The Fate of Freedom in Eastern Europe

International Conference at the College of Europe Natolin Campus in Warsaw

22-23 September 2016

 

You are cordially invited to the international conference titled: “The Fate of Freedom in Eastern Europe: Autocracy – Oligarchy – Anarchy?”

 

The aim of the conference is to ask whether the region between the Baltic and Black Seas, provisionally described as “Eastern Europe”, is historically fated to experience the failure of systems of government founded on liberty; whether the only stable state structures involve autocratic or oligarchic rule; whether dreams of freedom lead either to anarchy or dictatorship. This fate seems to be expressed by narratives about post-Soviet republics, especially in the context of the last Ukrainian revolutions. Many accept such narratives, but others contest them, defending these countries’ right to self-determination. This conference will consider the sources and appeal of such narratives. Are these nations are incapable or capable of maintaining forms of statehood based on liberty?

 

Leading historians, political scientists, public intellectuals and politicians will gather to consider whether ‘Eastern Europe’, understood for these purposes as the region between Poland and Russia, has from the Middle Ages to the present been historically fated to experience the failure of every form of government based on freedom. Or whether – au contraire – the nations of the region (not just the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but also including the old kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary) have for many centuries sustained a rich potential for personal liberty and government by consent.

 

In this context participants will discuss the relationships between freedom and oligarchy, citizenship, diversity, autocracy, anarchy, sovereignty and democracy. These problems are of crucial importance to European civilization as a whole. Programme in English | Programme in Polish

 

Applications

 

The conference will be held in English and Polish, with simultaneous translation provided. No fee will be charged for attendance, but as places are limited we ask all interested persons to register in good time by writing to Mrs Anna BANACH at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Visit the conference website for more information.

Revolutions, maidans and protests in contemporary Ukraine

 

euromaidan 01You are cordially invited to participate in the upcoming conference “Revolutions, maidans and protests in contemporary Ukraine. The current state of research and future directions”.  The conference is organised within the framework of the "Three Ukrainian Revolutions" research project carried out by the European Civilization Chair in cooperation with the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, the Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN, the Studium Europy Wschodniej Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London), the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (University of Alberta), the Centre d'études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen, Paris. 

Read more: Revolutions, maidans and protests in contemporary Ukraine

Meetings with poets during the Miłosz Festival

miloszLectures, concerts and workshops – the Miłosz Festival allows us to taste the language of poetry in many dimensions; however, it is the direct contact between the reader and the creator, that is the domain of the festival in Krakow. The meetings range from small and intimate to grand scale ones – this year the evenings with poets will take place in the beautiful Tempel Synagogue and St Martin’s Church.

 

The relationship between the poet and the reader is the core of Miłosz Festival, which originated from the tradition of meetings of the poets of the East and West. The festival gives opportunity to ask about artistic inspirations, but it is also an occasion to listen to poets reading their own creations. On the first day of the Festival (the 9th of June), the Evening in the Synagogue will feature the following poets: Breyten Breytenbach, Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, Ashur Etwebi, Jerzy Kronhold, Piotr Matywiecki, Agnieszka Mirahina, Przemysław Owczarek, Tadeusz Pióro, Joanna Roszak and Olga Sedakova. Jerzy Illg will be the host of the exceptional meeting.

 

On the next day (the 10th of June), the participants of the Festival will see new poetic confrontations. Krzysztof Siwczyk will ask Ashur Etwebi about the struggle between the poetry and regime and connections between medicine and literature. Olga Sedakova will describe to Adam Pomorski, how her poems combine metaphysics with everyday life. Agnieszka Mirahina, Bartłomiej Majzel, Tadeusz Pióro and Przemysław Owczarek will tell Anna Kałuża, how they understand Poems in travel. The second day of the festival will end with a poetry evening in the St Martin’s Church, during which Kacper Bartczak, Stefan Hertmans, Barbara Klicka, Aldona Kopkiewicz, Bartłomiej Majzel, Michael Ondaatje, Piotr Przybyła and Julia Szychowiak will read their poems. The meeting will be conducted by Wojciech Bonowicz and Marcin Oleś, an outstanding bass player will enrich it with his music.

 

On Saturday, the 11th of June Breyten Breytenbach will meet with readers. The discussion with this exceptional South African author will be conducted by Jerzy Koch. Stefan Hertmans – one of the most renowned Dutch poets, known in Poland for his book War and Turpentine will discuss with Sławomir Paszkiet. Paweł Kaczmarski will ask poets about the sound of Poems from not so far beyond – Barbara Klicka, Aldona Kopkiewicz, Piotr Przybyła and Kacper Bartczak will try to answer that question. On the same day, Hatif Janabi will talk with Adonis about the complicated identity of a poet, torn between Arabic and Western culture.

 

The final day of the Miłosz Festival (the 12th of June) will start off with a meeting with this year’s laureates of Wisława Szymborska Award. Right after, Bronisław Maj will remember the late Zdzisław Jaskuła – translator, poet and director of Teatr Nowy in Łódź. Sława Lisiecka – the author’s wife and translator, as well as Krzysztof Siwczyk, Jerzy Jamiewicz and Joanna Orska will share their memories of the author.

 

On the same day, Agata Hołobut will ask Michael Ondaatje about the influence of multicultural roots on his poetry. Polish poets – Jerzy Kronhold, Piotr Matywiecki, Joanna Roszak and Julia Szychowiak will discuss the Poems in words and silence with Marta Koronkiewicz. Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki will talk with Paweł Matywiecki about his newest book, Nie dam ci siebie w żadnej postaci / I will not give myself to you in any form (Lokator 2016), which will premiere during the festival.

 

The City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office and the City of Literature Foundation invite everyone to travel with poets along the trails drawn by lines of poems and pages of collections.

 

More information about the Festival can be found at: www.miloszfestival.pl

Miłosz Festival 2016

miloszYou are cordially invited to this year's edition of the Miłosz Festival, which will take place between June 9 and 12 2016 and is titled “Road-side dog” in reference to Czesław Miłosz's book with the very same title. 

Read more: Miłosz Festival 2016

Shaping our NATO: Young Voices on the Warsaw Summit 2016

AtlanticcommAtlantic Community's new policy workshop competition gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to reflect on the most pressing issues facing NATO today and to shape the future of the Alliance. Five winners will receive a trip to Berlin to present the collective ideas to decision-makers.

 

Read more: Shaping our NATO: Young Voices on the Warsaw Summit 2016

Partners