ONE RACE – HUMAN RACE. MUSIC AGAINST RACISM ON VINYL

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has announced the release of the historic album ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’, for the first time on vinyl.

The compilation record was initiated by the late Marcin Kornak, a human rights activist, poet and the founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. Marcin’s friends emphasize that ‘the new release of the album is dedicated to his memory’.

The record was previously released in 1998 on CD and cassette by the independent label QQRYQ Productions as the second part of the ‘Music Against Racism’ series. It has gone down in history as a statement of resistance against intolerance and violence.

The double album contains tracks from artists representing a diverse range of musical styles and worldviews. Some of the contributions come from British bands known for their anti-racism activism, Chumbawamba and Zion Train, with others from renowned Polish musicians such as Robert Brylewski (with Falarek), Tymon Tymanski (with Kury), the bands Alians and Sweet Noise, and even Polish hip-hop star Liroy (rapping anti-fascist lyrics from Bertolt Brecht). Trebunie-Tutki, a multi-generational family band, combined Polish Highlander folk with Jamaican reggae in a track inspired by Bob Marley.

The album includes a special song: ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Stadiums’, which was recorded by members of punk rock groups Robotnik and Uliczny Opryszek, under the name WRS Band. The lyrics were written by Marcin Kornak and have become a manifesto of the ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ campaign, initiated in 1996: ‘The place for fascism is in the trash, let’s kick racism out of the stadiums, let’s reclaim football from the thugs’.

Marcin Kornak (1968-2014) was the founder and leader of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, the editor-in-chief of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ journal and the initiator of the groundbreaking register of hate crimes in Poland, known as the ‘Brown Book’. He was also a poet and songwriter, working with several independent rock bands. From the age of fifteen, due to an accident, Marcin Kornak lived with a physical disability. In 2011, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta – one of the highest honours in Poland.

In an appeal placed on the cover of the ‘One Race – Human Race’ record, he warned: ‘Racism is fostered through ignorance. It is the type of ideology which always leads to atrocity, because its main component is hatred against diversity. Humans, on the other hand, although the same in their nature, differ in their culture, religion, convictions, the colour of their hair, eyes, skin… and that is wonderful, because it makes this world and this life so fascinating. This is also why racial categorization is so dangerous – it threatens the most fundamental human right, the right to exist’.

Inspired by Rafal Drzycimski’s original 1998 design, the new album cover was designed by Witold Popiel, an alumnus of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

The record was released in collaboration with Jimmy Jazz Records from Szczecin, who specialize in promoting alternative music. The album’s release is as a commemorative product, and is not intended for commercial distribution.

For the first time, the ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’ record is also available in full on YouTube (full album) and Daily Motion: side A and Bside C and D.

This year, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association celebrates 25 years of activity. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996, which has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

To support ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and receive the double vinyl record, please contact info@neveragainassociation.org .

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also encourages musicians, record labels and promoters who are interested in releasing music tracks or videos as well as organising concerts (including online) with the promotional support of the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign to get in touch via email: info@neveragainassociation.org .

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/respect.diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

ROCK FOR PEACE

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association organized a special session entitled ‘Rock for Peace’ during the Global Peace Conference ‘Weaving a Shared Future Together’.

The online session on 19 June 2021 provided an opportunity to discuss issues of human rights, peace, protest, and reconciliation with well-known musicians as well as activists and intellectuals from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, China (Hong Kong), Poland, UK, and other countries.

The participants explored the relationship between rebel music and social movements, anti-racism, and peacebuilding. The examples included the Woodstock Festival of 1969 as a symbol of the peace movement, the Rock Against Racism campaign which emerged in reaction to racist attacks in the UK in the 1970s, the Music Against Racism movement initiated by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in Poland as well as other initiatives tackling the challenges of racism, xenophobia, and human rights abuses across the world, with a special focus on Asia.

