A carefully curated selection of the most important, emblematic and significant events in the coming three months.
Regardless of genre or duration, this is what makes springtime Kraków Culture!
Mastercard Off Camera
The largest celebration of independent cinema in our part of Europe, the event presents auteur films from all over the globe, fascinating discussions with representatives of the film industry, meetings with stars of the red carpet, film screenings and concerts in Kraków’s beautiful scenery. One of the most important elements of the Mastercard Off Camera Festival is the competition for the Krakow Film Award.
The world premiere of Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa’s Wanda is held as part of the celebrations of the Year of Cyprian Kamil Norwid. Based on motifs from his drama, the music spectacle held at the Arcaded Courtyard at Royal Wawel Castle is directed by Waldemar Zawodziński. Music direction comes from Michał Klauza, and the soloists are accompanied by an orchestra, choir, children’s choir and ballet of the Kraków Opera.
Megabit Bomb Festival
An event bringing together avid readers and fans of state-of-the-art technologies, held in September as part of the city-wide celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Stanisław Lem. The festival intertwines culture, science and technology through workshops, lectures, concerts, spectacles and film screenings at the Potocki Palace and the ICE Kraków Congress Centre.
Opera Rara: L’Arpeggiata
The performance by the L’Arpeggiata ensemble and the Romanian countertenor Valer Sabadus is held as part of this year’s Opera Rara Festival. The programme Miracolo d’amore. Da Venezia a Napoli takes us on a musical journey in the Italian seicento.
Opera Rara: The Golden Dragon
In one of the final instalments of this year’s festival, Karolina Sofulak directs Peter Eötvös’ opera which reaches for elements of musical, cabaret and psychodrama to explore pressing social issues such as isolation, migration and poverty.
Sacrum Profanum: Maturity
Drawing on its twenty years of experience, the current formula of the festival aims to bridge independent and academic music and intertwine plastic arts, opera, theatre and performance. It “profanes” classics, tradition and conservatism and “sacralises” experimentation, avantgarde and curiosity. This year’s leitmotif is “Maturity”.
Jazz Juniors 2021
Held every year since 1976, the festival is an opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to meet acclaimed artists. Young performers chosen by an international jury through auditions become indelibly written in the festival’s history and gain an opportunity to boost their career through networking with industry experts.
Patchlab | digital art festival
The 10th anniversary Patchlab Festival is held under the banner GAME OVER. It recalls artistic games which form an important element of this year’s celebrations of digital art, and forms a broader reflection on the condition of culture rooted in the virtual world. Some of the most important themes of the festival are reflections on the work of Stanisław Lem.
Opera Rara: Samuel Mariño recital
The performance by the male soprano Samuel Mariño culminates the autumn instalment of the Opera Rara Festival. As well as accompanying the dazzling singer, Capella Cracoviensis also performs Symphony No. 29 in A major, composed by Mozart when he was just seventeen.
Unsound 2021: dəəp authentic
The Unsound festival specialises in contemporary electronic and experimental music. It is renowned the world over as an event which is always ahead of the trends and serves as a platform for exchanging ideas. It presents unusual takes on sound, concert venues and promotion, and its guests are artists who cannot be easily pigeonholed. This year’s theme “dəəp authentic” is a play on “deep fake”, which is creeping into all spheres of our lives, including the artistic.
International Book Fair in Krakow
During the International Book Fair in Krakow, publishing houses, bookshops, printing presses and cultural institutions from all over the country showcase their latest publications and accompanying activities at over 300 stalls at EXPO Kraków. The October event also features workshops, industry panels, meetings with authors at their publishers’ stalls and in seminar rooms, and other events promoting reading.
The largest international literary event in Poland and one of the most important of its in Europe. It showcases literature created in all corners of the globe and works by Polish authors featuring discussions with artistic and social dimensions. The festival also includes meetings with authors, debates, workshops, film screenings, concerts, exhibitions, literary walks and industry events for publishers, translators and illustrators.
Kraków All Souls “Zaduszki” Jazz Festival
The longest-running jazz festival in Europe, it features concerts in the capital of Małopolska and further afield: in Wieliczka, Trzebinia, Olkusz, Oświęcim and Bukowina Tatrzańska. This year’s refreshed formula is “Jazz for Everyone”, featuring brand-new trends and young musicians alongside tradition and established masters.
