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Centrum Edukacji Międzykulturowej,
Aleja Wolności 23 (MOK),
33-300 Nowy Sącz

tel: + 48 602 476 108
tel: + 48 608 315 089

e-mail: cempolska@gmail.com

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CEM’s Board

Bożena Kocyk – President
Jolanta Kieres – Vice President
Joanna Wituszyńska – Vice President
Maria Baran – Secretary
Maria Janisz – Treasurer
Halina Komar – Honorary President

 

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    From April 10th to 14th, 2024, a group of 21 members from our Association embarked on an excursion to Szczecin. The purpose of the trip extended beyond mere sightseeing; it included meeting with local Esperantists and showcasing the activities of both clubs.
    The journey was swift and comfortable, as we traveled in a sleeping car. This allowed us to commence our planned activities immediately upon arrival. We were delighted and pleasantly surprised when the local Esperantists greeted us at the Szczecin station, waving a green flag.
    After checking into our luxurious hotel and taking a brief rest, we ventured out to explore the city. Our guide was our fellow Esperantist Bernadetta Wiewiórska. We toured the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle and delved into the rich history of this fascinating region. Following this, we had the pleasure of enjoying coffee on the 22nd floor of the PAZIM building.
    In the afternoon we visited the Książnica Pomorska (cultural institution and central library of Western Pomerania) for a meeting with local Esperantists. This gathering provided an opportunity to share interesting and humorous anecdotes about the activities of both clubs, making for an enjoyable and enriching experience.

    The following day was also devoted to sightseeing, this time at the Maritime Science Center, where our fellow Esperantist Andrzej Jabłoński guided us. Since he worked on ships as a warranty engineer on ships so he knows the realities of life at sea very well. For us, mountain dwellers it was a unique chance to glimpse into the maritime atmosphere and the lifestyle of those connected to the sea.
    In the evening we attended a concert at the famous Szczecin Philharmonic. The performance was enchanting, featuring classical works by Mozart and Beethoven. Additionally, we had the opportunity to tour the distinctive building.

    The next day we visited Międzyzdroje. Our first stop was the Miniature Park, where we admired scaled-down versions of famous Baltic landmarks. We then strolled through the spa center, walked along the pier and, of course, tasted some sea fish.

    On the final day of our trip our fellow Halina Różanek took us for a walk in the Jan Paweł II Park Jasne Błonia. There were monuments related to Szczecin including a monument to Helena Majdaniec, a singer from Szczecin known for performing the song “Rudy rydz”. We also admired Hasior’s installations and the amphitheater.

    As a thank you for guiding us around the sites and for enriching our stay, we invited our local guides to a formal farewell dinner. The delightful time we spent in Szczecin passed quickly, and soon it was time to return to Nowy Sącz.

Translation Adm.+AI

    During the meeting, we listened to a fascinating lecture entitled “Modern and Contemporary Art – Time Frames, Genealogy, Characteristics of Artistic Trends. Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art” delivered by Magdalena Jaksa Chadaj.

    The speaker is a graduate of the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and also studied at the Władysław Spasowski Institute of Teacher Education in Krakow. She creates in the field of ceramics, drawing, painting, stage design, poetry, and has conducted pedagogical activities in the artistic departments of schools in Nowy Sącz. She is a laureate of numerous awards.

    Magdalena took us on a fascinating journey through the styles and trends in modern art starting from the 1860s with the emergence of the first black-and-white photographs, through the works of the Impressionists, Post-Impressionism, Pointillism, Cubism, Symbolism, Divisionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Orphism, Hyperrealism, and finally to abstraction in painting, sculpture, and architecture in contemporary art dated from the end of World War II.

    We learned the secrets of the workshops of such artists as Edgar Degas, Henry Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, William Turner, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Wassily Kandinsky, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and many others, as well as examples of their philosophical reflections on art, for example:
• I hope that all my works have a light and pleasant breath of spring, not revealing how much work they sometimes cost me.
• Despite studying and learning, one should always cherish the original naivety in oneself.
• Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.
• You will not understand art until you understand that in art 1+1 can give any number except 2.
• I paint objects as I think about them, not as I see them.

    Polish artists were also given a prominent place in the lecture: Józef Chełmoński, Kazimierz Malewicz, Olga Boznańska, Aleksander Gierymski, Władysław Podkowiński, Stanisław Stanisławski, Tamara Łępicka, Stanisław Wyspiański, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Katarzyna Kobro, Władysław Strzemiński, Jerzy Nowosielski, Władysław Hasior, Wojciech Fangor, Robert Kusmirowski, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer and others.

