Forum for the Future of Culture 2023 – „Practices of hope”

26, 27 and 28 May 2023 r., Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw

The Forum for the Future of Culture has been organized by Powszechny Theater with the support of the Capital City of Warsaw since 2017. It’s a space for meaningful dialogue and perspectives for the development of culture, promoting critical attitudes, diversity, openness, care, and respect for the rights of minorities. Forum connects people associated with art, science, and activism; it focuses on supporting and presenting new, sometimes utopian cultural visions.

The war in Ukraine, three years of the pandemic, growing authoritarian tendencies in many countries, unstable economic situation, and more and more crises. Yet, at the same time, examples of incredible solidarity, protests, disagreement with authoritarian tendencies of the government, identity transformations, and grassroots social movements that bring big changes. This is the social and political landscape of Europe in 2023. This situation is a challenge for Poland and all countries of the region, however, it also brings hope: it forces people to think and work through the policies of identity, memory, and narrations told about and against themselves.

How does culture respond to these changes? What should be the new cultural project for Central and Eastern Europe – a possible new map of imagination? 

During the Forum for the Future of Culture 2023, we want to take a closer look at the societies of our region, to explore new forms of solidarity and community-based actions of citizens, their resistance practices against authoritarianism and populism, the processes of forming new narrations regarding the future shape of social politics, culture, and economy. We also want to explore the role that cultural institutions can play in these processes.

The war in Ukraine redefines the way our part of Europe is seen. This Europe is being reborn here – in the spirit of solidarity, feminist care, and belief in community and democracy. This Europe is sick, like many other countries that deal with populism, a new life of fascism, and the lack of faith in the European Union. We cannot wait for the crises to end, we must treat them like a warning, especially with the upcoming elections. We should start creating a new cultural vision of Central and Eastern Europe. A vision of the culture of this region autonomous from the Russian culture and exotic visions imposed by Western Europe. A culture that can change reality by drawing its strength from hope.