As a corollary to the Kolberg Year Celebrations, please see an English-language interview with Andrzej Bieńkowski, a painter, photographer, and ethnographer who answers Agnieszka Grzybowska’s questions about Kolberg’s legacy and the social isolation of individuals living in rural areas of Poland. The full interview is available at

I was lucky enough to have met three violin players whom I consider geniuses. Because just as there are brilliant painters, and composers, there are brilliant village violin players. They were Józef Kędzierski, Kazimierz Meto and Marian Bujak. It was a huge experience for me as a painter. By the way, I was too young to get to know Nikifor well enough. I only met him once, but I had the sense of meeting a brilliant artist. Friendship bonded me with those three violin players – I was aware of their extraordinary character.”

-Andrzej Bieńkowski