Pępek świata (Navel of the world)

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1. Antonina Nowacka – Henryka Pustowójtówna (6:39)
2. Krzysztof Topolski – Widzący / The Seer (6:23)
3. Mateusz Bąkała, Sebastian Mac, Sabah Al Ani – Krwawe łzy / Tears of Blood (4:56)
4. Patryk Zakrocki – Tornado (6:40)
5. Kamil Szuszkiewicz – Pierścionek Janiny (Bombą trafieni w stallach) / Janina’s Ring (Hit by a Bomb in Stalls) (4:35)
6. emiter – Mazacze / Splatterers (7:00)
7. Maciej Połynko – Ten, który bombę złapał / Bomb-catcher (5:00)
8. Sebastian Mac – Siła ognia / Force of Fire (3:16)

Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born co-creator of contemporary cultural studies, frequently emphasised the value of historicisation and contextualisation as intellectual tools enabling the cognition of and immersion into the intricacies of numerous events, hotbeds of activity, points of human concentration and action over the course of time. Not only to all the musicians involved (Krzysztof Topolski, emiter, Kamil Szuszkiewicz, Antonina Nowacka, Maciej Połynko, Patryk Zakrocki, Sebastian Mac, Mateusz Bąkała, Sabah Al Ani), but to literary protagonists inspired by the chronicles, archives and urban narratives as well, Lublin – the title “navel of the world”, the axis mundi of sonic and textual stories collected for the sake of this time-specific (the year 2017 marks Lublin’s 700th Jubilee) and simultaneously timeless (although the oldest story dates back to the late sixteenth century, this historical event could potentially happen at present) publication – is one of such focal points.

Having participated in the work on the musical arrangements of the accounts of the past and on the creation of the aural illustration of the sites visited in the jubilee year, these unconventional, progressive artists have managed to find innumerable sources of marvel, surprise, and reverie deep in the Lublin matter. By listening to these recordings and reading literary miniatures that accompany them, we become familiar with among others the story of the eighteenth-century “splatterers”, whose clandestine undertakings make a straight-to-screen gothic horror movie script, we are touched by Jan Gilas’ war-time altruism, or imagine the havoc wrought by the tornado that tore through Lublin in the July of 1931. Together, almost as if in an image evoked by the poetic lines of Julia Hartwig, we tie up “the broken thread / leading us through a labyrinthine maze / that crumbled in numerous spots”, looking at and listening to Lublin, the city being shown in an increasingly wider context and ceaselessly rediscovered anew.

Bartosz Wójcik

(Quotation: Julia Hartwig, Gorzkie żale, Kraków 2009, p. 14-15.)

Preface – Bartosz Wójcik
Texts – Dominika Majuk
Translation – Bartosz Wójcik
Mastering – Marcin Dymiter
Collages and layout – Ludomir Franczak
Photographs and archives: State Archives in Lublin, “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre,
Anna Kędra’s private collection, public domain
Printed by Akapit
Publisher – Kaiser Söze Foundation

The compilation is funded by the Municipality of Lublin as part of the city’s 700th jubilee celebrations (1317-2017).

Many thanks to all the sound artists participating in the project, as well as to Marcin Dymiter, Ludomir Franczak, Anna Kędra, Tomasz Kulbowski, Kinga Liwak, Dominika and Emil Majuk, Karolina and Marcin Małek, Małgorzata Paprota, Bartosz Wójcik, Edmund Kuryluk, Agnieszka Zachariewicz, and the House of Words (Dom Słów), Salon Syrena, Centrum Badania Możliwości.

All rights reserved
Kaiser Söze Foundation 2017