Foreign Rights

We represent translation rights to books by the following authors:

  • Marek Beylin
  • Max Cegielski
  • Rafał Matyja
  • Patryk Mogilnicki
  • Jacek Mrowczyk
  • Piotr Rypson
  • Karol Sienkiewicz
  • Filip Springer
  • Marcin Wicha



Marek Beylin (b. 1957), is an art historian and columnist of Gazeta Wyborcza. He writes on politics, social issues, democracy and culture. This is his third book.


Titles represented:


Fervour. The Life of Alina Szapocznikow

Ferwor. Życie Aliny Szapocznikow, biography/art, MSN&Karakter 2015, 384 pages, 40 images


Rights available: World


The first biography of Alina Szapocznikow, one of the most distiguished women artists of the 20th century. The pre-war towns of Kalisz and Pabianice, the ghetto in Lodz, concentration camps, Prague (almost completely untouched by war), Warsaw and Gomulka's Thaw, revolutionary Paris, New York in the 1970s – these are the most significant landscapes, though by no means the only ones, in this compelling tale. Alina Szapocznikow was  as secretive as she was intriguing, and she refused to talk of many events of her life. Marek Beylin traces her footsteps, presenting the progress of her artistic career and painting a gripping portrait of this incredible woman. In the pages of his book Szapocznikow emerges as if she was alive: bold, restless, eager to drink life to the dregs. Beylin presents her oeuvre against artistic, political and social background of Poland and Europe, describing her struggle with the matter and quest to discover new forms, her amazing sculptures and the influence they exerted over younger generations of artists. The book presents a parade of critics and artists that Szapocznikow knew, the circle of her friends, including Wojciech Fangor, Marcel Duchamp, Roland Topor and Niki de Saint-Phalle, and her two great loves: Ryszard Stanisławski and Roman Cieślewicz. This is a book about  life and art that oozed eroticism, as well as about the roles that women artists are forced to play. It shows how great art and an amazing personality cannot and will not be contained by any rigid norms.


Max Cegielski (b. 1975), is a journalist, writer, radio & tv presenter, a globetrotter, as well as a curator of various artistic projects. Author of 7 book; for the book on Istanbul entitled The Eye of the World he received the Beata Pawlak Award in 2009.


Mikołaj Długosz (b. 1975), is a photographer and visual artist. He works mainly with found materials from archives, the internet, flea markets etc. He published several photo-books. He cooperates with weeklies and magazines (Polityka, Playboy, Viva, Voyage, et.al.).


Titles represented:


The Great Player. From Samogitia to the Roof of the World

Wielki gracz. Ze Żmudzi na Dach Świata, reportage, Karakter & NCK 2015, 480 pages, with photographs


Photographs: Mikołaj Długosz


Rights available: World


Bronisław Grąbczewski is a mysterious figure: a famous traveler who joined the Tsar's army, one of the most important players in the Great Game - the spy rivalry of Russia and Great Britain in Central Asia in the XIX century. He even made it to the pages of Verne's and Kipling's novels, although he preferred to call himself an explorer and discoverer, and not a spy.


Max Cegielski and the photographer Mikołaj Długosz set out on a journey following the footsteps of Grąbczewski. They want to decipher at least some of the mysteries surrounding him, and to see what life looks like today in the places he described over a hundred years ago. They travel from Samogitia, where Grąbczewski was born, through Russia and Usbekistan to Pamir, the Roof of the World. This double journey - in time and in space - sheds new light on our history, on colonization and the ambiguous relations between Poland and the East. Offering a gripping description and interpretation of historical facts, this is biographical essay mixed with full-blooded reportage.


Rafał Matyja


Titles represented:


Emergency Exit

Wyjście awaryjne. O zmianie wyobraźni politycznej, political essay, Karakter 2018, 184 pages


Rights available: World


Patryk Mogilnicki is an illustrator, specialising in press and book illustration. He works with all major Polish media outlets, designs CD covers and draws comic books. His work has been featured at  various Polish and international exhibitions. He lives in Warsaw.


Titles represented:


No Offence. New Polish Illustration ed. by Patryk Mogilnicki

Nie ma się co obrażać, design/ilustracja, Karakter 2017, 320 pages, 400 images


Rights available: World


Twenty-two young Polish illustrators: who are they; what inspires them; how do they work; how do they see - and draw - themselves? The group of illustrators chosen by Patryk Mogilnicki includes artists with various styles and working in different aesthetics: Ada Buchholc, Daniel Gutowski, Gosia Herba, Paweł Jońca, Ola Niepsuj, Dawid Ryski i Maciej Sieńczyk. What they have in common is a distinctive and original voice, and they determine new trends in Polish illustration.

The book contains over four hundred colour illustrations, among them the self-portraits of all the illustrators, prepared especially for this publication.


