“Lanugage is our engine. There is no other way to think and explore reality than through language“, said Anthony Miłosz, the son of the Nobel-Prize winner, at yesterday’s opening of the Miłosz Festival. The leading motif of this year’s sixth edition is “Beginning with My Streets”. It is the title of a collection of Miłosz’s essays that the Festival organisers: the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office and the City of Literature Foundation used as a pretext to look at the condition of contemporary man. So let’s begin!
”We live in a narcissist era where sometimes there is no place for being individual, original, simply being yourself” – said Krzysztof Siwczyk the Festival Artistic Director at the press conference. ”In this Festival edition we will appeal for restoring intimacy and individuality. Who can help us to do it, if not poets?”
Guests of this year’s Festival edition came to us from three continents. Robert Pinsky came to us from accross the ocean . The nominee for the Pulitzer Award and a translator of Miłosz’s works, he read Miłosz’ poem Incantation. Antjie Krog , who in her work openly criticises the Apartheid policy, came to us from the Republic of South Africa. Europe is represented by the rebellious Linn Hansen from Sweden and Evelyn Schlep – an Austrian poet who deals with such issues as Nazism, suicide and chilldlessness. Our neighbours: Joachim Sartorius from Germany and the Czech Petr Hruška will also appear at the festival.
”Despite their outstanding literary output, those poets are unknown to most of Polish people. This is why the festival organisers, in cooperation with five publishing houses, decided to translate and publish collections of their poems. I hope these volumes will bring a new value and individuality to the Polish language, something we would like so much to be fighting for in this edition of the Festival” – said Krzysztof Siwczyk yesterday. Two debates will also offer opportunities for reflection: ”Intimate languages – do they still remain?” with Dorota Kozicka, Zbigniew Libera and Zbigniew Mikołejko and ” Singularity in the era of narcissism” with Przemysław Czapliński and Roma Sendyka.
The Miłosz Festival is not only literature but also music. The record Wojaczek by the ensemble Julia i Nieprzyjemni will have its premiere during the Festival. The project initiators – among whom the best known are Julia Kamińska and Marcin Świetlicki – created a musical Interpretation of works by the tragically died poet. But these are not the only Festival attractions. Literary criticism and translation workshops, poetry slams, events for children and the premiere of After Exile, a performance based on the Nobel-Prize winning poet’s work. In summary, said Anthony Miłosz, “The Festival has started. Time to get to work”.