    In the final part of the lecture, we got acquainted with examples of architectural creations in modern and contemporary art, and then the author presented a list of interesting museums where we can deepen our knowledge on the topics covered by the lecture.

    An integral part of contemporary art is also spatial installations and street art represented, for example, by Banksy or Justyna Posiecz-Polkowska, or by authors of interesting murals from Nowy Sącz such as Mgr Mors, Nupz, Blew, Dase, Kont, are also an integral part of contemporary art.

    The journey through the land of art met with great interest from the audience.

    In reference to Ms. Magdalena’s lecture, our colleague Jarek Szewczyk presented selected examples of “creativity” by Artificial Intelligence, which is dynamically marking its presence in the art market. The versatile training of neural networks has resulted in artists such as painters, graphic designers, sculptors, poets, and musicians facing unexpected competition from “machines” that, initiated by a single “prompt” – a short written or voice command – can create “works” worthy of masters within seconds.
    Despite the critical opinions of art connoisseurs, this activity poses an unexpected threat to human creators, especially since machine creations are successfully entering art auctions.

    Additionally, there is also a threat of a flood of disinformation in the form of photos, voice reports, and videos created using Artificial Intelligence algorithms, which present false events in the world of politics, culture, or in the social and moral sphere (deep fakes).

    At the next meeting, we will focus on conversations with various AI models and on assessing their creative capabilities or “reasoning” abilities, comparable to human thought processes.

Admin JS+AI  

    W ramach realizacji projektu Erasmus + w Sądeckiej Bibliotece Publicznej odbędzie się prezentacja opisująca pobyt grupy z CEM na kursie języka angielskiego na Malcie.

Zapraszamy

Bożena Kocyk

    On February 19th, another club meeting took place at the Center for Intercultural Education. In addition to current matters such as membership dues and the planned trip to Szczecin, the program included a lecture by a family doctor and a discussion on new technologies.  

    Dr. Zofia Kopacz provided a lot of important information for patients related to the organization of primary healthcare, patients’ rights regarding referrals for tests and specialists, medication reimbursement principles and also addressed dietary supplements.

    Colleague Jarosław Szewczyk, as part of introducing new technologies to people aged 60 and over, presented modern possibilities of sharing photos, videos, and other files using a smartphone and Google company applications, using generated links and utilizing Google cloud. The next meeting will focus on continuing this topic using a computer and internet browsers.

Translation by Ad+AI

    What Erasmus Plus Gives Us?

    Continuing our collaboration, after the death of Halina Komar, the longtime president of the Intercultural Education Center in Nowy Sącz a few months ago, the association has decided to reapply for funding from the Erasmus+ program in the ”Adult Education” sector.
The project title: „Knowledge of Foreign Languages Widens Horizons”.
    In recent months, new people have joined the association who, in addition to their interest in Esperanto, also want to improve their English language skills, which are very useful in the modern world, including for Esperantists. This is a group that has been meeting for several years for conversation classes at the Nowy Sącz City Library, and I (B. Kocyk) lead the group.
    Together with Polish language teacher Małgorzata Piluch we wrote a proposal to the National Agency for funding the participation of a group of 16 people in an English language course in Malta. Despite Malta being a small country with only 0.52 million residents, it specializes in various language courses. There are 42 schools with a global reputation, and the official languages are Maltese and English.
    The proposal was very well received and accepted, leading to a two-week trip in October 2023 in which board members and active members of the association participated. A basic knowledge of English was a requirement.
    We established cooperation with the Institute of English Language Studies during the project writing stage in January 2023. They agreed to accept their school as host organization, significantly enhancing the substantive value of the proposal and providing enough time for detailed agreements. This school has been operating for over 35 years, offering around 20 different English language courses and employing 150 qualified teachers.
    Progress in English will allow us to deepen international cooperation, introduce English translations on the website, and promote Esperanto in English-speaking communities as well. Before the trip, everyone had to complete an online test and participate in a brief interview with a teacher from the school we were visiting, using the Zoom application. This helped assess language proficiency.
    On-site at the school, we were assigned to 4 groups ranging from the least to the most advanced. These groups differed not only in age (although the youth predominated) but also in nationality. Participants came from South and Central America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Students from over 40 countries passed through the schools halls. In lessons, we learned many interesting things about our classmates countries.
    Our association team also attracted significant interest due to its age and funding through EU resources. Thus, we had the opportunity to tell the students about Esperanto as the main focus of our activities, which was entirely new to them. They wanted to hear sentences spoken in Esperanto and understand which languages it might resemble.
    The association activities were also intriguing for them, as at this stage of their lives, young people are not yet seeking opportunities to engage in initiatives that would allow them to develop their non-professional interests in various fields of science and culture.

