Idea

The Conrad Festival – organised by the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation – is the largest international literary event in Poland and one of the largest in Europe.

Our goal is the presentation of world literature created in various corners of the globe, rooted in diverse cultures, stemming from diverse experiences, as well as initiating intensive artistic and social discussions. We are creating a place in Krakow where writers, readers, professionals and amateurs can meet. The participants of our debates, workshops, film and theatre shows, concerts, exhibitions, literary walks, urban games and interactive activities co-create a language that can be used to creatively and responsibly describe the modern world.

The festival is not dedicated to the work of Joseph Conrad, who instead is a symbolic patron of our international undertaking. Conrad connected different traditions, but he never erased borders. He wrote in English, but he always emphasised that every text written was a translation from a foreign language, the effect of a never-ending process of translating ideas into others. Today, Conrad is a universal symbol of international literary communication. He set out into the world from Krakow to create as a writer, to write stories thanks to which we can understand people who live elsewhere. We invite authors from all over the world to Krakow, to once again begin the work of translation and understanding.

As organisers of the Conrad Festival, we are convinced that literature can have a decisive impact on the way individuals and communities think, work, feel and communicate with each other. Those who come to join us have no doubts of the seriousness with which their passions and ideas are treated, and what they can gain by joining the conversation about literature that we have initiated. A conversation that is not only an obligation for us, but also a great joy.

Grzegorz Jankowicz i Michał Paweł Markowski

Conrad Festival Directors