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Tarasiewicz, Leon

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Dziennik Gazeta Prawna - Poland | 23/08/2007

Leon Tarasewicz on Poland's plunge into provincialism

According to Leon Tarasewicz, a painter and one of Poland's most renowned contemporary artists, his country is in the midst of a profound crisis: "There was a time when we looked down on countries like Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. Today these countries are developing faster than Poland, and if there is a change of system in Belarus it'll be even more embarrassing because it, too, could overtake us... Using the word 'patriotism' at every opportunity and marking the many anniversaries with street celebrations - like at the markets in the Middle Ages - won't get us anywhere if it makes us forget the things that are really important. A young person can only be proud of his country if he is satisfied with what he sees. Big words and anachronistic views of the past simply aren't enough. The country is in dire need of true reform. Otherwise backwardness and relegation to Europe's backwaters could result."

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