13 September 2016 Beliefs and Disbeliefs. The second day of the Conrad Festival

Faith is the most private of all experiences, and at the same time always inscribed in the social context. By believing in something, we share strong convictions with others. Therefore, faith may be both the source of the sense of community, as well as alienation – it connects and antagonises...

The second day of the Conrad Festival will be focused on the sources of the deepest of human beliefs.

"In Poland, so... where?” – Dominika Kozłowska, Michał Łuczewski, Włodzimierz Nowak and Ziemowit Szczerek will ask about the placement of Polishness in the imagined and real space to start the second day of the festival. Their discussion will be an opportunity for a clash between various perspectives of the Polish identity: political, social and geographical.

Another meeting will be devoted to the writing of Joseph Roth. What happens when empires fall and how should their collective identity be managed after their downfall? Works written by Roth, considered to be the chronicler of the downfall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, extend past the context of their times, and nowadays become increasingly current.

Ida Linde, the author of a moving novel about love and mourning titled If I Forget You, I Will Become Someone Else will talk about intimate and private faiths and disbeliefs during a meeting with Justyna Czechowska. They will reflect upon the limitations of sharing experiences with others, and deliberations about crossing the borders – territorial, philosophical and mental.

The audience of the Conrad Festival will also have a unique opportunity to meet the “writer without memory”, who claims he has no childhood memories, and that is why he has to create his worlds anew in his books. After the success of The Crimson Petal and the White set in Victorian London, it took him 12 years to publish another full-fledged story for his readers. In The Book of Strange New Things, Michel Faber creates a non-existing world, and the story he tells tries to cross the boundaries, set by literary fashions and readers’ habits.

Faith is the most private of all experiences, and at the same time always inscribed in the social context. By believing in something, we share strong convictions with others. Therefore, faith may be both the source of the sense of community, as well as alienation – it connects and antagonises at the same time. The second day of the festival will be an opportunity to discuss the faith that is not closely tied to religion, but close and foreign beliefs and disbeliefs.