The speakers included:

– Chris Salewicz, a London-based renowned music journalist and author of ‘Bob Marley: The Untold Story’, ‘Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer’, ‘Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography’;

– Kyaw Kyaw, the founder and leader of ‘Rebel Riot’, a punk band from Yangon, Myanmar, who was featured in the acclaimed documentary ‘My Buddha is Punk’;

– Julien Poulson, co-founder (with the internationally recognised singer Srey Channthy) of Cambodian Space Project, a freewheeling, psychedelic Cambodian rock group which led a revival of the Cambodian music scene;

– Riz Farooqi, founder of King Ly Chee, one of the first bands to introduce hardcore punk to China, editor of Unite Asia website (Hong Kong);

– Maqsoodul Haque a.k.a. Mac Haque, the leader of Maqsood O Dhaka, the leading jazz-rock fusion band from Bangladesh, featuring strong environmental and social messages of peace, harmony and cohesion;

– Pawel Gumola, the leader of Moskwa, a legendary Polish punk band established in 1983, he also played reggae with 5000 Lat and folk with R.U.T.A., a band using historical revolutionary lyrics from the region of Eastern Europe.

The event featured a newly released video ‘One Day’ produced by Rebel Riot in the aftermath of the recent military coup in Myanmar, a new song inspiring the protesters to stand against oppression. The session ended with an informal discussion and an improvised live solo set of songs with a positive message played by Pawel Gumola.

A full recording of the session will be available on the website of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association shortly.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

‘MUSIC AGAINST RACISM’ LIVES ON

The NEVER AGAIN Association has released a special vinyl record to commemorate Marcin Kornak, the late founder and chairman of NEVER AGAIN, one of the stalwarts of the Polish anti-racism movement. 20 March marks the fifth anniversary of his passing and 21 March is the UN International Day Against Racism.

Marcin Kornak (1968-2014) launched the high-profile campaigns ‘Music Against Racism’ and ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Stadiums’. As the editor-in-chief of the NEVER AGAIN journal, he initiated the ground-breaking register of hate crimes in Poland known as the ‘Brown Book’. For his civil society activism, Marcin was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Poland’s highest distinctions. Moreover, the Friends of Integration Association, working in the field of disabled people’s rights, granted him the title of Person Without Barriers (Marcin was physically disabled since he had had a serious accident at the age of 15). He was also an Ambassador for the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE).

The special EP entitled ‘I Know My Path is Right’ includes tracks dedicated to the memory of Marcin Kornak by two Polish rock bands closely associated with NEVER AGAIN: Qulturka and Skowyt. Their songs address the issues of bigotry and violence.

Marcin Kornak, who was also an acclaimed poet and author of alternative rock lyrics, launched the Music Against Racism campaign in 1996. Over the years, numerous artists representing diverse genres joined NEVER AGAIN to say no to racism and intolerance. The NEVER AGAIN Association released a whole series of records under a common motto of Music Against Racism, including hip-hop, electronic, metal, and reggae compilations. The campaign’s emblem accompanied more than 1400 concerts and festivals, while over 300 bands put it on their album sleeves – the open white-and-black palm of a hand symbolizes peace, friendship and diversity.

The cover for ‘I Know My Path is Right’ was designed by Witold Popiel, a NEVER AGAIN activist and graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. The record was produced in cooperation with the independent label Jimmy Jazz Records. As a commemorative item, it will be distributed free and will not be sold commercially.

Qulturka is a punk-rock band founded in Pila in 1995. Its partnership with NEVER AGAIN concerning anti-fascist actions dates back many years. In 2010 the band recorded an album called ‘White, Yellow, Red, Black’ in support of the Music Against Racism campaign.

Skowyt debuted with ‘Achtung, Polen!’ in 2011 released under the patronage of Music Against Racism. The band’s name – translated as The Howl – refers to Allan Ginsberg’s poem of 1956, which condemned soul-crushing conformity and helped kick off the entire Beat Generation.

The NEVER AGAIN Association was founded by Marcin Kornak in 1996. It has campaigned against racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. Among others, it has conducted large-scale anti-racist activities at the Polish Woodstock festival, the biggest open-air free music festival in Europe.

