Faces of Malopolska. The 13th Annual Days of Cultural Heritage

The Malopolska Days of Cultural Heritage is an annual festival showcasing the cultural history and diversity of Poland’s Malopolska region. Originally an initiative of the Malopolska Provincial Government, Days of Cultural Heritage – now in its thirteenth iteration – is organised by the Malopolska Institute of Culture.

Since 1999, when festival programming began, some 200 locations and site-specific objects – ranging from the well-known to the obscure and privately-owned – have been presented to the public.

The aim of these events has been twofold: to illuminate the history of a particular site, examining its regional significance in the past; and, at the same time, to weave the site into the fabric and context of the present time, and to underline the enduring vitality of these historical locations and cultural focal points at the beginning of a new century.

Additionally, Days of Cultural Heritage programming has always emphasized the importance of visiting a physical location; of firsthand, primary-source experience. It is one thing to read a description or see a photographic reproduction in a book, but quite another to stand in the actual courtyard of an architecturally-significant building, or to marvel at the play of light on a signature stained-glass window.

One of the goals of Days of Cultural Heritage has been to open up these “living museums” to the general (and inquisitive) public, and to do so with help from local communities and knowledgeable residents.

Twelve historical sites located throughout the province have been chosen for this year’s programme. Each site will be opened to the public and presented in coordination with a series of workshops, lectures, exhibitions, documentary films and publications tailored specifically to the story and regional significance of each site.

In addition, the twelve sites will be connected with the lives of individuals who, at some point in history, were intimately involved with a particular location. Some of these figures, or historical “guides”, were well-known public figures, whereas others were known only to a smaller circle of acquaintances. Each “guide” helps demonstrate the way in which the story of our sites is also the story of individuals and communities over time, personal histories all wrapped together and overlapping from one generation to the next.

It is perhaps on the canvas of individual faces that history can most poignantly be felt and understood, and we have therefore decided to gather this year’s sites under the thematic heading Faces of Malopolska.

Although events and tours will be in Polish, we nevertheless encourage visitors who do not speak or understand Polish to explore this year’s four routes with enthusiasm. We feel quite strongly that indelible aspects of each site-specific experience are bound to make an impression on all visitors, regardless of nationality or mother tongue.

We also recommend visiting the art installation Reconnections (located in Krakow’s “Small Market Square”) and logging on to our expanded and annotated website, where detailed descriptions of each location featured in the 13th Annual Days of Cultural Heritage can be found, along with maps, photographs, and a complete programme schedule.

The project Faces of Malopolska. The 13th Annual Days of Cultural Heritage, realised by the Malopolska Institute of Culture, is co-funded by the European Union, within the Malopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007–2013, and by the budget of the Malopolska Voivodeship.

Graphic Design: Agnieszka Buława-Orłowska
Project Manager: Joanna Osiewicz-Lorenzutti
Coordinator of Route I: Paweł Pomykalski
Coordinator of Route II: Anna Miodyńska
Coordinator of Route III: Beata Skrzypek
Coordinator of Route IV: Joanna Nowostawska-Gyalókay

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