Mountains of Literature Festival 2024

We launch the 10th jubilee edition of the biggest socio-literary event in Poland. Welcome to the world of the Mountains of Literature. We invite you to the world ‘in between’.

Programming this year’s Festival, thinking about the time when it takes place, considering the too numerous ideological, social and political tensions which accompany us, searching for inspiration and solace, we were returning from time to time to the essay Kraina Metaksy [The Land of Metaksa] by Olga Tokarczuk. The treatise written by our Founder is devoted mainly to issues of art, the process of its creation and mechanisms of reception. However – as it often happens with the Nobel Prize winner – while reading it, we start to see it as a treatise on phenomena going notably beyond the sphere of art.

Decoding the Greek word metaksy, which means ‘between’, Olga Tokarczuk attempts to determine and define possible spaces between beings. For the purpose of her essay, she proposes a notion that ‘between’ cannot mean emptiness, more: it cannot be emptiness, but it is something which connects the realities of opposites and can be – even if seemingly its main role is to bring the imaginary to life – very real, palpable, concrete.

Thus we began, for the purpose of the programme of this year’s edition, to define for ourselves realities and that which is between them, which inspires us, draws our attention, even though it is vague, undefinable and at first glance – impossible to classify.

In this way, we could move between the obvious and the unobvious, the confirmed and the uncertain, real and unreal. What we encountered in between allowed us to formulate questions which perhaps we wouldn’t ask without reading The Land of Metaksy. It turned out they are related to all topics we’ve been discussing at the Festival for a long time. Liberated from the fear of banal curiosity, not afraid of fundamental issues, we could start asking ourselves what is the most important issue for us today, and what escapes the simplified and primitive model of interhuman communication via short internet forms, to which – oh horrors! – we’ve already gotten used to.

The Mountains of Literature Festival was created on the initiative of Olga Tokarczuk in 2015. The main goals of the event from the beginning are: cultural and civic activation of the residents of Kłodzko Land and Wałbrzych Conurbation, promotion of culture and readership, propagation and strengthening of the ideas related to ecology and equality, as well as promotion of the region.

— First editions of the Festival took place on the terrace at my house. The lie of the land allowed for creating a kind of amphitheatre. And also closeness. I’m happy that, despite the huge growth of the event, this kind of closeness between the Festival guests and the audience is still one of its most important elements. I’m a bit terrified by the scale of this year’s edition, it’s impossible to participate in all the events with equal attention and involvement, but it makes me appreciate the work of the Foundation and the whole team even more – says the Nobel Prize winner.

Since 2022, the Festival has been organized by Olga Tokarczuk Foundation, an independent non-governmental organization established by the writer soon after she’d received the Nobel Prize.

 

Pokazy filmowe, Sarny, Festiwal Góry Literatury 2023, Skarb, Marcin Giżycki, Agnieszka Taborska, Magdalena Barbaruk
fot. Rafał Komorowski

A jubilee year

The year 2024 brings more than the anniversary of the Festival. 35 years ago, the first partially democratic parliamentary election took place in Poland, 25 years ago we joined NATO and 20 years ago we became a member of the European Union.

— Anniversaries can sometimes be underrated. But for us, important jubilees are very significant, and their unusual accumulation this year has a unique symbolic value. By honouring anniversaries, the Festival, which has become a part of the bloodstream of the region, reminds the residents that they are Europeans and free people. It highlights values related to those notions. It also allows for an unhindered discussion about the future and how not to waste the achievements of the past 35 years, how to correct them, how to approach the most recent history of Poland – says Grzegorz Tokarczuk, president of the Foundation.

2024 is also yet another year of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the continuing war in Gaza. It is a period of both symbolic and actual political changes in Poland, Europe and around the world. It is a period of anxiety and uncertainty, often chaotic and difficult to define, but also a time of hope and an opportunity for stabilization and democratization.

And it is this particular tear, the emotions accompanying contradictory experiences and expectations, local reliefs and global catastrophes, as well as the anniversaries mentioned above, which dictated the programme of this year’s Festival. Because we believe that art and culture provide the best, the quickest and the most uncompromising diagnoses of both worlds: the real one and the unreal one. And we continually believe in the words from our Founder’s Nobel Lecture which we’ve selected as our motto: “When the story changes, so does the world”.

