The constant deluge of information about war, crime and terrorism makes the world seem bloodier and bloodier. At the same time, the statistics show that we live in the safest and the least brutal time in history. What is the face of war in the most peaceful time in history? What is the state of peace-war? What will the wars of the future look like? The Forum invites to daily meetings with writers philosophers, soldiers, political analysts and witnesses of modern military action.
The Forum is a cycle of meetings on Liberty Square, during which we deliberate on topics related to the main theme of the festival. This year it is the relation between war and peace. We invite you to meet with figures such as Katarzyna Wężyk, Dariusz Rosiak, Colonel Grzegorz Kaliciak, Piotr Andrusieczko, Wojciech Jagielski, General Jarosław Stróżyk, Elżbieta Korolczuk, Andrzej Leder, and Janina Ochojska. Some of the meetings will be accompanied by readings of selected book excerpts.
Meetings on war and peace will be preceded by a day devoted to education. On 21 June the conversations will begin with a strong reference to the three-week teachers’ protest. The Final Bell debate will be an attempt to answer what was the cause the protesters had been fighting for, what diagnosis of Polish schooling emerges from the Civic Debates on Education, what is the figure of a Polish teacher like?
Education in Poland will be discussed by the legends of Polish schooling, professionally active pedagogues and their pupils: Krystyna Starczewska, Krzysztof Podemski, Małgorzata Dziewulska, Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik, Laura Paluszkiewicz, and the 200 bez bólu group. There will be a Civic Debate on Education and a scientific show, prepared by the high-school students from 200 bez bólu.
Civic Debates on Education are direct, face to face conversations of teachers, students, parents and representatives of local authorities on what kind of school and education we want in Poland. The organisers (the JaNauczyciel and Protest! group) highlight: “The shape education takes is a form of a social contract, which engages many groups and should be developed in collaboration with them”. The debates have been organised on a grass-roots level all over Poland since April. Malta Festival will host the action finale and the largest event so far with 25 discussion tables.
The Culture of war in times of peace forum will start on 22 June. On the first day Mamadou Diouf, Iwona Kurz, Konrad Piskała will talk about the ways in which violence and suffering are depicted differently, depending on who is being shown. What and to whom are we allowed to show? To what images of war do we refer in our common Polish collective memory, what images do other nations refer to? Multiculturalism - utopia or reality is the subject for Katarzyna Wężyk, Leszek Koczanowicz and Dariusz Rosiak. Multiculturalism assumes the equality of all cultures. But how can we accept the imperatives of particular cultures as equal if they are contradictory? Are we looking at a modern form of culture wars, and has the multiculturalism project turned out to be a utopia? The conversation will take place on 23 June. On the next day there will be a meeting with Colonel Grzegorz Kaliciak, an officer of the Polish Army and the author of books such as Karbala. Report from the defence of City Hall and Afghanistan. Respond with fire (Wydawnictwo Czarne). His latest book The Balkans. A report form Polish missions, will be the subject of this conversation, and it will be introduced by a performace by PROM-1 directed by Jan Jeliński.
Massacre tourists – is what Arturo Pérez–Revert called war correspondents. On 25 June Piotr Andrusieczko, Wojciech Jagielski and Maria Wiernikowska will talk about how the work of a war correspondent has changed. On 26 June together with General Jarosław Stróżyk, Łukasz Kamieński and Agata Kaźmierska, we will wonder, what are 21st century wars like and what might they look like in the future? What is the modern soldier like? How mechanisms, which were to improve the world are used today to destroy it? The debate will be accompanied by a staged reading from William Gibson’s Neuromancer. This cyberpunk classic will be directed for us by Jacek Jabrzyk.
On 27 June Michał Lipszyc and James Omolo will take part in the debate Postcolonialism. War of the worlds and reflect on the categories dividing the globe into first, second and third worlds. Many critics and historians believe that no matter how deep our refection on history is, we are still stuck in colonial categories. What does it mean for a country outside of Europe which does not have a colonial past? On 28 June Małgorzata Druciarek, Elżbieta Korolczuk and Magdalena Malinowska will have a discussion on the vision of State of Women. Can feminism act for the liberation of all those socially, economically and culturally discriminated against? Can it be a tool for fighting fascism, which wishes to limit our freedom? What is feminism’s proposal for the functioning of politics and public institutions?
On 29 June we will have a meeting with Nástio Mosquito, the curator of the Army of the Individual Idiom. It will be an opportunity to talk about the program concept of the Idiom, his own work, as well as about Angola, where the artist was born. On the same day on Liberty Square we will have a conversation with Andrzej Leder. The philosopher and psychotherapist will talk about the ways of discharging war instincts in times of peace. Why is war fascinating in times of peace? Where does the hate within us come from? The conversation will be referencing the essay The culture of war in times of peace, which was published by Andrzej Leder in the „Znak” monthly (November 2017). On the last day of Malta, on 30 June, we will talk about a Woman in a war zone with Janina Ochojska – the founder and president of Polish Humanitarian Action, who has been helping victims of wars, cataclysms and long-term poverty. What image of a woman emerges from her experiences in war zones?
The meetings on 21 and 22 June will be moderated by Karolina Lewicka, the reporter from TOK FM, the subsequent meetings will be moderated by Michał Nogaś, the journalist form “Gazeta Wyborcza”.
Admission to all events on Liberty Square is free.