    Another episode related to Esperanto was a conversation I had with one of the teachers during conversation classes. This elderly gentleman is of Iranian origin and practices the Bahái Faith. His family had to leave Iran many years ago due to persecution from Muslims. Bahá’ís have suffered persecution since the inception of their religion in the 19th century. At that time, he was studying in the United Kingdom; currently, he resides in Malta and his family has dispersed worldwide, never returning to Iran. In the past, Bahá’ís sought a language that would work well in their international community, and their choice fell on Esperanto.
Does it really? – nobody knows. There are approximately 5 million Bahá’ís worldwide, with their administrative and spiritual center located in Haifa, Israel. The idea of Esperanto among Bahá’ís was promoted in the interwar period by Lidia Zamenhof, the daughter of Ludwik Zamenhof. She became a Bahái in 1926 and in 1937 was sent to the United States, where she taught Esperanto and Baháí principles. Just before the war, she returned to Poland and perished in the Treblinka concentration camp along with her sister Zofia. The teacher mentioned above knows very well the principles and history of Esperanto, as well as important figures in the Esperanto movement; he was interested in the details of our activities.
    After very intensive lessons (6 per day), in the afternoons and weekends, we had time to explore Malta and its islands, Gozo and Comino.
Maltese history dates back thousands of years before our era. The oldest megalithic temples began to be built around 3600 BC so they are older than the Egyptian pyramids, although less attractive to tourists. Over the centuries, Malta was under the rule of the Phoenicians, ancient Rome, Arabs, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Knights of Malta and Great Britain; all leaving their marks. The capital, Valletta, is one large piece of history. With 320 historic sites, it is the densest historical area in the world. It is also a major passenger and commercial port, welcoming large ships, mainly sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
The implementation of Erasmus+ projects involves not only foreign trips but also many obligations, starting from a well-defined idea, through the creation of numerous documents before, during, and after the activity. It requires finding a good host or cooperating organization, plan the budget well, strict adherence to Erasmus+ program guidelines, meeting all the required conditions specified in the financial agreement and achieving the goals outlined in the application. Writing the final report is a significant challenge as it must demonstrate that the funds were spent according to the intention and documented in accordance with both EU and national accounting principles.
    Success achieved through obtaining a positive opinion from the National Agency and then through project implementation, brings immense satisfaction to the authors and unforgettable educational, cultural, and integrative experiences to the entire group participating in the endeavour.

Bożena Kocyk

→ Link to Marysia Baran’s presentation

→ Link to presentations posted in the Google cloud (valid until the end of February 2024)

    Every year in December, Esperantists worldwide celebrate “Zamenhof Days” with great solemnity. The festivities commemorate the birth of Ludwik Zamenhof, the creator of the Esperanto language and Esperanto idea, who was born on December 15, 1859 in Białystok.
    The Center for Intercultural Education also dedicated its December club meeting to Ludwik Zamenhof and Esperanto. A significant surprise for the thirty-some participants was the presence of … Ludwik Zamenhof himself, who addressed the attendees with a few heartfelt words.

    The celebration of Zamenhof’s birthday by Esperantists takes various forms. There are short one-day or several-hour ceremonies of an intimate nature, and often open events for a broad audience. In larger Esperanto communities, the festivities can last for several days. During these celebrations, there are meetings and lectures on the life and activities of L. Zamenhof, integration meetings with a traditional birthday cake, laying flowers at monuments, exhibitions of books in Esperanto (both original and translations), film screenings, concerts, performances, contests, and excursions. Esperantists also “gather” at virtual meetings. Often, Zamenhof Day celebrations are an opportunity to showcase Jewish culture, its significance in the life of nations and cities.
    We watched a play titled “Tych miasteczek nie ma już” (These little towns are no more) performed by the “Gwiazdeczki” group (affiliated with SUTW). The play features fellow Esperantists and aligns with one of the activities of our CEM, presenting the diversity of Jewish culture.