A record-breaking edition

The enormous attendance at the last year’s edition of the Festival (35 thousand people in front of our stages and half a million online) and the wonderful reception of the Festival are for us a challenge and an incentive to continue our work.

And so we invite you to the biggest number of events in the history of the Festival: over 150. In the course of 11 days, our stages in 22 locations in Kłodzko Land and Wałbrzych Conurbation will be visited by over 230 guests. We will be present, among others, in Nowa Ruda, Kłodzko, Wałbrzych, Świdnica, Ludwikowice Kłodzkie and the grounds of Sarny Castle in Ścinawka Górna. There will be 11 concerts, 9 film screenings, 5 exhibitions, 2 theatre performances and 14 workshops and seminars of the Flying People’s University. But first and foremost, as always, we’ll create a stage for a dialogue – we’ve planned meetings, debates and discussions with eminent guests.

For the first time, we’ll incorporate another event into the Mountains of Literature: the Festival of Olga Tokarczuk’s Translators, during which 34 translators of the Nobel Prize winner’s works from around the world will visit us (they are also authors of translations of works by other excellent Polish writers). The Festival of Translators is a development of the project we started two years ago: a series of meetings and discussions on Polish literature from the perspective of the most important ambassadors of our culture – those who carry it over the borders of languages.

Public readings, film screenings and guests from abroad

Encouraged by the success of the last year’s reading of Empuzjon, this year we adapted fragments of The Books of Jacob (on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the book’s premiere) and invited eminent actors to interpret them: Matylda Damięcka, Helena Englert, Marek Kondrat, Andrzej Seweryn and Maciej Stuhr.  And those are no all public readings – there will also be performances by Aleksandra Popławska and… Olga Tokarczuk.

As part of the film segment, we will organize an outdoor screening of Green Border by Agnieszka Holland and will speak to the director about what has changed in our reality and the world she describes during the last year. We will also watch documentaries by Andrzej Titkow, the last film by Marcin Giżycki, a new film biography of Andrzej Seweryn, the Oscar-winning 20 Days in Mariupol by Mstyslav Chernov and two films by Ari Folman: The Congress and Waltz with Bashir.

The heart of the Festival: literature

As always, Polish literature is the central element of the Festival. The following authors will discuss their new books (and other things): Joanna Bator, Wojciech Bonowicz, Wojciech Chmielarz, Sylwia Chutnik, Jacek Dehnel, Katarzyna Groniec, Wioletta Grzegorzewska, Urszula Honek, Eliza Kącka, Joanna Kuciel-Frydryszak, Małgorzata Lebda, Jakov Z. Meyer, Joanna Mueller, Michał Rusinek, Barbara Sadurska, Adania Shibli, Paweł Sołtys, Agnieszka Taborska, Krzysztof Varga, Filip Zawada, Jakub Żulczyk and many, many more.

Popular science books and biographies will also be present. We will host not only writers, but also philosophers, scientists, art historians, psychologists, lawyers, ecologists, activists, and journalists.

Among our guests, there will be: Edwin Bendyk, Stanisław Bereś, Ewa Bińczyk, Jerzy Bralczyk, Justyna Dąbrowska, Piotr Jacoń, Sabina Jakubowska, Renata Kim, Leszek Kolankiewicz, Michał Książek, Jarosław Kuisz, Karolina Kuszlewicz, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Andrzej Leder, Bartek Sabela, Sylwia Spurek, Tomasz Stawiszyński and Magdalena Środa.

Our guests will be interviewed by excellent moderators. Both those who’ve been attending our Festival for years – among them Urszula Glensk, Katarzyna Kasia, Eliza Kącka, Katarzyna Kolenda-Zaleska, Karol Maliszewski, Michał Nogaś, Anda Rottenberg and Olga Wróbel – as well as debutants in this role, such as… the singer Renata Przemyk.

We will also resume presentations of Czech literature, which were an important segment of our Festival in the past – we will host Radka Denemarková, Petra Dvořáková and Anna Beata Háblová.

