– 29th of May 2014 – Festival of the Arts, University College London, Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts G08, Roberts Building, Malet Place.
– 5th of June 2014 – Muzalewska Gallery, Poznań
“Ponglish” is a series of visual-text works made using drawing technique and network game. This cycle deals with the phenomenon of contemporary (e)migration and relates changes in the fabric of my native tongue – Polish, which began to evolve into new forms based on a large number of borrowings from the languages of my host countries.
Through a series of pictures I would like to address the complex nature of changes occurring in the era of multiculturalism and migration.
In my artistic practice I am interested in the period of social changes associated with the political transformation of Eastern and Central Europe after 1989, and following the opening of the borders of the EU (2004), which have become the turning point for the building of a new socio-political identity, including the linguistic identity of a key group of migrant people in the UK.
The starting point for my work has become a Polish-English slang (Ponglish) which is a fascinatingly complex hybrid of the two tongues.
Working class Polish people who migrated to the British Isles, Canada and the United States have created a language that contemporary anthropologists of a culture referred as a „Ponglish” [Polish + English] or English Polish and American Polish. This language is combined with elements which emerge from both: English and Polish languages: morphemes, grammatical structures, syntactic elements and idioms which are used in the same blocks of verbal or written communication. In those mixes also appear so called „false friends”, cognate phrases and metaphases (translation word by word), which create new senses, often opposite in etymological meaning. Through the Polonization of English, new words are formed as whole phrases, hybrid words or neologisms, which are the standard forms of communication between Poles who live in the UK, Canada and USA [eg. Polish community in Ottawa in Canada, where are still migrating Poles directly from the UK or Polish community in Chicago in USA where are based an old emigration wave].
Jaromir Jedliński, about the exhibition at the Muzalewska Gallery, O.pl
Joanna Szczepanik, Ponglish w Jukeju, „Obieg”, 3. 09. 2014
Photo coverage by Zdzislaw Orlowski.
More pictures at the Muzalewska Gallery web site.