Audio Art Festival 2021
Audio Art is an experimental, post-modernist form of art of the turn of the millennia. Launched in 1993, the festival programme features concerts, sound installations and ‘separate art’ which eludes classification. It abounds with digital and analogue art and various hybrids, as well as plenty of low-tech, discovering old and even forgotten technologies.
Etiuda&Anima International Film Festival
This international event has been held in Kraków since 1994. The festival confronts the achievements of students at film and art schools the world over and the achievements of creators of artistic animations – professionals, students, and independent artists. Each festival presents two competitions: Etiuda (for best short film) and Anima (for best animation).
Krakow Jazz Autumn
This international festival, running since 2006 and held in Kraków’s Kazimierz district, is organised by the Dom Kultury Alchemia Foundation and Alchemia Club in collaboration with Not Two Records. It aims to showcase contemporary improvised music. The star of this year’s event is the British double-bass virtuoso Barry Guy and his 14-strong Blue Shroud Band.
Year of Stanisław Lem
We celebrate the author of “Solaris” on the centenary of his birth with congresses and academic conferences, exhibitions, literary meetings, concerts, theatre performances and special streams as part of other festivals. Events culminate in the autumn.
All the King’s Tapestries: Homecomings 2021–1961–1921
The first ever presentation of the entire preserved collection of 16th-century tapestries in the interiors they were commissioned for; it also explores the work done by custodians to repair the damage sustained by the arrases during the turbulent history of the royal treasure trove.
Hokusai. Wandering. Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection of the National Museum in Krakow
Works by the Japanese master of woodcut prints Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) are presented at the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow in the context of literal meanderings through the country and metaphorical artistic journeys in an endless search for truth in images.
Ukraine. A Different Angle on Neighbourhood
Devised as a joint Polish and Ukrainian analysis of cultural and historical narratives described as “Ukrainian myths”, the exhibition at the International Cultural Centre reaches for collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU) in Kyiv to explore the stereotypes and perceptions in both countries.
CERTAIN Boundaries. Zbigniew Łagocki. Photography
One of the greatest Polish photographers of the 20th century, occasionally stepping beyond the boundaries of intimacy, he always remained faithful to the ideals of beauty and humanism. He has created a series of iconic portraits of eminent Cracovians and documented the activities of Piwnica Pod Baranami and local theatres. The exhibition at Manggha Museum includes the cycles Aerotica, Body Building and Touches.
A Thing for Art. Design in Kraków
This autumn, events held under the banner A Thing for Art once again bring together initiatives by Cracovian artists, designers, foundations, associations, galleries, studios, artisans and producers. We discover for the fourth time that all spheres of our lives can provide a creative challenge.
Open Eyes Art Festival
The Open Eyes Art Festival is a space presenting all forms and genres of art including painting, sculpture, film, photography, printmaking, design, intermedia, conservation and performance in partnership with some of Kraków’s most important cultural institutions, prepared as an element of the Open Eyes Economy Summit (OEES).
Thirty to Tomorrow
Collective exhibition at Cricoteka prepared by Robert Kuśmirowski and selected curators and artists. The main theme is kinship with works by Tadeusz Kantor as shown through attitudes, general artistic vision and themes explored by the artists.
20th + 21st. Polish Art Gallery
The latest instalment of the permanent gallery of contemporary art at the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow presents a fresh take by the museum’s curators. We will see works from the Young Poland period, modernism, expressionism, colourism and avantgarde, art by the Second Kraków Group and the Wprost and Ładnie groups, all the way to the most recent artworks.
Leszek Sobocki. Portraits of Cracovians
The wide-ranging presentation of Leszek Sobocki’s figurative paintings includes over fifty artworks created between the 1990s and recently. The most extensive selection at the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art includes portraits of individuals of his acquaintance, forming a subjective retinue of Cracovians, created over the last two decades.
Opening of the Stanisław Wyspiański Museum
The latest permanent exhibition of the National Museum in Krakow, shown in the former city granary, includes a collection of 1100 artworks including paintings, designs, decoration, drawings, arts and crafts, sculptures, sketches and art books by this visionary Cracovian artist.
From atmospheric clubs to grand concert halls; from classical repertoires to experimental art; from literary festivals to informal meetings – every month Kraków hosts myriad cultural events. Want to keep up-to-date? You’ll find everything you need on the Kraków Culture / Karnet website!