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Welcome to "Przekrój"!

In case you wonder where you are, and especially since you probably can’t pronounce the name of this website, here’s a little help. “Przekrój” (pron. ‘p-SHEH-crooy’) is the oldest magazine about society and culture in Poland. Now it’s also available in English!

“Przekrój” Magazine brings to the English reader some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in such fields as culture, society, ecology and literature. Stand aside from the haste and fierceness of everyday news and join us now!

Strona główna

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Lematrix
Stanisław Lem

Lematrix
The Illusory Worlds of Stanisław Lem

Magazine / culture
The books of science fiction writer Stanisław Lem contain interesting – if disturbing – visions of the world around us as a mere illusion. Piotr Paziński

Czytaj
The Fig Tree Remembers

The Fig Tree Remembers
A Lesson in Co-Existence

Magazine / culture
In her latest book “The Island of Missing Trees”, novelist Elif Shafak gives voice to a fig tree, raising pertinent questions about borders and belonging. Paulina Wilk
Czytaj
To Know Beautifully

To Know Beautifully
Where Art and Science Meet

Magazine / science
Art and science might seem unconnected and dissimilar, yet the combination of these two disciplines is as wonderful as it is suprising. Szymon Drobniak
Czytaj
The Shackles of Freedom

The Shackles of Freedom
On the Unbearable Burden of Choice

Reading / society
In modern European and American societies, we are encouraged to celebrate our individual liberty. But, paradoxically, sometimes freedom can paralyse our minds. Paweł Franczak

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Captain Nobody
short story

Captain Nobody

Reading / literature
We imagine how Captain Nemo might have looked, had he been a Polish aristocrat fighting Russian tyranny, as Jules Verne originally intended in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. Adam Węgłowski
Czytaj
Shall We Meet at Half Past Lust, or a Quarter to Folly?

Shall We Meet at Half Past Lust, or a Quarter to Folly?
The Charm of Raymond Peynet’s ‘Lovers’

Magazine / culture
A Polish artist and graphic designer reflects on his connection with Raymond Peynet’s illustrated ‘lovers’, whose naive simplicity shaped his own vision of love. Maurycy Gomulicki

Czytaj
The Queen of Backyard Games
cross-border reportage

The Queen of Backyard Games
A European Witch Hunt

Reading / society
What does it mean to be a witch in 21st-century Europe? Our new cross-border reportage tries to answer this question by looking for the granddaughters of the witches that Europe was never able to burn. The heroes of the final part include the Kraków-based artist and activist Cecylia Malik. Ada Petriczko
Czytaj
Obrazek
Joanna Grochocka
Artwork / Illustrations
Czytaj
October in History

October in History
Diary of an Eternal Pessimist

Reading / society
Our eternally pessimistic correspondent gives his historical highlights for the month of October. Adam Węgłowski
Czytaj
How a 15-Minute 'Awe Walk' Drastically Improves Mental Health
big think

How a 15-Minute 'Awe Walk' Drastically Improves Mental Health

Reading / science
Move over, forest bathing. Derek Beres

Zobacz
Why You Shouldn’t Want To Live Forever
After Skool

Why You Shouldn’t Want To Live Forever

Media / Video
We present you with another video by After Skool.
Czytaj
Minsk’s Dirty Secret

Minsk’s Dirty Secret
Inside Europe’s Cleanest City

Reading / society
Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is ranked among the top three cleanest cities worldwide. On the surface, this is certainly true. But is this a good thing? And what happens when we peek underneath its shiny veneer? Hanna Liubakova

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always
Poematic

always

Reading / literature
“twenty-five years later, I spit blood into the tub...” Marcin Orliński presents a piece by a Polish poet. Urszula Honek
Czytaj
22nd October 1909

22nd October 1909
Anniversary of the Month

Reading / science
On this day in 1909, Poland’s most important shrine – the Jasna Góra Monastery – was broken into; the painting of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa was stolen. But who committed the theft? Adam Węgłowski

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A Life in Song

A Life in Song
The Tempestuous Music of Violeta Parra

Magazine / culture
The singer-songwriter Violeta Parra pioneered the renewal of traditional folk music in her native Chile. She left behind a number of albums, as well as a trail of heartbreak. Aleksandra Lipczak
Czytaj
Revenge on the White Bourgeois

