BWKŁS Choir — Final Performance 25 March 2023, 4pm Galerie Molitor, Berlin

BWKŁS Choir with Agnieszka Bulacik, Bobo, Vilma Braun, Katharine Halls, Pablo Horn, Velizara Karaivanova, Agnieszka Kucharska, Wojciech Kosma, Marcioz, Yuki Nishimura, Ewa Sadowska, Marta Ruszkowska, Eli Vardzhiyska, Anastasiia Yezhyzhanska, Ola Zielińska.

Wojciech Kosma wrote “Bojące wszystkich krajów łączmy się” in a poem amidst the major Women’s Strike protests in 2020-2021 and mounting violence against queer people in his native Poland, returning to the phrase at the outset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year. The BWKŁS choir—an acronym playfully derived from Bojące wszystkich krajów łączmy się—comprises a group who sing in Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian, languages which are native to some members and entirely foreign to others. Reimagining the slogan of class struggle "Workers of the world, unite!", the choir’s refrain takes fear as a starting point, but moves through and beyond it with variations on the phrase that feel true to them: marzące (Polish for the dreamers), Вразливі (Ukranian for the vulnerable), Нежните (Bulgarian for the gentle) or Kiváncsiak (Hungarian for the curious) of all lands unite. It starts with words, but sung in unison, moves beyond them to create a visceral shared experience that forges a space for mutual and self-understanding. Such a practice nods to a lineage of utopian collectivity, as well as to spiritual congregations, including the Polish Catholic church and the mood and tonality of the Holy Masses that Kosma grew up with. Reconstruing the musical history of his own heritage to new means is central to Kosma’s broader practice, in which he draws on Polish folk and contemporary club music to conjure new, intimate mythologies imbued with a queer, anti-nationalist sentiment.