MALTA FESTIVAL POZNAN 2018 – the Leap of Faith Idiom – Poznan (Pol) – 15-24 june, 2018.

This year, Malta Festival Poznań is determined by the dynamics of a leap. With the theme of this edition, the Leap of Faith Idiom, we are considering the possible variations on approaches to faith: a risky leap into admiration and beauty, but also into fanaticism. We ask how different beliefs and axiologies can come together in a discussion. Where do the dividing lines run, as well as the ones of understanding?

The festival will begin with a collective cleansing action: the building and then destroying of a cardboard construction resembling a controversial tower artificially added to the historical structure of Poznań’s Castle of Przemysł. This innocent albeit subversive gesture by Olivier Grossetête and numerous volunteers will herald the various festival projects showing that art has the power to unmask the madness of the world around us, and to protest this madness as both individuals and citizens.

In the year of Poland’s 100th independence anniversary, at a time when freedom, opposition and the struggle for sovereignty are so often appropriated by national liberation discourses, we propose a reversed narrative. Celebrated young theatre director Aneta Groszyńska and dramaturge Jan Czapliński will address the anatomy of the Polish soul possessed by the idea of romantic martyrdom. At Malta’s invitation, they will create the first ever staging of the Angelus-winning novel Messiások (Messiahs) by Hungarian writer Györgi Spiró.

After five years, Poznań will be revisited by the legendary Needcompany from Belgium. Grace Ellen Barkey, Jan Lauwers and Maarten Seghers will meet with the festival audience in a new role – as the curators of the Leap of Faith Idiom. Based on the etymology of the word ‘curator’ (Lat. cūro – to restore to health), they understand this role as one of healing, and wonder how their presence in Poland as guests can resonate with the current socio-political situation. The artistic programme they are proposing provokes the question of how art, which deals with topics such as death, war and religious fundamentalism, can bring hope. Needcompany – an extraordinary multi-generational collective of artists from various backgrounds – performs leaps of faith every day. Not only by creating new projects, but also by working for the younger generation of artists and their closest neighbours: the Molenbeek Brussels community. This is the location of Needcompany’s new base, the MILL, which fulfils in practice the idea of a home of the arts that is open to all.

For Needcompany, the concept of community is vital. Likewise, at Malta we never forget how celebrating the city, music and theatre can bring us all closer. Hence the Malta heartbeat, which has been growing stronger for the six years, is the Generator, a community art programme at Liberty Square. This year, as before, it will become a meeting place at the intersection of many paths: a venue for music and theatre premieres, installations, workshops and discussions till dawn.

And for the Malta finale a song will resound in the open space of Wieniawski Park with everyone invited to sing along to the music of Zygmunt Konieczny in the exciting interpretation of Agata Zubel, arranged by Cezary Duchnowski.

Michał Merczyński
Malta Festival Poznań Director

Programm :

Image: Jan Lauwers / photo Gwen Laroche

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