The Forum, or conversations on the square have been a part of Malta since 2010, i.e. from the moment we introduced the Idiom, the topical section of the program, which offers a context for our conversations with the viewers. This year we will be taking on the subjects related to the Leap of Faith. The meetings and debates will be attended by astrophysicists, Himalayan mountaineers, psychologists, reporters, architects, sociologists, researchers of religion, neurobiologists which will include figures such as Anna Czerwińska, Danuta Golec, Karolina Wigura, Katarzyna Surmiak-Domańska, Marek Abramowicz, Paweł Boguszewski, Ludwik Dorn, Sebastian Duda, Stefan Hertmans, Andrzej Leder, Adam Michnik, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Stanisław Mrówczyński, Piotr Sarzyński, Aleksander Smolar, Andrzej Zybertowicz. The conversations will be introduced by readings of fragments of chosen books.
We will start with a debate on the architectonic identity of cities. The title I have faith in the tower is a reference to the open air event, which will be opening the festival – the construction and the subsequent demolition of a cardboard likeness of the tower of the Poznań Royal Castle, the construction of which was based on meagre historical sources. During the discussion entitled Attempt at dialogue together with Danuta Golec, Sebastian Duda, Andrzej Zybertowicz and Aleksander Smolar we will wonder how to rebuild the feeling of community, of living in one country, despite differences and divisions in the present Polish reality. Together with the curators of this year's Leap of Faith Idiom, Jan Lauwers, Grace Ellen Barkey and Maarten Seghers – we will talk about their concept for the program of the festival, as well as about what leap of faith means for them in practice. How does it translate to their work with Needcompany? We will discuss the place of faith and religion in the modern world during the A need of faith and Religion and modernity debates: is there really no escape from faith? What are the psychological and neurological sources of religiosity? What alternative to religion does the modern world offer? Why wasn't religion pushed out by any modern or post-modern proposals? The conversations will be joined by i.a. Karolina Wigura, Ludwik Dorn, Andrzej Leder, Ireneusz Krzemiński. The relation between religion and science will be the subject of the discussion entitled Deciphering God's intention. We will talk about passion for risk with Anna Czerwińska who conquered six eight-thousanders and the Seven Summits and is the oldest woman who stood on the peak of Mount Everest. Katarzyna Surmiak-Domańska in Ask no matter what will tell us about how a reporter has to be a good actor and how much can he or she risk. The conversation will be accompanied by a staged reading of fragments of the reportage Ku Klux Klan. Love lives here directed by Maciej Podstawny. Fragments of the book Lives of saints will be read during the meeting with its author Zbigniew Mikołejko. During the debate Creativity Talks: what festivals do we need in turbulent times? organised in cooperation with the British Council we will listen to the representatives of festivals and European cultural projects: Rose Fenton, Hugo De Greefa, Nele Hertling, Marta Keil, Grzegorz Reska, Simon Gammell and Michał Merczyński.
The meeting with Stefan Hertmans will be a special event of the festival. The writer will come to Poznań on 22 June – a day after his visit in Warsaw, where he will be promoting his book The Convert, translated by Marginesy publishing house, at the Big Book Festival. The meeting will be accompanied by a staged reading of his drama Antigone in Molenbeek directed by Anna Smolar. Music will be composed by Joanna Halszka Sokołowska, and the role of Antigone will be played by Małgorzata Gorol. In this particularly poetic, theatrical monologue inspired by Sophocles' tragedy, Stefan Hertmans tells the story of a young Muslim woman, who is trying to claim the body of her terrorist-brother from the authorities. It will be the first presentation of this drama in Poland.