Jacek Mrowczyk


History of Graphic Design

Historia projektowania graficznego, design, Karakter 2018, 328 pages


Rights available: World


Piotr Rypson (b. 1956) – art critic, art and literature historian, journalist. In the years 1990 – 1994, editor-in-chief of the artistic periodical “Obieg”. Head Curator of the Collections and Gallery at the Contemporary Art Centre in Warsaw’s Zamek Ujazdowski (1993 – 1996). Guest lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, USA (1993 – 1999). Author of six books, as well as numerous articles, essays and reviews printed in Poland and abroad. Currently deputy director for research at the National Museum in Warsaw.


Titles represented:

  • Against All Odds. Polish Graphic Design 1919–1949
  • Mieczysław Berman. The Designer of Polish Communism


Against All Odds. Polish Graphic Design 1919–1949

Nie gęsi. Polskie projektowanie graficzne 1919–1949, Karakter 2011, 408 pages, colour illustrations


Rights available: World


A panorama of a lost world – Polish graphic design in the period between 1919 and 1949, with achievements that are outstanding for their innovation and radical concept. The story of how visual language evolved in Poland as the country entered the modern age. A portrait of everyday life in that fascinating, though sometimes peculiar country that was the Second Republic, the Poland of World War Two and the first few years following.


Against All Odds is a painstakingly reconstructed universe of graphic design – for everything from book covers, posters, flyers, packaging (did you know how pre-war condoms were wrapped?) and periodicals to postage stamps; it reviews all aspects of that bygone world’s social, economic and cultural life: from the works of the leftist propagandists to the advertising used by various trades and industries and on to such amazing curiosities as the photomontage book cover for poems by Polish fascists. Against All Odds also provides an articulate guide to the main currents running through artistic design and documents the creation of the modern age: the experiments of the futurists and the achievements of functionalism and constructivism.


Today’s designers will find here inspiration and proof that astonishing design solutions are not the sole province of the 21st century, art critics and historians will be provided with an exhaustive and competent reference source, and the foreign reader will discover a previously unknown and rather exotic body of creativity, while all readers will enjoy this fascinating, lively story of Poland’s colourful and diverse everyday life between 1919 and 1949.



Mieczysław Berman. The Designer of Polish Communism

Czerwony monter. Mieczysław Berman - grafik, który zaprojektował polski komunizm, Karakter 2017, 320 pages, colour illustrations

Rights available: World


Karol Sienkiewicz is an art critic and art historian, a contributor to the culture website dwutygodnik.com. In 2012, he was awarded the Jerzy Stajuda Prize for Art Criticism.


Titles represented:

  • They Will Dance Who Used to Tremble
  • Patriot of the Universe. Paweł Althamer


They Will Dance Who Used to Tremble

Zatańczą ci, co drżeli, art/history of art/essay, MSN&Karakter 2014, 492 pages, 50 images


Rights available: World


A bold portrait of a group of best-known Polish contemporary artists, who started their artistic careers in early 1990s. The protagonists of this book, whose actions takes us to Warsaw, Budapest, Cairo, Sopot and Venice, are: Zbigniew Libera, Katarzyna Kozyra, Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski. Karol Sienkiewicz describes their art not only in terms of their actual output but also commenting on the rapidly changing Polish social and political landscape. Sienkiewicz does not limit his interests to art only. Instead, he is more focused on analysing events in which art played a key role, and discussing the way in which artists defined their attitudes towards the surrounding reality and contributed to the formation of the dominant discourse. He also uncovers the circumstances surrounding the creation of widely discussed works of art, such as the Pyramid of Animals or Lego. Concentration Camp. His humorous and captivating tale captures the essence and particular rhythm of a time of great change.


Patriot of the Universe. Paweł Althamer

Patriota wszechświata. O Pawle Althamerze, Karakter & MSN 2017, 724 pages, colour illustrations


Rights available: World


Filip Springer (b. 1982) reporter and photographer, author of books on urban space and architecture and winner of the National Centre for Culture and Ryszard Kapuściński “Herodot” Foundation bursary. His books have been nominated for the most prestigious literary prizes in Poland and translated into English, German, Russian and Hungarian.


Titles represented:

  • Ill-Born. Polish Post-war Modernist Architecture
  • Mortar. The Life and Work of Zofia and Oskar Hansen
  • City Archipelago


Ill-Born. Polish Post-war Modernist Architecture

Źle urodzone. Reportaże o architekturze PRL-u, reportage, Karakter 2012, 272 pages, ISBN 978-83-62376-12-4


Rights sold:

  • Germany (DOM Publishers)
  • Russia (Ad Marginem)


Books and exhibitions like David Crowley’s Cold War Modern have shown that the architectural ideology of late modernism were a key front in the ideological war between the two sides of the iron curtain. In the countries of the former Soviet bloc that architecture has since ended up on the trash heap of history. Subsequent exhibits, books, and other publications defend or simply describe the art created under communism, including socialist modernism, which turned out simply to be “ill-born,” as Filip Springer’s terrific title suggests. With the innocent eye of someone born just seven years before Poland’s first free elections, this journalist and photographer examines monuments of a prior era and asserts that “after all, it’s good architecture.”


