I graduated with a degree in Polish and Cultural Studies from the University of Łódź and worked for Gazeta Wyborcza for 18 years. I loved this job because I had dreamt of journalism since I was a child. With time, I started to write about the history of Łódź, and besides writing articles, I started to publish books. One of the first books was a guide to the Jewish Cemetery in Łódź. Gradually I got to know the hidden corners of multicultural Łódź, the forgotten and unknown stories of fascinating people and places, and finally the history of the ghetto. I began to learn Hebrew and Yiddish, and at the University of Łódź I taught journalism workshop and, in time, creative writing. In 2011 I became the Director of the Mark Edelman Dialogue Center in Łódź. Ten years have passed since then. I hope that this place has already become an integral part of the city’s landscape.
From the very beginning, working at the Dialogue Center has been a great challenge since no one quite knew what it was supposed to be, or rather – everyone had a different vision of a cultural institution dealing with dialogue. But in the statute it is clearly stated that its aim is to promote the multicultural and multi-ethnic heritage of Łódź, and to counteract displays of racism and xenophobia. We sometimes tackle controversial topics. We do not always know how to approach them. And we are aware of how much there is to do. The Dialogue Center was – and I hope it remains – open to conversation, to dialogue with the other person. From the very first day, I invited enthusiasts and experts in multicultural history of Łódź and Poland to work together. And perhaps the most significant asset of this place is the team, and the people who come to us. The people who work with us. The people who support us (some from a distance of several hundred or even several thousand kilometres). The people who help us. Sometimes through kind words, other times through financial support. These 10 years have meant hundreds of meetings, dozens of exhibitions, concerts, books, thousands of conversations. There are also some challenging moments, because it is not always downhill. But there is no doubt in my mind that the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Łódź is needed and plays an important role. And I am very proud to be a part of it. It is a great adventure and a constant challenge.