In autumn 2017, more Krakow locations will receive literary patronage. On the eve of Krakow’s major literary event, the Conrad Festival and the accompanying Book Fair, we revive memories of i.a. artists connected with Nowa Huta, a district which is very interesting and eccentric, though nowadays slightly overlooked. New literary benches have already sprung up in the Town Hall Park, and more will soon appear in Krakow’s centre. This is yet another outcome of the City Codes project, implemented by the Krakow Festival Office, holder of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature title.
The project commemorates, among others, the following contributors to Nowa Huta’s literary heritage: Wojciech Bogusławski, Jan Brzechwa, Maria Dąbrowska, Ryszard Kapuściński, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Hugo Kołłątaj, Tadeusz Konwicki, Paweł Majka, Artur Międzyrzecki, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Renata Radłowska, Wiktor Woroszylski and Stefan Żeromski. New centre-based literary benches will bear such names as: Maciej Słomczyński, Tadeusz Śliwiak and Jerzy Waldorff-Preyss.
All benches are furnished with special plates bearing author names and special QR codes. Once scanned, a QR code takes you directly to a website with an author’s biography and fragments of his or her work. All existing literary benches and Krakow’s selected major literary locations can easily be found by means of the website’s interactive map.
The City Codes project is much more than a well-endowed multimedia e-library which helps document Krakow’s multi-century literary life and accommodate text fragments, invaluable archival recordings, photographs and biographies of key literary and cultural figures. Scattered across urban space, these visually appealing plates of literary patrons effectively promote the UNESCO City of Literature brand among Krakow citizens and visitors. Thanks to this project, the prestigious title enjoyed by Krakow for four years now is more prominent in public space. It also epitomises the concept of urban space interwoven with literature.
Two years ago, 100 benches in Krakow’s Planty received their literary patrons, and since then the list of author names has steadily grown. Currently, Krakow boasts almost 180 literary benches, a testimony to the city’s potent literary heritage. At the City Codes library, one can access archival audio recordings of i.a. Adam Zagajewski, Ziemowit Szczerek, Ewa Lipska, Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz, Ryszard Krynicki and Julia Hartwig. Other artists and cultural activists such as singers, actors, writers, cultural journalists and literary critics joined the project as lectors. Texts are read out by i.a.: Grzegorz Turnau, Bronisław Maj, Szymon Kloska, Zośka Papużanka, Marcin Wilk and Łukasz Dębski. Thanks to our partner publishers, the City Codes e-library website also offers fragments of audiobooks and audio recordings of i.a. Marek Kondrat, Jerzy Trela, Borys Szyc and Maciej Stuhr.
For more on the project, go to: www.kody.miastoliteratury.pl