#photography & visual arts
A hundred years ago, a unique tiny state appeared in the Polish mountains called the Republic of Zakopane. It lasted a mere 17 days. Using archives from the Tatra Museum, the University of Michigan will host an exhibition on this little-known history from 4th February until 3rd May.
When on 7th October 1918, the Regency Council of Poland based in Warsaw proclaimed the establishment of an independent Polish state, the people of Zakopane were the first to openly forsake their obedience to their Austrian partitioners. They chose Stefan Żeromski as their leader. This prolific writer was also a politician and an activist involved in a variety of social and economic initiatives in Zakopane. He gained wide recognition from intellectuals coming to Zakopane from big cities, as well as from highlanders.
The resolution of the parliament of the Zakopane Republic read:
The Tatra Mountains – Astonishing Images of a Lost Land
In the face of adopting US President Woodrow Wilson’s peace regulations by the partitioning powers, we are now the citizens of a free, independent and united Poland. We will remain faithful to our country, we owe it all our possessions, and our blood. There are no ties left exempting us from our responsibility. In the light of such significant events, to earnestly perform our duties towards the Polish state, we are establishing the National Organisation in Zakopane. Its board will have 32 members, and its own programme.
Organised by the University of Michigan’s Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Tatra Museum in Zakopane, the exhibition will also be accompanied by side events, namely lectures given by its curator, the ethnologist Maciej Krupa, who is also a Tatra Mountains guide, former BBC World Service reporter, and an author of books such as Tatry, Zakopane – Wczoraj i Dziś (Tatry, Zakopane - Yesterday and Today) and Kroniki Zakopiańskie (The Zakopane Chronicles).
Fine Arts at the Tatra Foothills – Image Gallery
The project is organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand as part of POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2022.
A Tourist's Tale: Zakopane
University of Michigan
Compiled by SC & AZ, translated by ML, Feb 2019