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11 April
2019

There is no real revolution without dancing – OFF Stream at Miłosz Festival

The Miłosz Festival, the 8th edition of which will explore The Seizure of Power will once again make some room in the city space for experimental poetry. Stage, microphone, movement and voice, and above all, a sense of disagreement with the existing reality — all of these features will characterise this year’s OFF Stream at the Miłosz Festival.

On the 6th–9th of June, poets from all over the world will come to Krakow once again, and they can surely expect that their uncompromising forms of poetic expression will enjoy a warm and cordial welcome. Join us for a meeting with experimental, performative and noisy poetry, poems that sound the best with electronic music, bass guitar and applause of the audience. “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution!” — these words, inspired by works by Emma Goldman, perfectly reflect the formula of this year’s OFF Stream at Miłosz Festival. 150 years after the birth of the famous writer, feminist and activist, we are going to start the revolution on the Vistula with dance and your applause. And it’s going to be loud!

Seizure of power requires crossing boundaries. The guests of this year’s OFF Stream are far from following the well-trodden paths in their ways of artistic expression. Athena Farrokhzad, an Iranian poet, critic and translator, will cross the boundaries of poetic form. It will be no different in the case of Tatev Chakhian — an Armenian poet who combines poetry with visual art — and Jurij Zawadski, a poet and performer from Ternopil. Landschaft — two young experimental poets, Grigory Semenchuk (Lviv) and Ulrike Almut Sandig (Berlin) — will combine their own poems with hip-hop, electropunk and pop music. Koraly Dimitriadis, a Cypriot-Australian poet and actress, author of Love and F—k Poems — a best-selling volume of poetry in Australia, as well as Jakub Kornhauser — poet, essayist, winner of the Wisława Szymborska Award. Can you hear us now? SIKSA will make sure that there’s just enough decibels and lyrical rumble. “Rebellion without having to organise tenders & clickbait controversy” — that’s what the most punk poet in Poland has to say about herself. Sorry, that’s what punk is all about now.

The works of all invited poets — regardless of differences in literary expression — refer to or are marked by revolution, war and, above all, violence, including symbolic one. Their experimental artistic gesture is an attempt to respond peacefully to violence. Is it a gesture of a seizure of power? Or rather a sign of giving it up in favour of an attempt to establish a new order? OFF will present what has so far been unknown, but there will be no shortage of regular staples characteristic for this festival stream. Kolanko No. 6 will host a poetic slam, in which poets will fight for power over the audience using the only weapons allowed in this battle — their words and a microphone. They will be accompanied by an international performance of the Drop the Mic project (Iceland, Estonia, Norway).

OFF is all about its audience, and it has been a long-standing tradition of this stream that the festival audience takes on the role of its creators. The youth stage of the OFF Stream will showcase students of a Krakow-based high school, who will conclude the Engage! Young Producers project. The editors of the KONTENTquarterly, the aim of which is to establish an independent platform for the exchange of ideas between young authors, will also get an opportunity to speak their minds, since the Festival will also coincide with the première of a new issue of the magazine.

Young, experimental poetry from all over the world will become a battleground in a struggle for social change and your recognition — from the 6th to the 9th of June in Krakow during the Miłosz Festival. Admission to all festival events is free of charge.

The Miłosz Festival is organised by the City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office and the City of Literature Foundation.