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A very arty photo of marbles, Yola/FOTONOVA /East News

Growing up in the 1990s in the middle of the newly-collapsed Eastern Bloc was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

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Festival in Poland, photo: Grażyna Myślińska / Forum

We all know that the French are superb at making wine, the Brits are great sailors and that nobody can play football quite as spectacularly as the Brazilians (save for one Argentinian who plays in a league of his own). But what is it that makes Poles Polish?

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Still from the film Far from Poland (1984), Honora Fergusson (as Barbara Łopieńska, Polish journalist) and William Raymond (as K-62, former Polish censor), photo: courtesy of the director

Experimental documentary about the Polish Solidarity movement directed by an independent film maker Jill Godmilow, in New York, in 1984.

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1989. Round Table Talks, photo: Jaroslaw Stachowicz / Forum

In 1989, the communist regime in Poland was in decline. The ruling communist party was like a fighter who had been knocked down several times and awaited the final blow. Yet the Polish walk to freedom was not to be ended by a one-sided, winner-takes-all victory for the democratic opposition. Get to know the history of the Polish Round Table Talks.

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A photograph by Chris Niedenthal taken for the American edition of Newsweek weekly, courtesy of Centrum JP2 / www.centrumjp2.pl

Great history and human emotions captured on a single photography – Chris Niedenthal speaks about the making of the photography from 1981.

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The European Solidarity Centre, photo: Grzegorz Mehring

On 31st August 2014, the 25th anniversary of the signing of the August Accords in Gdańsk, the European Solidarity Centre opened to the public.

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The Lublin exhibition Signs of Freedom: Posters of Solidarity from 1980-1989 collects 45 unique posters from the birth of Solidarity and the period of martial law.

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1982, PRL, photo: Chris Niedenthal / Forum

Poland’s walk to freedom was crowned by the fall of communism, but the road was longer and much more arduous than people realise. Culture.pl commemorates this year’s anniversary of the introduction of the martial law by retracing these courageous steps with 10 iconic photographs.

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Stanisław Witkiewicz, Portret wielokrotny (Mutiple Self-portrait), ca. 1917, courtesy of the DSH

John Paul II, Józef Piłsudski and Lech Wałęsa, the construction of the Palace of Culture and Science, the Martial Law period, and Wisława Szymborska winning the Nobel prize for literature – these are some of the major historic figures and events documented in photographs and presented at the History Meeting House in Warsaw.

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Chris Niedenthal, Warsaw, December 1981. First day of Martial Law. Kino Moskwa screens Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now", photo: press material

During 37 years of the Polish People's Republic, Poland was subjected to the USSR. The socialist food distribution system barely functioned, tanks rolled along the streets. But Poles managed to circumvent rules and restrictions. Chris Niedenthal's camera captured their attempts.

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Michał Szlaga, photo courtesy of the artist

Michał Szlaga made his debut with a series of staged self-portraits What Made Me?, in which he appears in such historical roles as a Nazi, a Jew, a Catholic priest, a member of the communist Citizen’s Militia and a Red Army soldier.

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Soon, the European Solidarity Centre will start welcoming its first guests. At its core it a permanent multimedia exhibition. It carries the story of the Solidarity and other opposition movements which gave the spark, that in no time, turned into a communist bashing roaring fire.

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Solidarity Shorts

The 2nd edition of the Solidarity Shorts International Film Contest is underway. Its organisers are now accepting submissions for the competition, the aim of which is to encourage young people to reflect on the condition of interpersonal and intercultural relationships in the world today.

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25 have years passed since Poland regained its freedom and the women who acted in the underground Solidarity movement still haven’t been properly appreciated for their merits, claims Shana Penn, whose book Solidarity’s Secret/Sekret Solidarności has just been published in Poland.

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In connection to the opening of the new headquarters of the European Solidarity Centre (Europejskie Centrum Solidarności - ECS), 2014 will be full of events promoting the building itself as well as the permanent exhibition of the history of Solidarity and the changes in Central and Eastern Europe it houses.

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Solidarity - Online Conspiracy, source: press release Never before was Poland’s contemporary history brought to life like it is with Solidarity – Online Conspiracy. Well known dissidents, includings Lech Wałęsa make their appearance to add to the authenticity of this social networking game Polish computer game players are invited to dive into the 1980s of a communist Poland, wherein they attempt to struggle against the regime’s authorities and conspire against the government. In Solidarity - Online Conspiracy, a social networking game, a fictional Polish town is divided into sectors in which...

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Okładka (nid 6591490)

The Google Cultural Institute launches a series of online exhibitions dedicated to the Fall of the Iron Curtain, together with the Polish History Museum, DDR Museum in Berlin, Romania's TVR and Getty Images. A total of 13 exhibitions come together to tell the story of this momentous time through photos, video and an insightful narrative contributed by experts and scholars from all over the world

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Okładka (nid 6551541)

A permanent exhibition dedicated to the idea of Solidarity is the focus around which the centre is built, flanked by a library, reading rooms and archives open to the public. The permanent exhibition will take up an area of some 3,000 sqm over two storeys, combining traditional exhibit formatswith state-of-the-art technology.

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ESC Director Basil Kerski has high hopes for the centre as an "agora" for the city of Gdańsk, "a place where people and ideas contributing to the building and development of civic society are welcome" and as a place of both reflection on the events and people to whom Poles owe their freedom, "but also in the young, as the future of this world rests in their hands".

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The legendary Polish jazz trumpeter headlines Gdańsk festival, showing he's still got what it takes to take the stage with the biggest names in jazz today.

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