Polish festival celebrates Sunderland’s Eastern European community

Members of ICOS (International  Council Organisation in Sunderland) coming together to promote the forthcoming Made in Poland Festival which will be taking place in the city.
Members of ICOS (International Council Organisation in Sunderland) coming together to promote the forthcoming Made in Poland Festival which will be taking place in the city.
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POLISH people, the nation’s culture and arts will be celebrated in Sunderland for the first time.

Though many cities in the UK already honour their Polish population with a festival, Wearside had always lagged behind.

Now, Sunderland will be part of a regionwide Made in Poland festival.

Taking place at Infinite Arts in Nile Street, Sunniside, it will feature an exhibition of Polish posters, delicacies and short films.

Daniel Krzyszczak from multicultural group Icos (International Community Organisation of Sunderland) based in Foyle Street, said the festival is a great way to foster links between Sunderland’s increasingly diverse population.

“The festival has been held in Newcastle for a number of years as it’s easier to find venues and sponsors, but this year, for the first time, we have managed to include Sunderland,” he said.

“I am really looking forward to the activities in Nile Street and I’m really proud that it is taking place here.”

Polish posters will be on display from artists including Andrzej Krajewski, Andrzeja Pagowski, Eryk Lipiski, Franciszek Starowieyski, Jacek Neugebauer and Jan Młodoeniec.

Daniel added: “Polish short films will be shown as part of a bigger festival called Play Poland which already happens in many big cities.”

The Sunderland arm of the festival will take place on November 9, with other events taking place in Newcastle next month, including workshops in which visitors can learn how to create Polish culinary delights.

Daniel said: “It’s difficult to know the exact number of people from Poland now living in Sunderland until we get a census report but it’s a number that’s growing all the time.

“There are a few tensions but people are becoming more accepting.

“We now have Polish shops in Sunderland and we work with around 200 Polish people here as well as people from other countries.

“We held an exhibition about Poand at the Museum and Winter Gardens which was really well received and gave people an insight into Polish life.

“It was so popular that it was extended at the Winter Gardens and then taken to Monkwearmouth Station Museum as well.”

Sunderland’s Made in Poland Festival will be opened by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Iain Kay.

Twitter: @sunechokaty