Sign language interpreter sends Uprising concert-goers wild
A sign-language interpreter has become an overnight sensation after her appearance on a live TV concert commemorating the Warsaw Uprising.
Viewers of the broadcast on TVP, the Polish state broadcaster, were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and engagement of interpreter Małgorzata Limanówka as she signed for deaf and hard of hearing viewers the content of patriotic wartime-era favourites at the concert 'Varsovians Sing (Un)forbidden Songs'.
The interpreter delighted viewers by showing the emotions in the songs from the Warsaw Uprising not only with her hands, but with her face and whole body.
The concert marked the 76th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising and was attended by President Andrzej Duda.
Viewers quickly took to social media sites to express their esteem for the interpreter from the Association of Polish Sign Language Interpreters.
Twitter user @WitkorK said: “The sign-language lady is amazing! She's even doing the emotions. A masterpiece,” in a post that included a clip of Limanówka signing along to Warsaw Children (Warszawskie Dzieci), which remembers the sacrifice made by children in the street fighting in Warsaw in 1944.
Meanwhile, a Twitter user with the account @RadekZKraka said, “The work of the sign-language interpreter is fascinating… even for those who can hear:))) Master level.”
Małgorzata Limanówka previously delighted viewers with her talent for signing music and song when she appeared on children’s channel TVP ABC on the programme Figu Migu.
She has also wowed audience with her sign-language interpretations of rap music and has worked for the President’s office providing sign language interpretation for selected news items on the website www.prezydent.pl.
After Saturday evening’s concert, Twitter and Facebook were soon bristling with clips. Many of the clips shared online were of Limanówka’s sign-language interpretation of the famous insurgent song Michla Palace (Pałacyk Michla).
The song is the war anthem of the Home Army Parasol Battalion, which took its soldiers from the scouting movement.
The lyrics were written by Józef Szczepanski, whose nom de guerre was Ziutek. The song is about how Ziutek’s company guarded the Michla Palace in Wola.
In the middle of August, Szczepanski performed the whole song to several insurgents from the battalion who were at the field hospital on Dluga street. Ziutek died in the Uprising in the first half of September 1944 at the age of 21.
The catchy tune is a favourite with the thousands of people who attend the commemorative concert every year. It is normally held on Piłsudski square. However, due to the lower expected turnout associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to the grounds of the Rising Museum in the Wola district of Warsaw.
The concert ‘Varsovians Sing (Un)forbidden Songs’ has become a tradition in Warsaw in recent years. It performs songs that were played by street performers and backyard orchestras during the German occupation in World War Two.
These songs was obviously forbidden by the occupying Germans and their performance was act of resistance.
The songs include titles that evoke the lives of ordinary Poles during the occupation, such as Heart in a Rucksack, The Leaves are Falling from the Tree, and Now it’s War He Who Trades Lives.
After the war, the songs were pulled together into the film Forbidden Songs (Zakazane Piosenki), first full-length feature film made in Poland after the war.