The city of Łódź is located in the heart of Poland at a crossing point of many important European routes. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Łódź was influenced by four cultures. The Polish, Jewish, German and Russian inhabitants contributed to the rich and diverse cultural background of the city that the University strives to sustain. The local architecture and history attract a great number of tourists. The history of Łódź is linked to the rapid 19th century development of the textile industry when the place was called the city of factory chimneys and the Promised Land.
(quoted from the University of Łódź website)
Since 2002 the Four Cultures Festival has been taking place in Łódź. It is a multidisciplinary event, consisting of ceremonies, film and theatre shows, concerts and exhibitions connected with four nations living in Łódź before the war: Polish, Jewish, German and Russian. According to Festival Director Zbigniew Brzoza: “…there is no need to fear the unknown. After all, Łódź was once a city inhabited solely by foreigners, who by working together created this extraordinary city.” Continuing in his introductory remarks, Director Brzoza also notes that, “In the contemporary world the arrival of strangers is just as inevitable as the changing weather. It won’t be halted by abandoning the greatest achievements of our culture that include respect for the rights of citizens and respect for diversity.” This approach, Director Brzoza concludes, bodes for a positive outcome: “We shall welcome artists from different parts of our old continent and the Middle East, who find inspiration in the rich heritage of world culture. The ‘alien’ part of fear may become a source of inspiration and lead to creation of new works.”
To support this idea, the 2016 Łódź Four Cultures Festival (May 20 – June 5) will feature musicians, artists, filmmakers, actors, and culture creators from all over Europe and the Middle East. Drawing on the wealth of cultures in the world, the classical music performers include renowned Polish musicians such as Karol Radziwonowicz, Andrzej Bauer and Sinfonia Viva as well as Tunisian singer and composer Dhafer Youssef. Other cultural creators from around the globe joining this year’s Festival line-up include street performers from France, puppeteers from Spain, and collaborating jazz/folk musicians from Syria, Yemen, Greece, Israel and Poland. Visit www.4kultury.pl for a full lineup and more information.
May 20 – June 5, 2016
Łódź Four Cultures Festival
Various venues in Łódź, Poland