Social and political issues

As always, we will devote a lot of space to issues related to ecology. We will talk about climate changes, the meat industry and ecologizing economy. But we do not only speak about nature, we also try to promote environment-friendly solutions: we organize free public transport, we limit waste production, we don’t use plastic, and in our food area, you’ll find only meat-free cuisine. We will also walk around Nowa Ruda, observing urban vegetation, wander in the Stołowe Mountains National Park, and cook vegan food.

We will also focus on topics related to equality – we’ll discuss transgenderism, sensitive language and various roles dictated by gender.

And finally, we will talk about politics. In the last years, we’ve often heard that the Mountains of Literature Festival is an oasis of freedom in the world getting more and more Brownshirt. Our audience appreciated the often heated discussions and debates on the most important challenges of the present. We were visited by many politicians, critics of the former authorities. This year, we decided to invite several of them, both in relation to the anniversaries mentioned above and the posts they assumed after the last parliamentary election.

As a result, we actually created a separate political segment. Our invitations were accepted by the minister of justice Adam Bodnar, the minister of education Barbara Nowacka, deputy minister of culture Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, deputy minister of foreign affairs Marek Prawda and Anna Lührmann, the minister of state in the German Federal Foreign Office, responsible, among others, for European affairs and climate. Apart from various intellectual and social advantages of such visits, we also have an additional goal in this segment: we want the politicians to see the true power of Polish culture and to face its huge audience. We want them to see up close how the people of culture change the world. We want the driving force of politics to meet the driving force of culture.

— I think it’s time for a seemingly paradoxical redefinition of the notion of “the people of culture”. It’s obvious that’s what we call the artists appearing on our stages. But from our perspective, and from the perspective of the stages as well, the true people of culture are the people in the audience. It’s an immeasurable value that we can all clearly see and hear each other during big cultural events. And in the time of growing global crises, we should constantly remind of the cliché that art changes the world thanks to its recipients – says Irek Grin, chairman of the Council of Olga Tokarczuk Foundation and programme director of the Festival.

Selected events will be translated into Polish Sign Language. A vast majority of the events will be streamed online, and video recordings of the meetings will later be published in our social media.

piesek
fot. Jerzy Wypych

Music, art, theatre

Concerts are an inherent part of the Festival. This year – as is the case with most other events – we will organize the biggest number of them in our history. For the first time, music will be present at the end of each Festival day, not only on the grounds of Sarny Castle. We’re very happy that a strong representation of Wrocław and Lower Silesia will perform: Hurt, Lech Janerka, LUC & Rebel Babel Ensemble and Skalpel. Apart from them: Fisz Emade Tworzywo, Katarzyna Groniec, Kortez, Ørganek, Pablopavo i Ludziki, Vito Bambino, Piotr Damasiewicz with Agnieszka Popławska and Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało.

Together with a unique partner of our Festival, Jaga Hupało, and artists working with her, among them Ann M. Kramm, as well as in cooperation with Magdalena Mielnicka and her gallery NOWA art space, we will once again invite you to many exhibition openings and performances. On the grounds of Sarny Castle, there will be a collective exhibition presenting works by several dozen artists, and we’ll also organize solo exhibitions of art by, among others, Maja Gajewska and Wojciech Siudmak.

A new element in this year’s programme are theatre performances. Teatr Nowy Proxima will present “The Comedian”, a literary mix of Anton Chekhov and Thomas Bernhard, and Teatr THB – an adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel E.E.

A permanent element of the programme are discussions with representatives of Tour de Constitution – one of the most important educational initiatives in Poland – and they will join us this year once more. We’ve also grown to like the fair presenting handicraft and local products, and once again we will organize it on the Market Square in Nowa Ruda.

Another tradition of the Festival is the presence of all generations. We observe a significant growth in the number of families with children among our audience. And so this year’s edition of the Little Mountains of Literature dedicated to the youngest readers will also be the biggest in history. They will meet with Grzegorz Kasdepke, Agata Romaniuk, Barbara Sadurska and Olga Tokarczuk’s translators. Additional activities will be organized in Świdnica.

Several dozen various workshops and seminars as part of the Flying People’s University are our answer to the growing expectations of our audience. A huge interest in educational activities is a proof of a growing need for self-education and self-development, and it seems to pe particularly strong in smaller towns. This year, participants in the classes will work, among others, with Edwin Bendyk, Paweł Chyc, Karolina Kuszlewicz, Michał Książek, Magdalena Środa and Stewunia, and writer and translator Bekriah Mawasi will speak about Palestinian literature and culture.

