• Central European Magazine of Politics and Culture

Jacek Kuroń Festival


Action to me means passion, the sense of life. I have to act and do things – very important things beyond me and my life. Without activism I would be bored to death. Jacek Kuroń

Jacek Kuroń is still lively remembered, but rarely followed as an inspiration for critical thinking about contemporary Poland and challenges of the future.  In fact, it was his incredible passion for  improving the world that was the essence of the political, social and, in the broadest sense, existential vision. This year’s second edition of Jacek-Kuroń-Festival is dedicated to the challenge of solidarity in a diverse, but also deeply unequal society, as well as to the question how to mobilize, engage communities in collective actions. The main idea of the festival shall be centered around critical analysis of contemporary societies and global processes with a reference to the topics and values which Jacek Kuroń addressed through his whole lifetime, and which are connected to the challenges of the present.

kuron-festivalCome an join us! 2015 debates

May, 22, Friday, 19.00

Co-operation vs. Solidarity


Prof. Richard Sennet, London School of Economics, Columbia University

Prof. Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Moderation: Sławomir Sierakowski, Krytyka Polityczna

May, 25, Monday, 19.00

Different, equal, in solidarity


Prof. Thomas Meyer, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Editor in-chief „Neue Gesellschaft Frankfurter Hefte“

Robert Biedroń, President of City of Słupsk

Barbara Nowacka, politician, member of the Twój Ruch party

Joanna Wowrzeczka, Krytyka Polityczna Cieszyn

Moderation: Agnieszka Wiśniewska, Krytyka Polityczna

May, 29, Friday, 18.00

Special forces, KOR, Solidarność – from single groups to social movements


Prof. Karol Modzelewski

Moderation: Agata Szczęśniak, Krytyka Polityczna

June, 2, Tuesday, 19.00

Precarians of all countries


Prof. Guy Standing, London University

Prof. Klaus Dörre, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Moderation: Dr Dorota Szelewa

June, 3, Wednesday, 18.00

Is solidarity possible under capitalism?


Prof. Ha Joon Chang, Cambridge University

Prof. Marek Belka, Head of Polish National Bank

Moderation: prof. Jerzy Osiatyński, Member of Monetary Policy Council , Institute for Advanced Study

June, 8, Monday, 19.00

Barricades in the city of lemmings – the middle class


Prof. Andrzej Leder, Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study

Dr Przemysław Sadura, Warsaw University

Moderation: Dr Agnieszka Graff, Krytyka Polityczna, Institute for Advanced Study

June, 9, 2015, 19.00

Ukraine, Russia and the West (non)solidarity


Prof. Timothy Snyder, Yale University

Masha Gessen, publicist and writer

Moderation: Sławomir Sierakowski, Krytyka Polityczna



May, 28, Thursday, 19.00

Engaged University – discussion about university protests in Warsaw

Guests: student movement’s representatives, dr Maciej Gdula, Warsaw University

Moderation: Mikołaj Syska

June, 1, Monday, 19.00

Reflections on Violence

Guest: prof. Andrzej Leder, Sławomir Sierakowski

Discussion around the book by Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence

June, 11, Thursday, 19.00

Fenomenology of Maidan

Guest: prof. Marci Shore

Moderation: Michał Sutowski



June, 10, Wedensday, 19.00

Movie screening Independence without censorship, dir. Agnieszka Arnold

June, 11, Thursday, 21.00, Defilad Square, Palace of Culture

Movie screening Ursus znaczy niedźwiedź, dir. Jaśmina Wójcik

Introduction: Jaśmina Wójcik

Trust – workshops for children
MaMa Cafe, ul. ul. Wilcza 27 b

May, 29, Friday, 16.00

Trust and cooperation are important in many spheres of life: in family, in school, at work, in public…and not only human-beings are able to work in teams, but also bees, ants, fish and elephants. Following the two books Trust. Guide for children and Cooperation. Guide for children, both published by Krytyka Polityczna, we examine why solidarity and community are in the long run better strategies than reclusiveness and withdrawal from society.

Moderation: Anna Cieplak, Agnieszka Muras

Walk – Following in the footsteps of Jacek Kuroń’s ideas

Start: entrance to Stefan Żeromski park, pl. Wilsona

31 maja, niedziela, godz. 11.00

We invite the inhabitants of Warsaw to join our walk to the sites connected with Jacek Kuroń, and to those which were important for the activities of opposition and social engagement during transformation. The walk is designed to outline Kuroń’s biography, his figure and social background, his visions and social-political postulates.

Artistic intervention

Artists:  Joanna Wowrzeczka, Marta Frej

Joanna Wowrzeczka and Marta Frej explore in their works the issue of deeply rooted social inequality – against a background of culture, economy and ethics, they show violence and defenselessness, which are both the result and the reason of inequality. Both artists concentrate on individual and personal experiences, and appeal to the empathy of the audience, but also to the emotions evoked by humor and irony. In the project’s context they develop an exhibition, which will includes both artists‘ chief works.

VIDEO: Jacek Kuron Festival 2014

The ideas of Jacek Kuroń today

Hosted by

Krytyka Polityczna, ul. Foksal 16, Warszawa


Jacek Kuroń Festival 2015

Krytyka Polityczna
Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique) is the largest Eastern European liberal network of institutions and activists. It consists of the online daily Dziennik Opinii, a quarterly magazine, publishing house, cultural centres in Warsaw, Łódź, Gdańsk and Cieszyn, activist clubs in a dozen cities in Poland (and also in Kiev and Berlin), as well as a research centre: the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.

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