8 November 2011 The Conrad Festival is yours! Thank you and see you next year!
The 3rd Conrad Festival is over. Five days of great literature, nearly 100 eminent guests from all over the world, over 40 meetings and - what delights us most - audiences in greater numbers at each of the festival's events. Thank you for coming, and we look forward to seeing you at next year's edition!
Today's earlier edition of Tygodnik Powszechny features a letter from the Festival's directors. We quote the whole letter below and encourage you to read Tygodnik Powszechny next week - you will find a special festival supplement with transcriptions of discussions, meetings, lectures and reviews of festival events.
The Conrad Festival is yours!
While we are writing these words, the festival is still on. The last author's meetings is taking place, discussions are being held with writers and critics, translators and experts on literature, journalists and philosophers - all events being attended by scores of readers who decided to spend a week at Krakow's Pałac Pod Baranami to participate with us in the great literature feast. This year's edition of the festival was held under the "In search of lost worlds" banner. Literature constitutes a great reflection on diverse forms of loss: personal, common, emotional, material, historical, political loss etc. Each of us carries a sense of loss in themselves, and while seeking to handle it, we turn to literature, and via literature to others, to understand this fundamental experience. While searching for what was lost, we managed this year to create a space for fascinating poetic, musical, theatrical, film and visual presentations, for animated discussions on literature and the world, on classics and debutants, politics of the past and the past of politics. The festival has observed extremely dynamic development. We started three years ago with several dozen writers. Now we have 5 days, 50 festival meetings, discussions, film screenings, exhibitions, theatre performances, concerts, over 100 guests from Poland and the world (from USA, through Argentina, England, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Israel, Belarus to India). The best review of our work comes from the huge audience participating in all festival events. Organisation of such a big cultural event requires effective cooperation between a number of institutions and their representatives. The biggest thanks should go to the co-organisers of the Conrad Festival. We would like to thank our city and its host Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, who strive to make Krakow the biggest capital of literature in Poland and Europe; to the Krakow Festival Office, unparalleled in its organisation of cultural events, and also to the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation, promoting Polish and foreign culture with extreme intensity. We also wish to thank to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Book Institute for their financial support, and the President of the Republic of Poland for the honorary patronage.
Above all though, we would like to thank our guests for their participation in the festival's activities and the excellent audience, with whom we could share our biggest passion - literature. The Conrad Festival is yours! See you next year.
Michał Paweł Markowski,