From the 28th May to the 25th June, Krytyka Polityczna hosted the 3rd edition of the annual Jacek Kuroń Festival. 2016’s edition of the festival looked at the current crisis of democracy and featured a raft of events, including two Time to Talk debates.
"I have to be involved in something worthwhile...something which transcends me and my life. Without such activities I would bore myself to death" Jacek Kuroń
In the third edition of the Jacek Kuroń Festival, Krytyka Polityczna looked at the crisis of contemporary democracy: they investigated the sources of authoritarian and xenophobic tendencies and the lack of solidarity in Poland and Europe, they surveyed the boundaries of possible civil action within the contemporary state and they looked for traditions with which we can further its recognition. Finally, they asked politicians about the chances of repairing the Third Polish Republic.
Jacek Kuroń supported Krytyka in his role as a youth educator in an audio documentary dedicated to the Walterowcy (a scouting establishment formed by Jacek Kuroń in 1955), as a co-founder of both KOR (The Workers’ Defence Committee) and the democratic underground in a fact-finding urban game and as a wordsmith of social dialogue and a civil participant in an artistic reconstruction of the Round Table.
Together with friends and students of Jacek Kuroń, Krytyka reflected upon whether the experiences of the democratic opposition are more useful today than their pioneering enthusiasm for new social movements. And, whether perhaps their fight to incorporate citizens and workers in the rebuilding of Poland shouldn’t serve as a template for a solidary corrective for our own state and society.
Governments control the media today and oposition parties looking to become the government aim to control the media tomorrow. Market forces also play their role, with private corporations using the media to provide a platform for their own interests. Are any of them interested in showing the revolution?
A discussion on the media in an age of crisis and change took place featuring:
Alex Sakalis (openDemocracy)
Annabelle Chapman (Politico Europe & The Economist)
and Roman Kurkiewicz (Collegium Civitas)
This debate was moderated by Agnieszka Wiśniewska (Krytyka Polityczna)
What kind of continent are transnational social movements and leftist political circles aiming for when they look to collaborate on a European level? What do today and tomorrow’s Europes look like when seen through the eyes of activists from the continent’s southern, western and eastern spheres? What role can central Eastern Europe play within a growing wave of new left political formations? And, what is the form of democratic future which we in Europe should be looking to promote?
A discussion about a new, truly united and solidary Europe, featuring:
Maciej Konieczny (Partia Razem – The Together Party)
Lorenzo Marsili (European Alternatives / DiEM25)
and Maria Świetlik (Inicjatywa Pracownicza – The Workers’ Initiative Trade Union)
This debate was moderated by Igor Stokfiszewski (Krytyka Polityczna)
The two featured debates within this festival took place with the support of the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme and as part of an international series of debates on the same theme in cities around Europe, including Barcelona, Bratislava, Brussels, London, Sofia and Warsaw.