18 September 2023

Elections in Poland – The European Alliance of Academies campaigns for the right to artistic freedom
21–22 September 2023, Villa Decius, Kraków

In the run-up to the Polish elections for the Sejm (the lower house of the national legislature) in October, the members of the European Alliance of Academies are campaigning for the freedom of artistic expression and for cultural rights in Poland. Within the framework of a study trip, Villa Decius – the Alliance’s partner in Poland – is organising talks with artists and people involved in the cultural sector whose artistic work is compromised by political and financial pressure.

The talks will centre on the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Utopia Home – International Empathy Centre and the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA. The directors of these Kraków institutions will demonstrate the ways in which political decision-makers are exerting increasing influence over artistic choices.

The findings will be reviewed at a public round-table discussion on “Cultural Rights in Times of Political Change” involving party representatives, independent cultural institutions and artists. Alexandra Xanthaki, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights – whose predecessor, Karima Bennoune, published a Country Report on Poland back in 2020 – will share her findings in a keynote speech. An analysis of the election manifestos of the five largest parties will shed light on the significance attached to art and culture in Poland’s political landscape and suggest ways in which access to cultural rights can be safeguarded. Alliance members will contribute reports from other European countries in which similar developments in cultural policy can be observed.  

The European Alliance of Academies has been working closely with Polish partner institutions since 2020. In 2021 the transnational network showed its solidarity with Polish sociologist Barbara Engelking and historian Jan Grabowski, who were prosecuted for the research they had conducted into the part played by Polish citizens in the Holocaust. Their employer, the Polish Academy of Sciences, is a member of the European Alliance of Academies.

With, among others, Jan Tomasz Adamus, Krzysztof Głuchowski, Nele Hertling, Wolfgang Kaleck, Valerio Rocco Lozano, Jeanine Meerapfel, Aleš Šteger, Bartosz Szydłowski, Cécile Wajsbrot, Natalia Zarzecka and Alexandra Xanthaki, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights
An event presented by the European Alliance of Academies, organised by the Akademie der Künste and Villa Decius. Media partner Tygodnik Powszechy

Event details
European Alliance of Academies: Cultural Rights in Times of Political Change
Friday, 22 September 2023, 11 am
Villa Decius, Kraków + live stream EN/PL
Round-table discussion
Free admission