A Royal Conversation: HRH Crown Princess Margareta of Romania at the RCI

The Hohenzollerns, the German dynasty that ruled Romania from 1866 until 1947  (when the communist regime was installed) are little known in the UK. But their stories involve a whole range of monarchs across Europe, including Queen Victoria. To an audience of over a hundred both standing and sitting, Princess Margareta of Romania presented her…

Paula Erizanu | July 19, 2016

Superstar Pope of the Cold War Era: John Paul II Remembered

Kraków,  the Polish city in which Pope John Paul II – then Karol Wojtyła – was once cardinal, has at a rough estimate more than two hundred churches, and they are of every variety: Gothic churches, Baroque churches, Romanesque churches; Bernardine churches, churches Franciscan, Jesuit, Capucine and Carmelite. There are churches which stand out proudly…

Robin Ashenden | July 11, 2016

In Praise of Polish London

“Dear Poles, I am so sorry to hear about what happened yesterday. We the Brits are grateful to you for fighting alongside us in the war and now for the enormous contribution you make to our society. We love you.” Thus read one of the messages the Polish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith received last week…

Robin Ashenden | July 5, 2016
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Dan Cruickshank: ‘Warsaw: Resurrecting History’ – reviewed by Olenka Hamilton

Dan Cruickshank is a writer, art historian, architectural consultant and broadcaster who’s made numerous history and culture programmes for the BBC including Around the World in Eighty Treasures;  Under Fire: Culture and Conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq; The Country House Revealed, and Warsaw: Resurrecting History. In London on February 16th, he descended on Ognisko Polskie’s…

Olenka Hamilton | February 21, 2016
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A Romanian Christmas, by Camelia Ciobanu

I’ll tell you who you are if you tell me what you do for Christmas. If, among family gatherings and presents, you happen to be a “sinner” and “a saint”, and feast on a multitude of pork dishes, chances are you could be Romanian… The Romanian Orthodox Church, St Gheorghe, in the City of London,…

Camelia Ciobanu | December 24, 2015
Sarajevo Siege Gathering Firewood by Christian Maréchal (2)

REMEMBERING BOSNIA: Sarajevo under Siege. Two books, reviewed by Judith Fagelson

In war-ravaged Bosnia in the 1990s, the UN’s largely symbolic interventions failed time and again to bring peace to the region. Partly as a result of the West’s inertia until the late stages of the war, tens of thousands of civilians lost their lives, and even more lost their homes. The siege of Sarajevo was…

Judith Fagelson | December 16, 2015

Golos: Ukrainian Voices (Gavanski & Levchenko 2015) reviewed by Judith Fagelson


Bulgarian actor Dolya Gavanski and Ukrainian filmmaker Fedor Levchenko have teamed up to make Golos: Ukrainian Voices, a sensitive and insightful documentary about modern-day Ukraine. Although the film takes the Euro-Maidan demonstrations of late 2013 and 2014 as its starting point, the unrest is really just a pretext. In fact, Golos: Ukrainian Voices would be…

Judith Fagelson | October 27, 2015