This situation is a violation of constitutional rights of the citizens to safety, freedom of expression, freedom of artistic creation and freedom to access to cultural goodsOn June 20 2014, the director of the Malta Festival Poznań Michał Merczyński cancelled the presentation of Rodrigo Garcia’s show “Golgota Picnic”. The decision was made after warnings from the police which declared that in the face of mobilized extreme right-wing groups it is not able to assure the safety of spectators and artists. This situation is a violation of constitutional rights of the citizens to safety, freedom of expression, freedom of artistic creation and freedom to access to cultural goods. The State desisted from its fundamental obligations towards its citizens. As for the decision to cancel the performance, what it means in practice is accepting the introduction of an ideological preventive censorship.
That is why we have called on all the people of theatre and all the citizens of Poland to a collective act of revolt against violence in the public area and to the defence of the freedom of speech, opinion and artistic expression.
Golgota Picnic – do it yourself!
We – artists, spectators, producers, critics, activists across Poland – are taking things in our own hands. This is a grassroots initiative to organize a GOLGOTA PICNIC across the whole country. Rodrigo Garcia supports our cause and gave us permission to use the text and the video recording of his performance.
Here are 3 possible ways of using the script
- For theaters: reading the text with actors.
- For libraries: organizing a meeting around the text, to read it together and discuss.
- Collective reading out loud. This will happen in Poznań itself, on 27.06 at 7PM at the Plac Wolności (Liberty Square!)
This is the Poznań scenario
We will print the text in many copies.
Everyone who opposes what happened will collect in this public space.
The text will be given out to the group.
We will read the text together, in one common voice. Loud. Very loud.
If you are an organization in Poland and would like to take part in the PICNIC (or if you have questions) write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Golgota Picnic” was supposed to be seen by a few hundred people in Poland. Now, thousands of people will discover it.
The (national) Theatrical Institute supports our initiative, as does the Malta Festival itself.
We appreciate the support, however, it is important for us to underline that the initiative was created by a completely independent, grassroots group. We are thrilled to see People from all around the country share our feelings and want to join in this common project of making something good out of this terrible situation.
The list of places that will have PIKNIKs keeps growing
Until now, the larger confirmed events are:
POZNAŃ, Plac Wolności, godz. 19.00 (group reading)
BIAŁYSTOK, Teatr TrzyRzecze (projection and reading)
BYDGOSZCZ, Teatr Polski im. Hieronima Konieczki (projection)
LUBLIN, Centrum Kultury (projection)
Narodowy Stary Teatr im. Heleny Modrzejewskiej (reading)
Teatr Nowy (reading and projection)
TR Warszawa (projection)
Teatr Studio im. Stanisława I. Witkiewicza (reading)
WAŁBRZYCH, Teatr Dramatyczny im. Jerzego Szaniawskiego (reading)
WROCŁAW, Teatr Polski (projection)
Among other places which have declared the intention of having a PIKNIK are Łódź, Gdańsk, Katowice, but also smaller towns like Kazimierz or Pszczyna, and even groups of Poles abroad, as far as Sarajevo or on the island of… Malta! No, really.
Poles across the country also sign the letter of the Citizens of Culture to the President of the Republic: “Culture needs to be protected from censorship, ignorance and violence with the same force which is used to defend our motherland’s independence”. The petition, signed by over 7000 people so far, is available here:
Photo by David Ruano| @ Malta Festival