16 October 2017 Taming Unrest – the antidiscrimination strand at the Conrad Festival

A series of workshops and educational meetings aimed to open up to meet the Stranger, to become sensitive to various lifestyles and world outlooks, as well to reflect on how a community offering a space for everyone, regardless of political views, skin colour, age and religion, might look like. The Conrad Festival takes up social issues for the first time to this extent. On the programme of the antidiscrimination strand, the workshop on refugee issues and a reading lesson for prisoners to be given by Michal Paweł Markowski at the Krakow Remand Centre are envisaged. In addition, three festival events will be translated into the sign language.  

Unrest is the keyword to this edition of the festival. We do not want it to be a mere slogan which the festival guests will hear during the discussions. We want to take a deeper look at the meaning of this word, to diagnose and to tame it.

At the onset of the antidiscrimination strand (Monday, 23 October) we invite you to the  Wyspiański Pavilion (pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2) to the workshop ”Refugees in Poland – unwanted and reluctant”. The reluctance of many Polish people to accept refugees and the fact that refugees  generally see Poland as no more than a transit country and a gateway to Europe will be discussed. Participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to better understand the situation of refugees in our country, to discuss if they should be admitted or not, and to talks about the relation between the migration crisis and security. Please register at the e-mail address biuro@pomocprawna.org to participate in the workshop.  

The workshop ”Invisible  – stateless people in Poland, Europe and the world” on Tuesday (24 October, Wyspiański Pavilion). The  right to citizenship is fundamental and guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, statelessness is a global issue; the number of stateless persons now exceeds 10 million. Hard to believe, but the problem of statelessness very often affects children, who are not acknowledged as citizens by any country, pushed into a legal vacuum and socially excluded. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to get the insight of the issue of statelessness. Please register at the e-mail address biuro@pomocprawna.org to participate in the workshop.

The workshop has been organised in cooperation with the Halina Nieć Legal Aid Centre.  

The Conrad Festival also opens to the needs of the Deaf. Three events: Stillness (Wednesday, 25 October), a meeting with Dan Brown (Thursday, 26 October) and DeafRespect – a workshop for children about the language and culture of deaf people (27 October) – will be translated into the sign language.   Stillness is a meeting hosted by Anna Goc, in which important questions will be chiefly addressed to people who are not deaf. Have you ever asked yourself how do deaf people read, perceive and create literature? What does a story look like from their perspective? In what way is it different from other stories? Can we talk in this case about different worlds, and the difficulty to build a bridge between them? Or perhaps is  mere neglect, and we should take action against it? Tonya Stremlau and Agnieszka Laskowska-Klimczewska will participate in the discussion which will start at 2.30 pm.

Who are deaf people and how do they communicate? How to tell your name using fingers? Young participants in DeafRespect  will be trying to answer this question and many more. Hearing children will get basic information on the cultural minority of the deaf, whilst deaf children will familiarise themselves with a literary excerpt in the Polish sign language. The meeting serves integration of deaf and hearing children by playing together. The workshop starts at  11.30 am. NOTE: Please register on the following website: www.fldd.pl.

Under the antidiscrimination strand we also invite you to a meet-the-author session with Nilüfer Göle – a Turkish socilogist and the author of the book Muzułmanie w Europie . The meeting will be held at the Festival Centre on 26 October, at 8.00 pm). The screening of an award-winning film: I Am not Your Negro (27 October, 9.30 pm, pod Baranami cinema), and a debate on a social role of literature  ”Reading behind the Bars” with Wojciech Brzoska, Maria Dąbrowska, Sylwia Chutnik and Mikołaj Grynberg (27 October, 2.30 pm, Festival Centre) will also be elements of this strand. We also invite you to the exhibition A New Region of the World at Bunkier Sztuki (Bunker of Art). On Saturday (28 October), a visit to the exhibition will be guided by Jean-Ulrick Désert, whose works form part of the collection on display. He will be accompanied by the Curator, Olga Stanisławska. On Wednesday (25 October, at 12:00) participants in the festival will have the opportunity with the seventh holder of an ICORN scholarship in Krakow – a Libyan poet, philosopher, historian and political critic, Monem Mahjoub. During the meeting we will talk, among other things about his experience, his assessment of the current situation in Libya and what he plans to leave in Krakow after his scholarship ends.