13-17 September 2011

For many years, the rich history of multicultural Łódź has been an inspiration for historians, cultural theorists and artists, as well as the residents of the city. Relations between Jews, Germans, Russians and Poles are the foundation of social awareness and cultural identity. This provides the groundwork for the Łódź of Four Cultures festival, attempting to open international dialogue and based on what we share in culture and art, irrespective of our background.

This year's edition will be held from 13 to 17 September under the motto MASTERS. Masters of each of the festival’s artistic disciplines (literature, theatre, film, music and visual arts) will be the focus, not only as a subject of debates but often as our guests.

This year marks the centenary of Czesław Miłosz’s birth. Therefore, our literature program includes a discussion dedicated to the poet, with the participation of Natalia Gorbanevskaya, the most prominent contemporary Russian poet and translator of his poetry, as well as friends of the Nobel Laureate: Adam Michnik and Adam Zagajewski. The meeting will be hosted by the author of Miłosz’s biography, Andrzej Franaszek.

Our meeting dedicated to Paweł Herz, essayist, translator and editor with Jewish and Łódź roots, on the 10th anniversary of his death, will be attended by one of the greatest Polish poets, Julia Hartwig.

The special guest of the festival will be one of the most famous contemporary Israeli writers, and a promising film director, Edgar Keret.

In the field of theater, the most important events will be centered around the person and work of Hanoch Levin, a classic and a master of contemporary theater. We will see performances from Warsaw and Łódź. One of the most important scenes of Polish – Łódź’s Jaracz Theatre will stage a world premiere of a play by this author, The Labor of Life. Also planned are: an exhibition, symposium and a monodrama dedicated to Levin.

Our film program will be focused on the phenomenon of Jewish humor. Screenings and shows as well as discussions with Łódź scholars will focus on Mel Brooks and his work.

Our music program are addressed to the general public. Two concerts will be held outdoors. On the first day of the festival, alongside a famous Polish performing formation, Czesław śpiewa, Vitaly Podolsky an Israeli accordion virtuoso will be playing with his band. Independent Łódź groups will be confronted with an offer addressed to children, i.e. a music set based on Tuwim’s poetry.

Visual arts provide a confrontation between the classic and the new. The festival will open with an exhibition of recent works by a famous Polish painter, Jacek Sempoliński. The Museum of the City of Łódź will present the works by Artur Szyk, a great figure of the international graphic art, closely connected with Polish history and culture, as well as an outstanding resident of Łódź.