Jacek Kuroń Festival 2014, June 5-17


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he tenth anniversary of Jacek Kuroń’s death will likely abound with projects that are typically sentimental, commemorating the “good Jacek” – a hero of Polish history. His figure, still remembered and referred to, is, however, rarely a real inspiration to think critically about contemporary Poland and its future challanges. It is worth noticing that it was disagreement with the existing world and feverish passion for improving things that constituted the core of the political, social and, more broadly, existential thought of the author of the famous “Faith and guilt” and co-founder of the KOR (Workers’ Defence Commitee). Additionally, our initiative will co-incide with the quarter-century of Polish political transformation – which was co-authored by Kuroń, heavily criticized during his lifetime, and later proved to be the source of many of the current manifestations of social injustice.

UPDATED: Jacek Kuroń Festival video – How it happened



Jacek Kuroń Festival 2014, June 5-17



[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he main idea of the festival is to present critical diagnoses of Polish socio-economical conditions and possible solutions to problems – in the light of the values and themes, which Jacek Kuron dealt with his entire conscious life, especially in areas such as work, education, neighborhood, community and the shape of our coexistence with other people. We want to present these areas particularly in terms of injustice – different forms of inequality, discrimination and exclusion. jacek-kuron-autobiografiaAt the same time, we want to emphasize that they are not “natural” or worse, default by individual character, but are a consequence of the particular shape of social institutions, prevalent values and adopted political solutions.

Numbers of Jacek Kuron’s articles and essays, speeches, and, above all, his political commitment are in fact an inspiration to act now and, in the name of the values espoused by him, to approach today’s divisions, conflicts and social issues. The aim of debates with prominent social thinkers and intellectuals is to show the audience a broader – including global – context of the rising issues.

Various forms of activities – including outdoor shows and illustrated publications will give the opportunity to get the “message of Jacek Kuroń” as widely as possible (not just “a sentimental memory” for his friends and related circles).



[list_item icon=”entypo-home”]Venue: Political Critique, Foksal 16 St., Warsaw[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”entypo-play”]Debates can be followed live on-line on our live-streaming channel[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”entypo-retweet”]We invite to follow and participate in twitter debate at #FestiwalKuronia[/list_item]


[accordion title=’JUNE 5, 16.30 / UKRAINE IN THE SIEGE, EUROPE AT THE CROSSROADS’ open=’true’]Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Moderation: Slawomir Sierakowski, Political Critique[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 5, 19.00 / CAPITALISM – AFTER THE TRANSITION, BEFORE RENOVATION?’ open=’true’]Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University (New York)
Moderation: Slawomir Sierakowski, Political Critique[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 6, 19.00 / IS THE LEFT THE FUTURE OF CHRISTIANITY?’ open=’true’]Prof. Malgorzata Kowalska, University of Bialystok
Prof. Gianni Vattimo, Università degli Studi di Torino
Moderation: Tomasz Stawiszyński, Political Critique[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 10, 15.30 / EDUCATION: REVOLUTIONARY CHALLENGE?’ open=’true’]Prof. Gesine Schwan, Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance (Berlin)
Dr. Krystyna Starczewska, founder and director of the I Social High School in Warsaw
Moderation: Jacek Zakowski, Tygodnik Polityka [/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 11, 19.00 / TRANSFORMATIONS OF POLAND AND UKRAINE’ open=’true’]Prof. Timothy Snyder, Yale University
Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post
Moderation: Slawomir Sierakowski, Political Critique[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 12, 19.00 / SOCIAL EUROPE – ANSWER TO THE CRISIS?’ open=’true’]Prof. David Ost, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Prof. Jerzy Osiatyński, Institute of Economic Sciences, member of Monetary Policy Council at The National Bank of Poland
Dr. Guenther Horzetzky, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, Energy, Building, Housing and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia
Moderation: Agnieszka Lichnerowicz, Radio Tok Fm [/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 13, 19.00 / THE ETHOS OF REBELLION – REVOLUTIONARIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE ‘ open=’true’]Prof. Jaroslaw Hrytsak, Catholic University in Lviv
Prof. Marci Shore, Yale University
Moderation: Michal Sutowski, Political Critique[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 14, 16.00 / SOLIDARITY ACCORDING TO WOMEN’ open=’true’]Venue: barStudio | In the framework of Big Book Festival

Shana Penn, author of Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland
Ludwika Wujec, collaborator of the Workers’ Defence Committee
Alice Wancerz-Gluza, Centre CARD
Aleksandra Niżyńska, Foundation Institute of Public Affairs
Moderation: Maria Klaman, Political Critique [/accordion]


Admission for all events is free

[accordion title=’JUNE 8, 19.30, STUDIO THEATRE / BARSTUDIO’ open=’false’]Opening of the exhibition Jacek Kuroń – Lifeline

The exhibition Jacek Kuroń – lifeline is built form the thoughts and fragments of Kuroń’s writings showed in the context of intellectual and social history of Poland. Kuroń’s life was a clear testimony of ideas and values ​​in which he believed, but also a testimony of the history of Polish People’s Republic and the Third Republic of Poland. We can see in Jacek Kuroń’s life the most important moments, dilemmas, problems and challenges associated with the evolution of our society and our world. His words and thoughts incite us to question: what social change, what kind of the community wants and what democracy would Jacek Kuroń fight four today? What he would like to tell us? What kind of inspiration he could provide us?

Jacek Kuroń – lifeline is a joint project of Political Critique, barStudio and Theatre Studio, realized in cooperation with the CARD center within the framework of the Jacek Kuroń Festival.[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 13-15, URSUS FACTORY. URSUS 2014′ open=’true’]A series of artistic and social events in the former Ursus Tractor Factory in Warsaw


[accordion title=’JUNE 14, SATURDAY, DEFILAD SQUARE / BAR STUDIO’ open=’true’]11.00 – 13.30 / CIVIC WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN (min. 6 years old)

Why and how to demonstrate? Animation: Sylwia Chutnik / 1989 – what happened 25 years ago? – workshop of “tearing down the walls” Animation: Sylwia Wisniewska


The repertoire of socially engaged songs performed by Cracow Revolutionary Choir other people invited to participate in the performance – friends and collaborators of Jacek Kuroń.[/accordion]

[accordion title=’JUNE 15, SUNDAY’ open=’true’]10.00 COMMON SPACE LABORATORY / Start: Terrace of the Theatre Studio

Theater workshops for high school and middle school students. Animation: Performeria of Warsaw

12.00 FOLLOWING JACEK KUROŃ – ENGAGED TOURS / Start: entrance to the Stefan Zeromski Park / Wilson Square

We invite the residents of Warsaw to participate in thematic walk to places associated with Jacek Kuroń, important for his opposition, social activities in the times of transformation. We not only want to remember the story of Jacek Kuroń’s life, but also scratch his social background, vision, political and social demands. We will follow the footsteps of Jacek Kuroń in Zoliborz thanks to Danuta Kuroń.

Guidance: Danuta Kuroń


[accordion title=’JUNE 17, TUESDAY, 19.15 / LETTERS IN TOUCH – PERFORMATIVE READING OF THE LETTERS OF GAJA AND JACEK KUROŃ’ open=’true’]Venue: foyer of the Studio Theatre

Performed by: Agnieszka Glińska and Lukasz Lewandowski

The letters that will read come from 1965-1982. They are not only the testimony of the unusual strength of feelings and love between Gajka and Jacek, but also a phenomenal document of the time.

The book “Letters in touch. Gaja and Jacek Kuroń ” will be released by the Centre CARD in October later this year. [/accordion]

Questions or doubts? Feel free to ask!


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.