Ill-Born is also a book of photography – made up of valuable archival items as well as new photographs by Springer himself – as well as a collection of reportage on these bastard-buildings. These two halves complement each other wonderfully. Beyond the stigmatized constructions themselves, Springer highlights the fates of the architects, thereby illuminating the reality of the Polish People’s Republic in a rich and nuanced light. Springer investigates what happens to the wartime generation, which sought out some local version of modernity. Particularly fascinating are their games with power.


Filip Springer, then, places his emphasis on people, not on architecture. Nevertheless, the lives of the buildings since 1989 also emerge from among the pages of this book, in the rebuilding and fencing in of socialist spaces, in the ruination of their structures by new investors. The question remains open: are these artistically brilliant, modern symbols of the official style of “socialism with a human face” actually livable?

(Max Cegielski, courtesy of the Book Institute)


Mortar. The Life and Work of Zofia and Oskar Hansen

Zaczyn. O Zofii i Oskarze Hansenach, reportage, Karakter 2013, 264 pages, ISBN 978-83-62376-24-7


Nominations and Prizes:

shortlisted for the Kapuściński Award 2013


Rights available: World


A brilliant biographical reportage about a pair of visionary Polish architects, who lived and worked in the People’s Republic of Poland. The history of Oskar Hansen and his family could serve as basis for a movie scenario: the son of a Norwegian and a Russian spends ww ii in Vilnius, where he joins the Polish partisan movement; after the war he studies architecture. During a scholarship in Paris he works for Jeanneret, he gets to know great painters like Picasso, whom he gives some valuable advice. Despite offers to stay in the West, he returns to Poland where he and his wife Zofia work as architects and develop the idea of the Open Form. Their designs are bold, unusual and suited to the needs of ordinary people – who would object to having a flat made to measure? Alas, in the bleak reality of communist Poland their ideas undergo modifications beyond the architects’ control. The outcome is e.g. the ill-named housing estate Przyczółek Grochowski in Warsaw, a place you do not choose, but are sentenced to. This is where Filip Springer, the author of the book decides to settle. He wants to know what it is like to live in a place where the theories of the Hansens were implemented, and to understand, why their innovative ideas did not quite work out in reality.


Springer writes about original personalities, extraordinary human fate and brave architecture, as well as about our mentality. About a vision of saving the world based on faith in man and a sense of duty towards others, and the lack of such a vision in today’s world. An engaging, thought-provoking book.


City Archipelago

Miasto Archipelag, reportage, Karakter 2016, 320 pages


Rights available: World


Thirty one cities, several dozens of amazing stories. Filip Springer travelled across Poland from Słupsk to Krosno and from Suwałki to Wałbrzych, in order to investigate how people live in the cities that lost their voivodship capital status after the administrative reform of 1999. He researched urban stories and spoke to local citizens. He met entrepreneurs, artists, activists and teachers, visited local workshops and cafés, bankrupt factories and fast developing companies, train stations and McDonald’s restaurants. He asked the inhabitants what they are proud of and what they would like to change in their cities. Springer’s book is like a mosaic presenting an ambiguous, flickering image of Poland – a land where anything is possible and nothing is as simple as it initially seems. Some of the characters’ fears and hopes are shared by all Poles, country and city dwellers alike. Visit our channel on Vimeo to sneak a peek of the final result.


Marcin Wicha (b. 1972), is a graphic designer, author of book covers, posters and graphic signs. Occassionally he writes. His texts and cartoons have been published by various magazines and weeklies. He is also the author of several successful books for children.


Titles represented:

  • How I Stopped Loving Design
  • Things I Didn't Throw Out


How I Stopped Loving Design

Jak przestałem kochać design, essay, Karakter 2015, 264 pages, 15 images


Rights available: World


I wasted my childhood and youth. I didn't listen to the Rolling Stones or Depeche Mode. Graphic designers were my rock stars.


At Piotr Wicha's house, slippers, pouffes and wall units are strictly prohibited. Export-rejected clogs make wooden noise with every step. Posters by Świerzy, Lego sets, father's drawing board and the recommendations column in a lifestyle magazine become carefully defended outposts in his war against the ugliness of Communist Poland. Then the architect's son becomes a designer. The political system changes. The chief enemy, however, is still the same, only clothed in more garish colours. 'Our logotypes are too small!', fret the clients. In the media emotions rank higher than facts, while discussions about colours give graphic designers heart attacks... 'Fall in love with design', entreat TV screens in Warsaw trams. Carefully planned space orders hotel guests around much more efficiently than security people. Whoever said that design was to make the world a better place?


This collection of short, flamboyant texts resembles images in a caleidoscope, reflecting the esthetic face of Poland in the last forty years. It combines humour and erudition with a good dollop of literary talent. Marcin Wicha proves that design is by no means innocent. But even though designers often experience truly grotesque situations, their job never ceases to amaze and delight.


Things I Didn't Throw Out
Rzeczy, których nie wyrzuciłem, prose/essay, Karakter 2017, 198 pages

Rights sold:
Spain (Baltica Editorial)

Samples available in English and Russian

 

Prizes and nominations:

  • Polityka Passport 2017 - winner
  • Gdynia Literary Prize - shortlist
  • Nike Literary Prize - longlist
























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