More info:

I Know My Path is Right’ EP (2019): https://youtu.be/gpaewF3bgVA

Music Against Racism (issued in 1997) – the cult classic album compiled by NEVER AGAIN: http://bit.ly/2SWRrtp

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

THE GLOBAL AND LOCAL STRUGGLE AGAINST RACIST EXTREMISM

The team of the ‚NEVER AGAIN’ Association has been working tirelessly on global and local challenges of xenophobia, discrimination, hatred and extremism. In the last days, members of the Warsaw-based anti-racist organization have actively taken part in several important initiatives on international, national, and grass-roots levels.

On 1-3 November, Adam Kuczynski represented ‚NEVER AGAIN’ at the international seminar ‚United for Equality’ organized in Paris by Maisons des Potes, focusing on the rise of the far right across Europe.

On 1-4 November, Natalia Sineaeva-Pankowska (a ‚NEVER AGAIN’ member and a Rotary Peace Fellow) participated in the ‚Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust’ conference held at Washington University in St. Louis (USA) as a panelist on the topic of ‎’Forgetting the Holocaust in the global era of remembrance’. ‎The biannual international conference is the premier intellectual gathering in Holocaust studies.

On 5-8 November, Collegium Civitas Professor Rafal Pankowski‎, co-founder of ‚NEVER AGAIN’, shared the association’s experiences at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar on Human Rights and Preventing Violent Extremism held in Yogyakarta (Indonesia). The ASEM is a forum for dialogue and cooperation established in 1996 to deepen relations between Asia and Europe. Members include 53 countries from both continents.

On 6 November, a public meeting about cooperation and solidarity with Polish anti-racists was held at Leith Community Education Centre in Edinburgh (organized by the Stand Up To Racism Scotland coalition) and the ‚NEVER AGAIN’ Association was represented by Witold Liliental.

On 10 November, an inclusive celebration of the centenary of Polish independence takes place in Hamilton (Canada), reaching out to Jewish, Muslim and other communities. The event, organized by members of the Polish-Canadian community and supported by the ‚NEVER AGAIN’ Association, is among a number of activities in the run-up to Poland’s Independence Day (11 November). In the last years, the national holiday was dominated by a large far-right march organized in the streets of Warsaw by extremist groups. Another such march is expected to take place on 11 November 2018, with the participation of islamophobic, antisemitic and neo-fascist groups from all over Europe.

Throughout November, ‚NEVER AGAIN’ organizes and supports initiatives promoting an inclusive approach to Polish identity, challenging the growth of ethno-nationalism through a social media campaign using a ‚Poland for All’ hashtag, a literary competition for young people and grass-roots activities including a series of rock concerts under the headline ‚Music Against Racism’, some of them linked with the commemoration of the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom (9 November 1938). For example, on 2 and 3 November, the well-known Polish band Dezerter played concerts with the ‚Music Against Racism’ theme in Malbork and Ostróda. On 3 November, a special ‚Music Against Racism’ show took place in Warsaw, featuring bands such as Human Rights, Uliczny Opryszek and RHL Ensemble, a new band formed by the legendary bard Janusz Reichel. ‚NEVER AGAIN’ activist Izabela Glowacka prepared and coordinated the promotion of anti-racist messages at the event.

On 9 November, Polish and Belorussian rock bands play under the ‚Music Against Racism’ banner at a festival co-organized in cooperation with ‚NEVER AGAIN’ by the local Museum and Belarussian Cultural Centre in Hajnowka.

On the same day, ‚NEVER AGAIN’ supports a conference entitled ‚Stop hate speech’ taking place in Zagorow with the participation of Bartlomiej Grzanka, director of the Kulmhof Death Camp Museum in Chelmno, and law enforcement representatives. A series of presentations and workshops takes place in local schools using materials provided by the ‚NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

On 12 November, the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival starts in Warsaw, also with the support of the ‚NEVER AGAIN’ Association. This year’s edition of the festival has a special significance in the context of an unprecedented wave of antisemitic statements in Polish media and politics which swept the country earlier this year.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association was founded in 1996 by Marcin Kornak (who passed away in 2014). ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has campaigned against racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