Debates during the 5th Miłosz Festival | Miłosz Festival

Debates during the 5th Miłosz Festival

The debates of the Miłosz Festival, inspired by the wealth and universality of the Nobelist’s work, are the core of the celebration of poetry. This year, three such events await participants – “Modern-day nomadism”, “Road-side art” and “The trails of translation”. We invite both poets – Polish and from abroad – as well as intellectualists and artists to participate in the debates, which will take place from the 9th to the 11th of June. Their voices will allow a better and critical consideration of various aspects of the subject of travel, migration, and moving through multiple spaces.


During the first debate on Thursday, Olga Stanisławska, Michael Ondaatje and Adonis will discuss modern-day nomadism. The world is in constant motion, the surface of the planet is teeming, we are constantly experiencing global migration, regardless of whether we get involved in it or put up various kinds of resistance. The conversation, led by Jarosław Mikołajewski – poet, writer and journalist – will be a dialogue of artists trying to record the experiences of today’s migrations, capture the phenomenon in motion, and at the same time study their own means of expression. In other words – artists trying to respond to the issue through literature. Olga Stanisławska, author of reportages, winner of the Kościelski award, travels through Africa and the Middle East. Michael Ondaatje, born in Sri Lanka and currently living in Canada, combines the influences of many cultures in his work – Tamil, Dutch and Portuguese. Adonis, Syrian poet and translator, who lived in Lebanon for many years, emigrated to Paris and remains in constant, critical conflict with his native tradition. All of them have been observing the changing map of the world for many years, and will talk about what a journey into the unknown means, based on their own experiences.


The debate on the second day of the Festival, “Road-side art”, will focus on various practices of wandering, roving and rambling in literature and art. The conversation will take place between Adam Lipszyc and his guests: Michał Książek, author of reportages, including Yakutsk. Dictionary of a Place and Road No. 816, Ewa Kuryluk, painter, photographer, artists, Nike-nominated writer, and Tadeusz Sobolewski – film critic and publicist of Gazeta Wyborcza, author of Dziecko Peerelu [Child of the PPR] and columnist of the monthly Kino. Participants of the meeting with talk about roadside(dness) – areas and spaces in poetry and art, about where poets and artists wander, about where they are drawn to and why, and how they wander off the roads.


One of the most common metaphorical images by means of which we describe translation is a journey. This is why the third debate will give voice to translators whose linguistic expeditions sometimes resemble explorations of unknown lands. In the conversation about the “Trails of translation”, led by Magda Heydel (translator of, among others, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness), the participants will be: Małgorzata Łukasiewicz, translator of fiction and literary critic, as well as Marek Bieńczyk, writer, translator and literature historian, and Ashur Etwebi from Libya, who has translated many masterpieces of world poetry into Arabic. The prominent translators will talk about the challengers and intricacies of moving between the original text and the translation, journeys through words and through text, and the search for the best or most beautiful route. The debate will be an excellent opportunity to think about what roads lead through this land, how one journeys through it, to where and for what purpose.

In Road-side dog, Miłosz cites Kenneth Rexroth: “You don’t know how to talk to each other, you just exchange monologues.” The festival debates are intended to overcome this disturbing “trait of Central Europeans” and create a space for a dialogue about the most important problems of modernity.

The organisers of the Miłosz Festival – the Krakow Festival Office and the City of Literature Foundation – invite everyone to join them at the festival!


More information about the Festival and upcoming events can be found at: .

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