on: 26.04.2024

Bednarczyk's Press and Feliks Topolski: Artists under Waterloo Arcades. Guided Tour

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Welcome to a guided tour exploring the history of Polish art and emigration in the dynamic and vibrant context of London. This bilingual event is organised by the Research Centre on the Legacy of Polish Migration and Blue Point Art Gallery. We invite you to join us for a series of engaging conversations. Discover how the social responsibility of academic research, digital humanities and interdisciplinarity can enhance the contributions of the Polish community to London's cultural landscape.

146 Bridge Arch, Sutton Walk, London SE1 7ND. Poster by Blue Point Art

The tour programme: 

  • Sites of memory – by Dr Justyna Gorzkowicz

The opening remarks will introduce the concept of  'lieu de mémoire', exploring how physical locations hold historical and emotional significance, weaving a narrative that links the past with the present. It will focus on specific sites that have played a pivotal role in cultural or historical events, in the context of the project 'Unveiling the Heritage': Krystyna Bednarczyk (19232011) - Polish poet and co-founder of the Poets’ and Painters' Press in London'. This project is carried out mainly by the Research Centre on the Legacy of Polish Migration (ReCeLPM of the Union of Polish Writers Abroad in London).

  • London in the footsteps of Krystyna – guided by Regina Wasiak-Taylor

This guided exploration takes participants through London, retracing Krystyna Bednarczyk's steps. It highlights key places that shaped her life and work, while aiming to deepen understanding of her legacy and role in the London-based Press. Additionally, the talk promotes intergenerational and intercultural dialogue between Poles living abroad and the local community. A crucial goal is to enhance awareness of ethnic minority identities and women's roles in culture and society.

  •  ARHeritageTour – demo of an augmented reality (AR) application to visualise memories in urban space – by Jarosław Solecki

This part of the tour demonstrates how Augmented Reality (AR) technology can bring historical and personal memories, heritage, and art to life. It highlights the integration of these elements into the palimpsest fabric of the city, thereby enhancing our understanding of and engagement with urban environments.

  • Bednarczyk’s Publishing House and Polish Emigré Press – Prof. Katarzyna Zechenter

Poets’ and Painters’ Press published around 700 volumes during its 55-year existence (1950–2005). In this short talk, we will look at the place occupied by Poets’ and Painters’s Press in the printing landscape of non-English printing houses in the UK, and their contribution to multiculturalism of today’s UK. 

  • "Polski ToPolski” Polish threads in biography of Feliks Topolski. Visit of Topolski Studio with – Elżbieta Smoleńska 

In this short talk we will explore some of the highlights of the amazing biography of a prolific artist, war correspondent and a chronicler of the XX century. We will touch upon Feliks Topolski’s Polish heritage and connections including long lasting friendship and cooperation with Krystyna and Czesław Bednarczyk. Famous „Chronicles” of the XX century were published in a nearby Bednarczyk’s Press. 

Visit to the studio thanks to the courtesy of the Topolski Foundation

Key information:

The tour is free. However, the number of slots is limited, so please register with Elżbieta Smoleńska at zppno1946@gmail.com.

Please be on time at the meeting point. Participants of the tour will receive a bilingual map of places related to the life and work of Krystyna Bednarczyk.To use the ARHeritageTour app, you will need a fully charged mobile phone with internet access and a browser installed. After scanning the QR code, the app works on most ANDROID devices (smartphones such as Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Pixel). Preferred web browsers: Chrome, Opera, Samsung Internet Ver. 11.2+.


Krystyna Bednarczyk, née Brzozowska (b. 1923 in Warsaw, d. 2011 in London), was a Home Army soldier during WWII, a poet, publisher, typographer and a co-founder with her husband (Czesław) of the London-based Poets and Painters' Press. She made her debut in 1951 in “Culture” [“Kultura”] in the Polish émigré journal published in Paris. She is also the author of the poetry collections "Obmowy świtów" (1978) and "Happiness Not Kissed Enough" (2000), "Wiersze wybrane" (2005). After the death of her husband, she continued to publish and manage “Oficyna”. In 2005-2010, she became chair of the Union of Polish Writers Abroad and editor of the London-based émigré journal “Pamiętnik Literacki” / “Literary Diary”. In recognition of her services to Poland, she was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland.

Feliks Topolski was a Polish artist. He studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and was an active member of Warsaw's bohemian society. In 1935, Topolski went to Great Britain as a correspondent for "Wiadomości Literackie" to cover the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and stayed in London ever since. He became friends with, among others, George Bernard Shaw and Prince Philip, thanks to whom he soon became part of the British establishment. He was a war correspondent, covering the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and the Nuremberg Trials. The most important historical events of the XX century, which he witnessed, became part of his famous "Chronicles".  Panoramic murals by Topolski are among others in Buckingham Palace. 

Event organised as part of the project ‘UNVEILING THE HERITAGE: KRYSTYNA BEDNARCZYK (1923-2011) - POLISH POET AND CO-FOUNDER OF POETS AND PAINTERS' PRESS IN LONDON', funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NS-23-00154).


146 Bridge Arch, Sutton Walk, London SE1 7ND
Details in description
Justyna Gorzkowicz

Cultural anthropologist specialising in literary studies, art critic; head of the Research Centre on the Legacy of Polish Migration in London

Added on:
26 April 2024; 16:27 (Justyna Gorzkowicz)
Edited on:
27 April 2024; 02:15 (Justyna Gorzkowicz)

Related to the event

See also


Krystyna Bednarczyk and Her Poets and Painters' Press

Research Centre on the Legacy of Polish Migration (ReCeLPM) of the Union of Polish Writers Abroad (ZPPnO), in cooperation with the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL SSEES) and the Polish University Abroad (PUNO), is pleased to invite you to an international symposium on the life and work of Krystyna Bednarczyk.



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