Kraków will lose its grip on the title of Poland’s capital of culture if it cannot shake off its ‘3 Ks’ image as Conservative, Catholic and smug.
That’s the message at the centre of a cultural manifesto for the city, which will be debated on February 6. The authors of the manifesto, called O Kulturę Obywatelską (On the People’s Culture), are Tomasz Kireńczuk and Piotr Sieklucki, of Teatr Nowy.
Their manifesto says that other cities in Poland have the impression that Kraków’s culture is based on what they called the 3 Ks – Konserwatywna, Kołtuńska i Katolicka (Conservative, smug and Catholic). The manifesto also compares culture in Kraków to atheists, homosexuals, women, old people and children, because like these people it is not taken seriously.
The authors said that there was no reason why cultural activity in Kraków should not have commercial benefits – but that money should not override aspects such as cultural development and wider awareness of Kraków as a cultural brand.
They questioned why much of Kraków’s top talent had decamped to Warsaw, and said that the city’s cultural life should not be guided by people who did not participate in it.
The manifesto calls for change and proposes an alternative – firstly by replacing the 3 Ks with the 3 Os – Otwarta, Odpowiedzialna i Ortodoksyjnie Wierząca w Sens Współtworzenia (openness, accountability, and an orthodox belief in the meaning of creative collaboration).
The authors say that O Kulturę Obywatelską is about dialogue, and that they are open to criticism as well as praise. They add that it supports culture ‘by the people, for the people’, and aims to promote culture as valuable in itself, rather than focusing on its financial value. The manifesto advocates a grass roots approach to developing cultural activity in Kraków.
Debate the manifesto with the authors, at the Kulturanly Prezydent event, Teatr Nowy, ulica Gazowa 21, on February 6 at 6pm.
Picture: Kraków’s Festival of Jewish Culture
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