Here you can download the full program of the Multicultural Festival in Krakow (25 Feb 2017). Download PDF.
Welcome To Open Krakow
On 23rd – 25th of February 2017, the City Council of Krakow, The Mikołaj Rej Foundation Supporting Polish Culture and Language and INTERKULTURALNI PL are organizing an “Open Krakow” conference with the goal of popularizing the work toward cultural diversity and integration of foreigners in Krakow.
The “Open Krakow” Program
In November, 2016 the City Council of Krakow committed to implementing the “Open Krakow” city program prepared by the Department of Community Affairs UMK. It was inspired by a shared project led by INTERKULTURALNI PL and The Municipal Centre to Support Social Initiatives. The program has the goals of easing the integration of foreigners in Krakow and convincing residents of the benefits generated from their presence in the city.
Through its thousand-year-old history, Krakow has been at the intersection of many cultures and influences. With five centuries as the capital of Poland, it has developed as place with a rich multicultural tradition. It is here that from the 7th century, Jews could freely settle and create one of the largest communities in the region. Armenians, Russians, and other foreigners, including Muslims, have also made an imprint in the cultural history and heritage of Krakow. Krakow is the city of Polish kings, many of whom had Czech, Hungarian, Lithuania, French or Swedish roots. The is a city of historic and contemporary trade routes linking the Orient with Eastern Europe, Vienna with Eastern Prussia and Gdansk. As a center of academic learning, Krakow has attracted students from around the world for 600 years who have helped build Polish strength, culture and identity. Even during the partition period, Krakow was not only a thriving center upholding Polish national identity but also the primary cosmopolitan center on Polish lands.
These traditions did not stop even during the People’s Republic of Poland, when the entire country was falling in the chasm of monoculturalism. Krakow gave birth to Pope John Paul The II who revolutionized the Roman Catholic Church and opened up the papacy to the world, becoming the pilgrim pope and advocate of diverse multiculturalism, human rights along with goodness and respect toward others. After taking back sovereignty in 1989, Krakow became a growing tourism center both within the country and internationally. Krakow is a place where Jewish history became reborn in Poland. It is a city where foreigners are warmly seen. In addition, an enlightened politics of local government has led to transforming the local economy into an incubator of outsourcing services, modern technologies with the collaboration of education and business. Due to all these reasons, it has become easier for a growing number of foreigners to settle in Krakow permanently.
The conference prepared by us will show the potential tied to the presence and work of foreigners in Krakow, allow them to show projects they lead and prove the Open Krakow program has a practical and not just a symbolic sense. We also want to use the experience of other cities who efficiently and effectively govern migration. The conference will be a chance to search for solutions to problems in the process of integration like language barriers and educational experiences. We would like to create a foundation for a system, within which migration will become a part of the local community that lives in goodness and harmony.