Speaking Out Against Hate
JTS Library Director Dr. David Kraemer speaks to Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, a critically acclaimed Polish poet and rock musician who speaks out against Holocaust denial, genocide, and the rise of right-wing nationalism in Poland.
Kwiatkowski’s poems explore not only the conflicted pasts of Central and South-Eastern Europe, but also the paradoxes of contemporary genocides, such as that in Rwanda.
As the poet explains, “I’m intrigued by the combination of ethics and aesthetics in one person, one life, one story.” His minimalist poems have been perceived as quasi-testimonies, “full of passion, terror and disgust,” provocative and lyrical utterances delivered on behalf of the murdered and the dead.
In the words of The Times of Israel, “Polish post-punk band [Trupa Trupa] rages against populism, hatred, and Holocaust denial.” Further, “Trupa Trupa vocalist and songwriter, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski — shaped by his ancestors’ imprisonment at Stutthof concentration camp—speaks truth to power through punk poetry.”
About Grzegorz Kwiatkowski
Grzegorz Kwiatkowski is a Polish poet and musician, and member of the band “Trupa Trupa.” Kwiatkowski has published seven books of poetry, and his poems have been published in many literary magazines: “Modern Poetry in Translation,” “New Poetry in Translation,” “Poetry Wales,” and others. His music has been reviewed and broadcasted by some of the world’s biggest outlets—including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, NPR, BBC, and others.
The band Trupa Trupa made its first international appearance in 2015 with the album “Headache” published by a British label Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records. They have been recording and performing new music ever since.