Lulla La Polaca, Poland's 82 year old Drag Queen
Born in 1938, Lulla has experienced and witnessed the Warsaw Uprising, World War II, the collapse of the Soviet Union, right through to the present COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, Lulla remained defiant in living a life true to her passion.
Lulla was born Andrzej Szwan and has lived in the Praga district of Warsaw since a child. The war had a profound effect on Andrzej, and it confirmed his decision to explore his creative side.
"I will never forget one scene that will remain in my memory. Our neighbor and his son Jurek went to the allotment gardens (...) and his poor son Jurek (I will never forget it) came back with his skull shot through (...) I still live with this image today. It was a huge tragedy and I will not forget the expression of Jurek's mother, his younger brother and all of us"
Originally this took the form of poetry. Andrzej would write his own poems and then perform them in different venues throughout the capital. This would later manifest into the art of drag, which he is better known for.
Lulla is a testament of strength and an inspiration to those who wish to pursue their passions in the face of adversity. She also remains a defining symbol of how queer culture is ingrained into the fabric of society in Poland, throughout history.
Lulla La Polaca existed for almost half a century. The New East has always been Queer.