    The next part of the meeting involved presenting the profiles of Esperantists from Nowy Sącz: Stanisława Tyrkiel, Maria Kosiaty, and Maria Budacz. These individuals were actively involved in the Polish Esperanto Association branch in Nowy Sącz and the Esperanto Club at the City Cultural Center from the 1960s to the early 21st century. Mrs. Stanisława Tyrkiel played a crucial role, writing chronicles for the PEA branch and Esperanto Club, which have become valuable documents illustrating the activities of Esperantists in Nowy Sącz. These chronicles were donated to the Regional Museum in Nowy Sącz. The information about the donation agreement between the Intercultural Education Center and the Regional Museum was also a significant part of the meeting.

    The festive meeting at CEM dedicated to the creator of Esperanto concluded with the enjoyment of a traditional birthday cake.
    Information about the activities of Esperantists related to the December celebrations of “Zamenhof Days” can be found on the Eventa Servo website (“event service”). This website collects and disseminates information about Esperanto events worldwide.
    Eventa Servo was established in 2017 by the Brazilian Fernando Chayani, who hails from a small town with few Esperantists and infrequent Esperanto meetings. The idea was to create a service that would enable similar individuals to participate in Esperanto events. In April 2019, Chayani handed over the service to the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA), and since then, both UEA and TEJO recommend Eventa Servo as a platform for sharing information about global, national, and local Esperanto events such as congresses, meetings, courses, and others.

Translation by Admin

    After the summer travels, members of the Center for International Education returned to classes at the Municipal Cultural Center. During Esperanto language courses, conducted by volunteer Jolanta Kieres, participants had the opportunity to improve their language skills. “Students” from the University of the Third Age also joined the group of people willing to learn Esperanto.
    Important events at the Center for International Education are monthly club meetings attended by approximately 30 people.
    During the October meeting, participants of the 108th World Esperanto Congress shared their impressions of their stay in Turin, where the event took place, and their visits to Milan and the Aosta Valley. They recalled with great delight the “miracle of nature” that is the Postojna Cave in Slovakia, which they visited on their way back from the Congress.

    The next meeting in our club took place on November 13, 2023. It was dedicated to the 105th anniversary of Poland regaining independence. During the meeting, a performance titled “With Literature, Poetry, and Song on the 100th Anniversary of Independent Poland” was presented. This program was realized in 2018 and has been presented several times in various places such as the Małopolska Center of Culture “Sokół,” the Municipal Center for Culture, the W. Orkan School Center in Marcinkowice and also in Warsaw at the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Policy.
    For the group that appeared in this program, the new look at this program was a special “moment of memory and reminiscence,” and those who watched it for the first time had the opportunity to discover previously unknown aspects of of the activities of the Center for International Education. However, everyone, along with the actors, sang Legionnaire Songs, which were part of the performance

 

 

    A Few Observations from the World Esperanto Congress in Turin

    At the turn of July and August, the 108th World Esperanto Congress took place in Turin. Some considered it to be too crowded (with over 1200 people), while others found it rather modest for a centrally located European city. Poland was represented by several dozen people, including a group of 15 from Nowy Sącz who travelled by a small bus, which turned out to be a very convenient solution as it allowed for additional sightseeing along the way, such as visiting the Postojna Caves in Slovenia.

    The theme of the congress was “Migration – a Fusion of Human Values,” which is very relevant in Europe. Italy has a strong Esperanto community, as evident from their annual Italian congresses. They made an effort to provide a rich program and excellent organizational conditions.
    Everything took place in the vast complex of the Turin Polytechnic University, which has around 36,000 students. Many participants stayed in dormitories near the congress center, not luxurious but reasonably priced. The congress center building had many air-conditioned halls, which allowed for simultaneous lectures and concerts. The main events took place in the Zamenhof Hall, located in a beautifully renovated building that used to be a train repair workshop and is now designated for cultural events.

    The first major concert was the national evening, but unfortunately, it was a disappointment for most attendees. The artists, groups, and speakers failed to elicit positive reactions from the audience. A particularly unsuccessful element was expert’s lecture on Dante and the recitation of excerpts from the “Divine Comedy” in various languages, which would have been great for an audience of specialists and those interested in the subject, but not suitable for a national evening. The evening concluded with a magician’s performance, but his tricks were only visible to those in the first two rows, leaving the others unable to see.
    Other general events were more successful and at the appropriate level. The invaluable comedy duo of Georgo Handzlik and Saŝa Pilipowicz presented several new sketches, with the funniest one being “Ekskurso,” which humorously highlighted the problems of a semi-automatic telephone booking system for trips.
    Concerts, as always, garnered significant interest. There were veteran artists like Kajto, Michael Bronŝtajn, JomO, Kimio, and newcomers like Grazią Barboni and Birda Flut triopo.
    A significant attraction was the ball in the Royal Palace gardens, which was open to all participants free of charge.

