Jamie Stokes

Sep 042014
Un-Forgetting Poland's Independence: WWI For The Twitter Generation

World War I inspired July’s cover design is by Marcin Wierzchowski, who is currently working on a major, interactive graphic novel that will reconnect young Poles with the dramatic events of 1914–1918 that resulted in the re-establishment of the Polish state. A tale of twisting time lines and minds, The Unforgotten (Odpamiętani) opens in 2014 with an epidemic of strange cases of mania. Its victims are confused, limp and appear lost in time. Some die in agony, others recover apparently unharmed. One victim, a high school student, wakes inside a new reality – as Lieutenant Leonard Lepszy, a Polish soldier fighting for his life, and the future of Poland, in the 1918 Battle of Przemyśl. Based on the real life experiences of the artist’s great grandfather, who survived the Battle of Przemyśl, only to be killed at the outbreak of World War II, The Unforgotten follows the adventures of Lieutenant Lepszy through to the Siege of […]

Aug 282014
Loose Change: The Miracle of Buses

I’m told the countryside has much to recommend it, and isn’t just there to put decent intervals between interesting places. For example, thenews.pl recently reported that crop circles with ‘magical strength’ had appeared in a Polish field. A local dowser is quoted as saying: “No evidence of human activities in the field is noticeable,” presumably apart from the 30-metre crop circles and, you know, the crops. Summer is traditionally the time city dwellers get it into their heads to leave the city and have a look at the countryside. It’s not a coincidence that summer is also the time when people who spend very little time in the countryside get into all kinds of trouble there. Urbanites drown in lakes, get struck by lightning, see imaginary gorillas and generally provide country folk with a rich stock of hilarious stories to tell each other through the bitter winter months. My own relationship with nature is complex. I […]

Aug 032014
Murder in the Museum – Crime in Art at Krakow's MOCAK

Watched the last episode of The Killing? Just put down that crime-fiction page-turner? Get yourself down to MOCAK for an entire gallery stuffed with forensic evidence, red herrings, gruesome crime scenes and assorted paraphernalia of acts felonious and delinquent. Gloves made from human skin (fortunately, not real), bodies floating face-down in stagnant pools (fortunately, just art), and papers stained with the fluids from murder autopsies (all too real) – these are exhibits A through C introduced into evidence at MOCAK’s Crime in Art show, on throughout the summer. Oliver Pietsch: Hit Me (video) 2006 One end of the gallery is dominated by a row of prints featuring the faces of A-list serial killers. The work of Belgian artist and self-confessed psychopath aficionado, Danny Devos, they are surrounded by his terrifying, Rube Goldberg sculptures that reproduce the mechanisms of murder. Don’t miss the chance to flip the switch and terrify your companions with the clawing homicide robot […]

Jul 172014
Art of the Mad – At MOCAK

It’s a popular opinion that contemporary art is produced by the mad and sold by con men. What else is the man on the street to make of piles of bricks being sold for millions of dollars? It is, therefore, bold – if not a little cheeky – for MOCAK to put on an exhibition of art produced entirely by the inmates of Krakow’s most famous psychiatric hospital. Quarantined in the therapeutic hush of the museum library, the Inner Space exhibition is the result of a two-year collaboration between MOCAK and the staff and patients of the Józef Babiński Specialist Hospital. At first glance, nothing on the wall looks any madder than what you might expect to see in the main building across the courtyard. That, of course, is part of the point. Leszek Zając, Sjesta A guided tour conducted by the exhibition’s curators, Magdalena Mazik and Elżbieta Sala, starts in the Mieczysław Porębski Library – […]

Jul 102014
Loose Change: Tram Hero

He’s out there, somewhere. Righting wrongs and protecting the weak. Roaming the streets of Krakow on the side of the humble tram rider, the nightmare of the gas guzzler. I’ve never had a hero before, being inclined to almost toxic levels of cynicism, but I found one last week. It was a Friday evening, and I was heading to Kazimierz on the number 19 tram. I’d noticed him of course. It’s not often you see a 60-something-year-old guy dressed in full Polish mountain man regalia, including feather in leather hat. Decades of living in cities have taught me exactly what to do about crazy people on public transport. Rule one: Don’t look directly at them, but don’t let them out of your sight either. We pulled up at Wawel. The doors opened and fellow passengers hopped down among the line of cars idling across the tram stop, waiting on the lights. Feather hat guy rose from […]

Jun 152014
OMGKRK Summer Jam, Party of the Year

It promises to be the biggest and best party of the year, bringing Krakow’s famously energetic and inventive tech and start-up community together with the city’s equally unorthodox artistic circles. The #OMGKRK Summer Jam will take place on Wednesday, June 18, from 21:00 at Forum Przestrzenie. It’s the second such gathering organised by the loose association of techies, hackers, designers and freelance paradigm smashers operating under the gloriously nerdy OMGKRK hashtag. The first OMGKRK party, a Christmas bash also held at Forum Przestrzenie, was a huge success, attracting around 700 guests with the bare minimum of pre-planning and formal marketing. It was an event that emerged almost spontaneously from the vivacity of the communities involved, and the second incarnation promises to be even bigger and better. This is not to say that a lot of work didn’t go on behind the scenes. Local start-up incubators Hub:raum, Innovation Nest and Google for Entrepreneurs Krakow threw their weight […]

May 232014
Loose Change: The Sexy Shop

I had high hopes for the Sexy Shop. Nestled comfortably in double-fronted premises of moderate size on ul. Tomasza, ‘sexy’ suggested to me a light-hearted flirtatiousness otherwise entirely absent from the terrifying world of Krakow’s go-go bars and those grim staircases advertising ‘24h massage.’ I was expecting more in the way of saucy, handmade lace items and less in the way of hard-eyed, Belarusian blondes. I was disappointed. The not-necessarily-horrifying lacy lingerie is there, manufactured by the hands of winsome grandmothers in some mountain village I never want to go to, but a closer inspection of the window display raised some alarms: cellophane-wrapped packages featuring pouting and big hair, a suggestion of ball-gags, a pair of strap-on breasts manufactured from a plush, furry material. I didn’t go inside. I may be wrong. Maybe the place is run by a genuine Venus with a perfectly nuanced grasp of English. Maybe she really is here to put a […]

Apr 222014
  The Photography of Weronika Kosińska

The cover photo for the April issue is by Weronika Kosińska, a supremely talented Cracovian fashion and beauty photographer who is making a name for herself in Poland and internationally. We spoke to Weronika about her work. … Krakow Post: You work mostly in fashion and beauty photography. What drew you to this area? Weronika Kosińska: Women, simply. They are amazing creatures –very beautiful and mysterious. And it always surprises me how much they can change in every shoot. KP: Fashion and beauty means working with make-up artists, hair stylists and fashion stylists. Do you have a regular team? WK: Yes, there are some people I work with often, like Kinga and Radek from this shoot. Creating something with people I know well – friends – is great and always means having a wonderful time. KP: Where do you find your models? Have you ever discovered a supermodel? WK: I keep my eyes wide open and try not […]

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