Explore the world with Arkadiusz Ziemba: Red Island

16th November 2016, Wednesday | 5:30PM | multimedia room of the Emigration Museum, 1 Polska St. | free admission

He is the only Madagascar specialist in Poland and he speaks Malagasy fluently. On 16th November, Arkadiusz Ziemba will talk about the incredible nature of the Red Island and the culture of its inhabitants, the Malagasy. The meeting will be held at 5:30 PM, at the Emigration Museum.

Madagascar is the forth largest island in the world and it is referred to as the seventh, smallest continent. Around 90 per cent of the island’s wildlife are endemic organisms, which cannot be found on any other continent, including tens of lemur species. It is inhabited by 18 tribes. Most of them still cultivate the religious beliefs which have originated within their culture. Worshipping the dead, who serve as intermediaries between God and the living, plays a crucial part. The Malagasy believe that the dead have a direct impact on their lives.

Arkadiusz Ziemba’s passion for the Red Island began when he read the book Ambinanitelo, the Hot Village by Arkady Fiedler, who spent almost two years on the island. He went there in 1937, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ request, to check the potential for colonization and Polish settlement on the island. Before World War II, Poland considered having colonies, like most of European countries. “Poles to Madagascar” was the slogan of Liga Morska i Kolonialna (the Maritime and Colonial League) at that time. Fiedler was not the first Pole to go to Madagascar. At the end of the 18th century, Maurycy Beniowski, a member of the Bar Confederation, a soldier and a traveller of a Polish descent built Fort Augusta on the top of one of the mountains around Ambinanitelo. He also founded the Louisbourg district at the mouth of the Antanambalana River, near the Antongila Bay.

The Red Island is Arkadiusz Ziemba’s second home. He goes there several times a year. In 2008, he took a month long cycling trip together with Piotr Sudoł and Zbigniew Sas. They followed the traces of Arkady Fiedler and received a special mention at the Kolosy competition. In 2012, Ziemba and Zbigniew Sas travelled from the spring to the mouth of the Antanambalana river and went areas, which no white man had visited before. The expedition received the “Best Trip of the Year” title in the National Geographic Travel competition.

The meeting at the Emigration Museum will not only give you a chance to look at fantastic photographs, but also at unique objects. You will also be able to listen to the sounds of Madagascar and watch a video footage of the dead being worshipped on the island.

Explore the world with…

The Museum hosts meetings with unique personalities who have visited places connected with Polish emigration during their expeditions. We can listen to their stories about extreme aspects of exotic trips as well as Polish traces and situations connected with our natives, whom the guests have encountered in the most remote corners of the world.

Arkadiusz Ziemba

The only Pole who speaks Malagasy and is not a missionary as well as the only Madagascar specialist in Poland. A photographer and organiser of trips to Madagascar. Lives in Szczecin and Antananarivo. In 2012, he and Zbigniew Sas covered the entire length of the Antanambalana River, from its spring to the mouth. No one had managed that before. The expedition received the “Best Trip of the Year” title in the National Geographic Travel competition. In 2008, together with Piots Sudoł and Zbigniew Sas, they received a special mention in the “travel” category of the most important travelling competition in Poland – Kolosy – for their cycling trip through the jungle and mountains of Madagascar, to the Ambinanitelo village, following in the footsteps of Arkady Fiedler.



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