During the 19th Economic Forum in Krynica a number of cultural events took place. The guests could choose from a wide range of author’s evenings, concerts, exhibitions and movie projections. Undoubtedly, those in need of particular attention are: the meeting with Norman Davies, author’s evening of Gunther Verheugen and Marek Orzechowski, as well as Maria Arbatova, the presentation of J. O’Sullivan’s new book, a concert of sung poetry by ProForma Quartet and Russian romances by Boris Somerschaf, as well as an Evening of Spanish Culture. We also showed many exhibitions of which the most attended were: “Change of track” by the European Centre of Solidarity (solemnly opened by Lech Walesa), “United in colours” by the European Integration Committee and “Carpathian Europe”, which presented evanescent professions and handicraft.
Evening with Norman Davies
There is no need to introduce Professor Norman Davies, the British historian, who has been popularising without difficulty Polish history among foreign readers for many years. Participants in the evening with prof. Davies had a one-time-only chance to listen to him personally. Norman Davies is the author of such historical works as: “God’s Playground”, “Heart of Europe”, “White Eagle, Red star; The Polish-Soviet war 1919-1920”, “Europe”, “Microcosm”, “Rising ’44. The Battle to Warsaw”, which gained the status of bestsellers in a very short time.
Author’s evening of G. Verheugen and M. Orzechowski
The meeting with the authors of the book “Project – expansion” was a unique chance to listen to those, who witnessed the processes which led to the expansion of the EU in 2004. By combining the insights of one of the architects of those events with the passion of a journalist (correspondent in Brussels for many years) made it possible for the book to appear. The book itself presents the role various countries played in the integration process and why it was such a great challenge.
Author’s evening of Maria Arbatova
Maria Arbatova is not only an outstanding author of contemporary prose. She is also a politician and social activist. With her extraordinary biography she has become a symbol of Russia for many readers. Her strong character made it possible for her to become one of the top political activists and convince many people that women are strong. The evening attracted many guests who received autographed copies of Arbatova’s books from the author.
Concert of Russian romances by Boris Somerschaf
Boris Somerschaf from Russia is able to feel the spirit of the somewhat nostalgic mood of this genre of songs. In his repertoire there are romances composed in mid-19th century as well as some from the interwar period. The Russian artist opened up his melancholic soul in front of the guests. Unique old romances together with the velvet voice of the singer allowed to return to memories and dreams. The concert was very moving and it will surely remain in the memory of the audience for a long time.
ProForma Quartet concert
The artists specializing in sung poetry gave a tremendous concert to end the 19th Economic Forum. Among others, the band presented songs written by Jacek Kaczmarski and Stanislaw Staszewski. Their repertoire also includes songs by Brassens, Waits, Cave and their own. Most translations were done by W. Mlynarski. The audience did not want to let the artists leave the stage and the popular song “Mury” [“Walls”] could be heard almost in the entire city.
“Let’s create the future!” – this was the motto of this year’s Cracow evening. It was a unique, the biggest and one of the most important “after hours” events of the Economic Forum. A wonderful atmosphere, delicious kitchen and wide cultural programme are just a few elements, thanks to which Cracow evening is enjoyed by the Forum’s guests to such an extent every year. During the evening the guests had the opportunity to listen to Karolina Glazer’s Quintet concert and performance of the band Blue Transfer.
Projection of the movie “Room number 6”
The Forum’s guests had the opportunity to watch the newest film by K. Shakhnazarov, based on A. Chekchov short story. It was chosen as it represented Russia in Oscar nominations for the best foreign language film. A doctor in a mental hospital discovers that one of his patients tends to have deep thoughts. The doctor rethinks his views and values. Can being sensitive be called a disease and is it not so that the patients are more normal than the “healthy” ones?
Piano concert of Krystyna Man Li Szczepanska
The guests of the forum had the occasion to listen to classical music. In Krystyna Man Li Szczepanska’s repertoire there were pieces of such composers as W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach and S. Rakhmaninov; however, it is the work of F. Chopin that the artist loves most. During the 2009 tour in her home country she gave numerous concerts titled “With Chopin in China”. Man Li Szczepanska also performs concerts “In memory of the Polish Pope” and is recording Chopin’s compositions to the film “Sienkiewicz in love”. Her dedication and passion in popularizing the Polish composer’s music show how universal it is. The outstanding artist from China performed the most beautiful pieces of Frederic Chopin. The sounding chords of “The Revolutionary Etude” and “Polonaise B-moll” were a splendid event of the Forum.
Presentation of J. O’Sullivan’s book titled “President, Pope, Prime Minister”
J. O’Sullivan’s book tells about those who have changed the world – Ronald Reagan, John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher. The meeting with the author of this unusual book was a great attraction for the guests of the Forum.
“Change of track” – exhibition and discussion with L. Walesa and S. Shushkevich
The exhibition presented on the 20th anniversary of the downfall of communism was very popular during the Forum. It was solemnly opened by Lech Walesa. Soon after, there was a projection of a movie about the events of that time. The last part was “coming back” to those events once again – a discussion of L. Walesa and S. Shushkevich. They once again returned to history and talked about what has really changed thanks to fall of communism.
“United in colours” – exhibition of the European Integration Committee
The exhibition consisted of the distinguished works of students from art schools, colourfully showing the process of European integration and the role that Poland played in it. The Union is presented in a very interesting way – sometimes with hope, sometimes with humour. It is not a voice commenting on today’s events but looking at politics “from the outside”.
During the Economic Forum each year a presentation of evanescent professions and handicraft is organized. Among the invited artists there are masters from Eastern Europe and from the Centre of Culture in Krynica. The guests had this unrepeatable chance to see their work. The exhibition was widely attended and enjoyed by the audience.
Apart from those mentioned, other events also took place. Vladimir Neklaev’s author’s evening has to be mentioned together with exhibitions – “Portraits“ by Tomasz Terlecki and “Great Romanians with Polish origin”. Concerts were also an essential part of the Forum – Puellae Orantes and Di Galitzyaner Klezmorim. The Moldavian Evening of Culture and Wine needs to be remembered too. Such films as “Kiselev’s list” and “That 1989” were also shown. The Economic Forum is not only a place for meetings dedicated to business and economics, but also a splendid opportunity to present culture.
The City of Cracow – partner of XIX Economic Forum Cultural Program