Revenge on the White Bourgeois
An Interview with Burhan Qurbani

Reading / culture
Director Burhan Qurbani talks about his latest film “Berlin Alexanderplatz” and the mirror it holds to contemporary German society. Jan Pelczar

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A Splash of Pepper Vodka

A Splash of Pepper Vodka
A Polish Approach to Illness

Reading / society
In Poland, a number of folk remedies exist for treating common health ailments. Far from being useless, these remedies do have health properties and help people deal with the drag of being unwell. Paulina Olszanka
Czytaj
Serotonin Plays a Key Role In Patience and Impulse Control, Research Says
big think

Serotonin Plays a Key Role In Patience and Impulse Control, Research Says

Reading / science
There is a neurological link between serotonin levels and the brain’s ability to control impulses and patience levels. Jaimee Bell

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funeral
Poematic

funeral

Reading / literature
“to dust you won’t return / not quite.” A poem by a contemporary Polish poet. Ida Dzik
Czytaj
Pessimism Is Irresponsible

Pessimism Is Irresponsible
An Interview with Anne Applebaum

Reading / society
Anne Applebaum talks with Aleksandra Lipczak about being a ‘Polish mother’, and her fascination with Poland, politics and history. Aleksandra Lipczak

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As Loud as Possible

As Loud as Possible
Urban Noise Pollution

Magazine / society
When was the last time that you were truly surrounded by silence? City life is inevitably always accompanied by noise, and it’s a growing problem for our health. Paulina Wilk
Czytaj
Marcin
Polak
Marcin Polak

The Ideal Walk

Reading / society
A philosopher discusses different kinds of walking.
Czytaj
Włodzimierz Karol
Pessel
Włodzimierz Karol Pessel

Swept Up by Cultural Scholars

Reading / culture
Garbology might seem like a rubbish research field, but it can give important insights into human behaviour.
Czytaj
Franco’s Black Pearls
Fiction

Franco’s Black Pearls

Reading / literature
A century or so ago, Vilnius was a very different place to today. Kristina Sabaliauskaitė takes us on a trip past the streets and characters of the city once known as Wilno, in this excerpt from her collection of stories about modern Lithuania’s capital. Kristina Sabaliauskaitė

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Script Hunting

Script Hunting
An Interview with Tomasz Bąk

Magazine / science
Neurolinguist Tomasz Bąk talks about the letters and symbols of various world alphabets, as well as how brain diseases can affect language. Jan Pelczar
Czytaj
In Tumulus and Wilderness

In Tumulus and Wilderness
The Burial Mounds of Białowieża

Magazine / science
The Białowieża Primaeval Forest is one of the oldest forests in Europe. It is also home to a number of centuries-old burial mounds. Jędrzej Wojnar

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Keep Your Fasciae Healthy!
healthy living

Keep Your Fasciae Healthy!
The Body’s Universal Connector

Magazine / science
Fasciae, the connective tissue that envelopes all of our internal organs, is one of the body’s last mysteries. Slowly but surely, its importance to our health is becoming clearer. Marcin Kozłowski
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The Pandemic’s Black Swan Song

The Pandemic’s Black Swan Song
A Brief History of Global Diseases

Reading / society
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we keep hearing that we are living in the ‘new normal’. But how exactly have previous pandemics changed world history? Adam Węgłowski

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Lily Briscoe’s Painting

Lily Briscoe’s Painting
On a Fictional Work of Art

Reading / culture
A writer channels the spirit of Virginia Woolf to reflect on the significance of a painting from her novel “To the Lighthouse”, both for the character who painted it and for the author herself. Grzegorz Uzdański
Czytaj
Our Day of Reckoning Won’t Stay
short story

Our Day of Reckoning Won’t Stay

Reading / literature
1967, the Polish People’s Republic. An upstanding officer of the Citizen’s Militia, one Sergeant Teofil Olkiewicz, is sent to a metalworks to investigate the theft of a drill. He might come back with more than he’s expecting... Ryszard Ćwirlej

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The Dilemma of an Electron

The Dilemma of an Electron
Do Elementary Particles Have Consciousness?

Reading / science
Panpsychists believe that everything, no matter how small, has consciousness. This micro-perspective extends to the most fundamental level of physics. Łukasz Lamża
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Fantasy Forests

Fantasy Forests
The Primeval Trees of Popular Culture

Magazine / science
As natural, primeval forests across the world continue to shrink, might we look towards popular fantasy fiction to better understand how we must preserve the gifts of nature? Michał Książek

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Genetic Marginalia

Genetic Marginalia
Can We Really Inherit Memories?

