The literary stream in the 27the Jewish Culture Festival


For the third time already the Krakow Festival Office, the operator of Krakow UNESCO City of Literature, is involved in the Jewish Culture Festival, inviting to its literary section. During the nine days of the Festival we will have for you opportunities for interesting talks and discussions, art and printing workshops, a special walk of Kazimierz with Łukasz Orbitowski, a meeting with Wojciech Jagielski and a talk with Charles King about his monograph Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul recently published in Poland.

The leading theme of the 27th Jewish Culture Festival, the greatest festival presenting culture created by Jews all over the world is Jerusalem. The events of the literary stream under the title Common Jerusalem – Jerusalem of Communities will focus on Jerusalem as an archetype of a divided city , while at the same time a city of reconciliation, the spiritual source of several religions, cultures and civilisations, in which history constantly interweaves with the myth, and which has to deal with the problems and challenges of the contemporary world.

The first meeting under the literary stream at the 27th Jewish Culture Festival will be a talk with Wojciech Jagielski on Sunday (25 June). The author of the memorable Modlitwa o deszcz and Wypalanie traw will discuss the development of conflicts and the future of reportage in the time of post-truth.

A day later the Jewish Culture festival will host Charles King – an American historian, expert in the history of Eastern Europe and Russia, the author of two monographs of Istanbul and Odessa published in Poland by Wydawnictwo Czarne.We will leave Jerusalem for a while to move to the Bosphorus, another multicultural melting pot personifying the complex fate of Europe and Asia. The meeting At Midnight in the Eye of the World will be moderated by Max Cegielski, whose own experience from his stay in the largest city of Turkey will set a context for the discussion.

The next meeting will be devoted to the Jerusalem syndrome – a mysterious mental disorder which affects a few dozen pilgrims to Jerusalem every year. The scientific point of view will be confronted with Paweł Smoleński’s personal experience he covered in his book Izrael już nie frunie. At the meeting planned for 28 June: The Views of Jerusalem, during which we will discuss in what way mass tourism influences the atmosphere of holy sites and how today’s residents of Jerusalem deal with it.

On the premiere of the Polish edition of Yehuda Amichai’s volume Open Closed Open (Otwarte, zamknięte, otwarte), the Festival invites to a special afternoon meeting devoted to this unique poet and many times candidate to the Nobel Prize in Literature, who was connected with Jerusalem all of his grown up life. During the meeting with his widow Hana Amichai and the translator of his poetry volume Tomasz Korzeniowski, Jerzy Trela will readAmichai’s poems.

The workshops will complement the literary stream. The youngest readers are invited to the art-calligraphy workshops led by Daria Solak, the author of illustrations to the book Ala ma kota. A Ali?, in which they will learn some sentences in a few dozens of more or less exotic world languages. On 1 and 2 July, the children will create Jerusalem keepsake notebooks in Józef Rakoczy’s special printing shop at the Museum of Municipal Engineering. At the end of the Festival we will go on a special walk of Kazimierz together with Łukasz Orbitowski – one of the most famous Polish writers, who was born and raised in the district that was once the heart of Jewish Krakow. The Sunday walk will be a unique opportunity to became acquainted with Kazimierz before the eruption of the tourism boom at the turn of the 20th and the 21st centuries, and to see the sites Orbitowski described in his story written for the project O_KAZ. Literatura o Kazimierzu.


The organiser of the literary stream of the Jewish Culture Festival is the Krakow Festival Office, the operator of Krakow UNESCO City of Literature.

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