    One of the standard features of congresses is Esperanto courses and the opportunity to take the KER (Esperanto Exam of Competency) exams and language courses of the host country, in this case, Italian.
    We could learn not only about the language but also about Italy from several lectures, for example, “The Etruscans – Italy’s Aborigines” or “Maria Montessori – a great educator famous in many countries for her unique educational system for children.

    Esperantists who had previously observed the auction during UK did not miss it this time either. The organizers found a worthy successor to Professor Tonkin (who, due to health reasons, can no longer conduct the auction) in Boris Mandriola. His theatrical voice and humorous comments won the audience’s favor and allowed for the collection of a substantial sum to support the 109th congress in Tanzania.
    Our distinguished Polish Esperantist, Roman Dobrzyński, almost daily showed his films and provided commentary on his rich activities in the Esperanto movement worldwide and the interesting places he had visited.

    The Piedmont region is exceptionally worth visiting, so excursions were organized to all the most interesting places.
    Our group, having its own vehicle, planned visits to Milan and the Aosta Valley, including the cities of Aosta and the Fénis Castle, reaching as far as the base of Mont Blanc.
In Milan, we started by seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” for which tickets need to be ordered well in advance. Although the time allocated for admiring the fresco is only 15 minutes, there are always crowds eager to see it.
    The next stop was La Scala Museum. Visitors could also sit in a box and experience a bit of the opera performance atmosphere. Many artists dream of performing here, and many famous spectators have occupied seats in the audience.

    However, Milan is primarily known for its Cathedral adorned with hundreds of lace-like sculptures that cover the entire building. What is most impressive is not the interior but rather a walk on the designated paths on the roof, where you can see these works of art up close.
    Being in Turin, of course, we also explored the city.
    In the chapel where the “Shroud of Turin” is kept, the most famous fabric in the world, you can watch a film about the shroud in Polish language. The original shroud is only made available on very important church holidays.

    There are two places in the city that offer magnificent views of the city. One is the Basilica of Superga with a 75-meter-high dome and a crypt containing 62 tombs of the famous Savoy family.
    The other is the Mole Antonelliana (the tower), a symbol of the city that is featured in all materials about Turin.
Sports enthusiasts will find the Olympic Stadium and Juventus Turin’s stadium here. Car enthusiasts know that the Fiat factory is located in Turin, and those interested in more ordinary things can visit the Lavazza Museum.

    It’s a pity that the congress only lasts for a week. It’s a bit too short to fully participate in the program and explore all these wonderful places.

Bożena Kocyk

    In Siedlce, this year, from July 20th to July 23rd, the 40th Congress of the Polish Esperanto Association took place. It was exceptionally well-attended, and it was further honored by the presence of Zbigniew Antoni Kruszewski, the 90-year-old grandson of Antoni Grabowski, who was granted honorary membership in the PEA.
    CEM (Central Esperanto Meeting) was represented by three Esperantists. Event took place in the halls and the building of the library at the Siedlce University of Natural and Humanistic Sciences. As usual, there were interesting lectures, such as the one by Radio Maciej Jaskot’s editor, titled “Let’s Take Care of Our Language.” The connections with Siedlce by Ady Sikorska-Fighiera were presented by Roman Dobrzyński, who also has family ties to the area.
    Esperantists in Siedlce celebrated the 115th anniversary of their Esperanto movement together with all the participants. There was communal singing with Halina Różanek and a white and green jubilee cake.
    Blind poet Halina Kuropatnicka Salamon from Wrocław read her poems, and Kaŝi and Wojtek Ławnikiewicz performed in both Polish and Esperanto. With local guides, we explored the most important places and monuments in Siedlce, learning about Princess Aleksandra Ogińska, who was important for the city. Not only the city but also the surrounding areas were presented in an interesting way by a history and photography enthusiast and the vice-director of the Regional Museum in Siedlce, Sławomir Kordaczuk.
    On the last day, John Magessa from Tanzania spoke in an incredibly interesting way about Aruŝa, the city at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, where the next World Esperanto Congress will take place. Świętosław Fortuna, on the other hand, invited everyone to the next PEA congress in Kalisz next year.

Bożena Kocyk