Practical information

The full programme of the 10th edition of the Mountains of Literature Festival is available on our website (https://fundacjaolgitokarczuk.org/festiwal-gory-literatury/2024/). Tickets can be purchased at eBilet platform (https://www.ebilet.pl/muzyka/festiwale/festiwal-gory-literatury). A novelty this year are weekend passes – for one or both weekends (5-7 July and 12-14 July) – granting access to all events taking place on the grounds of Sarny Castle in Ścinawka Górna. Day tickets are also available – for all the events of a given day plus the concert. On weekdays, tickets are needed only for concerts and performances. In case the tickets aren’t sold out in advance, they will be available also before the events.

Admission to all other events is free. Registration is obligatory for workshops and seminars of the Flying People’s University at lul@fundacjaolgitokarczuk.org, the number of places is limited.

Festival bus lines 2024

Just like every year, we opened bus services especially for you! We limit carbon footprint and make it easier to move between Festival locations. Apart from the advantages of limiting car travel, there’s another reason: we cannot guarantee parking spaces for everyone.

Traveling by buses marked with the logo of the Foundation is free of charge.

Locations of stops on the route:

  • Słupiec – Nowa Ruda Słupiec stop, ul. Kłodzka (next to Intermarche),
  • Nowa Ruda (1) – Dworzec Autobusowy [Bus station], ul. Niepodległości 8,
  • Nowa Ruda (2) – Miejski Ośrodek Kultury [Town Cultural Centre], ul. Strzelecka 2a,
  • [Zamek Sarny [Sarny Castle], Ścinawka Górna.

5 July

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.30; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna, next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.30, 13.00, 14.30, 16.00, 17.30, 19.00 and 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 15.00, 18.00, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00 pm and midnight.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

6 July 

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.30; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.30, 13.00, 14.30, 16.00, 17.30, 19.00 and 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 15.00, 18.00, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

7 July 

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.30; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.30, 13.00, 14.30, 16.00, 17.30, 19.00 and 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 15.00, 18.00, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

12 July 

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.15; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.15, 12.45, 14.15, 15.45, 17.15, 18.45 and 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 16.30, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

13 July 

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.15; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.15, 13.30, 15.00, 16.30, 18.00, 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 15.45, 18.45, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

14 July 

Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy (1) → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Miejski Ośrodek Kultury (2) → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche

 

The first bus leaves Słupiec at 11.15; on the way to Sarny Castle, it will stop in two locations in Nowa Ruda. The route ends in Ścinawka Górna next to Sarny Castle.

Buses from Słupiec leave at: 11.15, 14.15, 16.45, 20.45.

Buses will return from Sarny Castle at: 15.15, 21.15, 23.30, 23.45 and 00.00.

Attention! After the concert (from 23.30 on) buses will take a shortened route: Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy PKS (1) → Słupiec, Intermarche.

We also encourage you to use public transport between towns. The area of Nowa Ruda is serviced by P.W. Beskid (www.beskid-przewozy.pl) and PKS Kłodzko (https://pks-klodzko.pl).

For those travelling from the south: no. 378 buses will take the route: Broumov → Otovice, statek → Otovice, prodejna → Tłumaczów, Rudawa → Ścinawka Górna, Zamek Sarny → Nowa Ruda, ul. Fredry/Sportowa → Nowa Ruda, Dworzec Autobusowy → Słupiec, Intermarche → Nowa Ruda, Słupiec ul. Kłodzka/Kwiatkowskiego (https://doba.pl/dkl/artykul/na-czechow-mozna-liczyc-ich-autobusami-mozna-dojechac-z-nowej-rudy-do-broumova-rozklad-jazdy-/39070/15).

 

Additional information and a phone number for extraordinary circumstances: 663 702 683.

Kontakt dla mediów

Dorota Oczak-Stach 
e-mail: dorota.oczak@fundacjaolgitokarczuk.org

Partnerzy Festiwalu Góry Literatury

Partnerzy Festiwalu Tłumaczy Olgi Tokarczuk

 

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