By Kyle Price-Livingston
One of the really cool things I’ve gotten to do as an editor on this site is to travel to London to attend Comic Con. It was an incredible experience, partially because I love comics and web series, and partially because I had never been to London (or anywhere in England) before. I watch shows about it all the time, and felt like I had read enough Harry Potter to have a passing familiarity with the place, but upon arrival I was instantly struck by the vibrancy and diversity of the place.
As in other large, “melting-pot” type cities, thousands of distinct cultural groups exist, many of them united by ethnicity or a culture that primarily exists thousands of miles away. Their experiences of living and growing up in London happen through a different filter than that of your typical Brit.
One of the hallmarks of a tight knit culture is The Storyteller, the individual whose job it is to synthesize the community’s shared experiences into something which can be shown to outsiders and one another. These days, these tend to be novelists, playwrights, photographers, artists etc. In the case of the London Polish community, one of these storytellers is a filmmaker, and her name is Agnieszka Chmura.
Chmura’s “The Polish Londoners Project” is a documentary series detailing the day to day lives of some fascinating people. Only 4 episodes are currently available, but each focuses on a different (yet somehow equally fascinating) young person of Polish decent who is somehow connected with the arts.
I was moved by the honesty of this project. Serious, nonfiction work can be a tough sell, particularly as online content, and I have a great deal of respect for Agnieszka and everyone else involved in this project. It is important that real people be given the opportunity to understand one another, to build a shared experience and understand the contexts of people other than ourselves. My hat goes off to the whole team.