Talk: The Elixir of Freedom by Michael Moran
The changes and economic transformation of Poland in recent years is nothing short of miraculous but this cultural renewal has come at a price. Michael Moran, author of the popular literary travel book A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland (London 2008, Warsaw 2010) will give a non-partisan talk on the positive and negative changes within various social strata in both country and city since accession to the European Union. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, as a pendant to his talk he will also examine with illustrations the eternal qualities of those less visited areas of the alluring Polish landscape.
Michael Moran has led a varied and adventurous life. Born and educated in Australia and Europe, he spent his twenties wandering the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia. Subsequently he obtained a position at a Swiss Educational Foundation in London where he lectured on a variety of subjects ranging from the music of Fryderyk Chopin and François Couperin to British art and architecture and the colonial history and culture of the South Pacific region. At the same time he pursued a career in music studying the piano and harpsichord professionally. His historical novel,Point Venus, set in the former British penal settlement on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific,was successfully published in Australia.
Posted for some years to Poland shortly after the fall of communism, his life-long fascination with Melanesia drew him to the work of the enigmatic Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski. This inspired a return to the South Seas and a book: Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific (Harper Collins, London 2004) translated into Polish as Za Morzem Koralowym (PIW, Warsaw 2008). This book was short-listed in a group of six titles for the prestigious 2004 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in the UK.
He visited and worked in Poland on many occasions since the early 1990s finally settling there permanently in 2004. His experience of the country and its people resulted in A Country in the Moon : Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland (Granta, London 2008) translated into Polish as Kraj z Księżyca: Podróze do serca Polski (Wydawnictwo Czarne, Warsaw 2010). He has recently completed the biography of a glamorous but forgotten concert pianist who performed for royalty and the aristocracy of London, Paris and Riviera of the 1920s and 1930s. It will be published under the title The Pocket Paderewski: The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London for many years, has lectured there on both Papua New Guinea and Poland and is an incessant traveller. He lives in Warsaw.
After the talk, you can join our speaker, Michael Moran for a special dinner in the restaurant. You can book this directly with the restaurant on 020 7589 0101 for just £18.
Date: 29 September 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Member Ticket Price: £10 including a glass of wine.
Non-member Ticket Price: £15 including a glass of wine.
Student Ticket Price: £10 including a glass of wine.
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