Magazine / science
The genome is like a cookbook; an old one with stains and notes in the margins. A biologist describes the fascinating discoveries of epigenetics. January Weiner
Czytaj
A Flip-Flop on Spitsbergen
Mind the climate

A Flip-Flop on Spitsbergen
The Future of the Barents Sea

Magazine / science
One of the world’s greatest ecosystems is dying before our eyes due to global warming. Our polar correspondent recounts the tragedy of the Barents Sea. Mikołaj Golachowski

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Better Not to Talk About It

Better Not to Talk About It
An Interview About the ‘Pishtaco’

Magazine / society
Elżbieta Jodłowska – an ethnologist and researcher of the culture of the Indigenous Andean Quechua people – talks about the bogeyman figure of the ‘pishtaco’ in the Andes. Tomasz Pindel
Opinion
Read
Paulina
Wilk
Paulina Wilk

What Lies Beyond the City

Read

Against Apocalypse

Julia
Fiedorczuk
Julia Fiedorczuk
Read
Mikołaj
Łoziński
Mikołaj Łoziński

Learning to Swim

D7F36433-AB77-42AC-8E67-BB41F9646E9D

Czytaj
What Comes After Growth?
Mind the climate

What Comes After Growth?
An Interview about Food Sovereignty and Cooperativism

Magazine / society
Wojciech Mejor – a leading figure in the Polish post-growth movement – talks about food sovereignty, food cooperativism and alternatives to capitalism. Katarzyna  Michalczak
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Julia
Fiedorczuk
Julia Fiedorczuk

Against Apocalypse

Reading / society
What does the word ‘apocalypse’ mean? And how can we understand it in the context of an Earth hurtling towards climate catastrophe?
Czytaj
Life-Giving Dust
Mind the climate

Life-Giving Dust
From the Sahara to the Ocean

Magazine / science
Saharan dust is a phenomenon that starts in the desert and brings multiple benefits to oceans and plants across the whole of the globe. Michał Brennek
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A Rubbish Island
Mind the climate

A Rubbish Island
The Problem of Microplastics

Magazine / society
Microplastics are almost imperceptible to the human eye. Yet their impact on the environment is shocking – as evidenced by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Piotr Żelazny

Audio

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What Does the Amazon Rainforest Have to Say? ♫

What Does the Amazon Rainforest Have to Say? ♫

Media / Audio
American acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton takes us on a sound trip to the first quiet park on Earth, where we can hear the gentle sounds of the Zabalo River, nestled deep in the Amazon rainforest.
Zobacz
Mr Barker, Oedipuss and Us ♫

Mr Barker, Oedipuss and Us ♫

Media / Audio
We have more in common with cats and dogs than some people think – especially when it comes to cheekily deceiving each other. Original text by Ludwika Włodek.
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The Oak Chronicles ♫

The Oak Chronicles ♫

Media / Audio
An encounter with an ancient oak tree named Bartek, as experienced and retold by a biologist and poet. Original text by Urszula Zajączkowska.
Zobacz
Life in a Sealed Jar. A Brief History of Terrariums ♫

Life in a Sealed Jar. A Brief History of Terrariums ♫

Media / Audio
Closed terrariums are currently in vogue for urban gardeners, but their history runs all the way back to 19th-century botany. Original text by Joanna Dobkowska.

Group 2

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The Pear of Love

The Pear of Love
A Recipe for Roasted Aubergine

Magazine / society
The aubergine has a bitter reputation. Yet it is a versatile fruit that can be fried, baked, stewed, steamed, or – best of all – long roasted. Michał Korkosz
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Roots, Japanese-Style

Roots, Japanese-Style
A Recipe for Braised Burdock

Magazine / society
Burdock root appears to be ordinary, but – as the cuisine of Japan, China and Korea attests – it can easily be transformed into something quite delightful. Łukasz Łuczaj
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Nicola’s Fungi

Nicola’s Fungi
An Interview with an Urban Mushroom Farmer

Magazine / society
Nicola Dominici talks about opening his vegan restaurant and becoming an urban mushroom farmer in Miami. Ewa Pawlik
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Backyard Fungi

Backyard Fungi
How to Grow Three Types of Mushrooms

Magazine / society
Parasol mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and shiitake can all be easily grown in your backyard or garden. Find out how! Łukasz Nowacki