Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Road to Warsaw: Homing

This is day four in my "report" of the trip I made to Warsaw with the London Gay Men's Chorus for Europride between 15 and 18 July 2010. The days leading to the trip, the journey itself and the first evening in the city are described here. The second day can be found here. The third day is here.

Pictures of the day.

On the Sunday, the last day of the trip, I started the day (after breakfast and checking out) by a quick visit to the swimming pool of the hotel before joining a small group of people in the visit of a controversial exhibition on homoerotic art at the National Museum.

IMG_3666The exhibition gathered some lovely moving pieces and I enjoyed it but when it seemed to want to highlight the universal and timeless appeal of the theme, the exhibits themselves seemed to focus a little too on Polish artworks.

My favorite piece was called love and consisted of two white shirts hanging in the air and stuck together at the chest.

On the way back from the exhibition to the hotel, we went up to the 30th floor of the PNiK to the viewing platform that gives 360 degree views over Warsaw. This only confirmed my impression that Warsaw is not a pretty city.

Back to the hotel and unto the coach taking us to the airport. After some delays because of a downpour, we were soon in the air, hurtling toward Blighty.

Sitting next to me was a middle-aged Polish woman who soon asked me why there were so many men on that plane. We started chatting about our trip and Warsaw. Also on the plane was a member of the group which had been travelling with Nick Herbert. We got chatting when leaving the plane and in the massive queue to the passport check.

He said he is a political advisor to David Cameron on LGBT matters; one of those fabled gay tories! We exchanged cards and during the week, a meeting was organised in Downing Street (in the Thatcher state room!) to chat about LGBT History Month. Despite my follow up email, I haven't heard from him since that meeting, so I am guessing he got the information he wanted...

East London from the plane.

Finding myself at work on the Monday was a trying experience. My brain was clearly not yet back from Poland. This was I think the best trip I have had with the Chorus. I enjoyed it because of the (relative) importance our presence at Europride but also for the social side which I have experienced more than in previous trips.

I hope we tack part in more similar actions which, in my view, at least, get the Chorus closer to fullfilling its mission of fighting prejudice than several of the things was have done in the past.

The Chorus is now on holiday until September when we will start working on our Christmas show, Make Your Own Kind of Christmas (10th and 11th December at the Cadogan Hall).

All my pictures from the trip are available on my flickr account here.

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