(En)countering Culture

Session #1 Panel Discussion  |  Monday, June 24  |  12:00 – 13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Srednia)

Inaugural Topic: Culture in a Changing Europe

Paweł Potoroczyn | Jacek Purchla | Aneta Szyłak | Paula Bialski

What better way to start the IP than with a high-level, celebrity discussion on the one thing that is at the heart of the MA programme: Culture?! From traversing cultural barriers and the internationalization of culture, to the promotion and funding in the culture industry, to the discussion of culture as a catalyst of social change, and finally, to what kinds of jobs Euroculture students can expect in ‘culture’ once they graduate: these are the topics that will be debated at the head of the table and in the aisles on Monday, June 24th following the keynote lecture. 


photo and illustration by Juan M Sarabia | Pink Plastic Bag

We present you with a truly amazing all-star line-up from the Polish cultural arena: Paweł Potoroczyn, the director of THE cultural institution of Poland, akin to the Goethe Institute or Instytut Francais, with the remit of promoting Polish culture abroad. Not only is he a cultural manager and diplomat, he is also at the ‘coalface of culture’, putting his name on the line with his new critically acclaimed novel, Ludzka Rzecz (To Err is Human). Beside Potoroczyn we have Prof. Jacek Purchla, urban sociologist, Director of the International Cultural Center in Krakow, once the deputy major of the city of Krakow, the brains and work behind Krakow, City of Culture 2000. He is one of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading urban sociologists and specialists of the region, and also a permanent faculty member at the Institute of European Studies JU. Next to Purchla is Aneta Szyłak, director of the Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdańsk, an independent institution devoted to contemporary artistic culture. Szylak is one of Poland’s most prominent art curators and the artistic director of acclaimed  ‘Alternativa’ International Contemporary Visual Arts Festival. Finally, we have Paula Bialski, a young, ‘practicing’ artist, the founding member of the internationally-renowned pop-folk band Paula & Karol. She has recorded 2 studio albums, and played nearly 90 concerts in 2012 alone – both in Poland and internationally. She teaches a course on Music & Society in Hamburg, and has discussed her views on the artist market and the recording industry at various festivals and conferences.

For your consideration, amusement and reflection.


Paweł Potoroczyn

Diplomat and culture manager, film and music producer, publisher. Director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw since 2008. Holds an MA in philosophy from the University of Warsaw, where he also read history. He began his career in public service in 1992 as President of the Polish Information Agency. Started his diplomatic service in 1995 as Cultural Consul at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles. Foundingdirector of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York in 2000, then director of the Polish Cultural Institute in London from 2005. Published extensively in periodicals including Rzeczpospolita, Poland’s second-largest daily newspaper, and the magazinesTygodnik Powszechny and Brief. In 2013 he published a novel Ludzka rzecz (To Err Is Human).

Prof. Jacek Purchla

He was born in Krakow in 1954. He graduated in Economics and Art History. He is full professor of humanities (professor ordinarius) and a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the head of the Department of Economic and Social History and the UNESCO Chair for Heritage and Urban Studies at the Krakow University of Economics, as well as the head of the Centre of European Heritage, Institute of European Studies at the Jagiellonian University. His research areas are urban development, social history and art history of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the theory and protection of cultural heritage. He is the author of over four hundred academic works, including a number of books. From 1990 to 1991 he was a vice-mayor of the city of Krakow. He has been the founder and director of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow since its inception in 1991. He is a member of many organisations and associations, including a titular of the Comité international d’histoire de l’art (CIHA), as well as the Europa Nostra Council in The Hague and the Art Studies Committee at the Polish Academy of Sciences, expert of the European Heritage Label, member of the Advisory Council of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. Since 2000 he has chaired the Monument Preservation Council at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In February 2012 was elected as vice president of Polish National Commission for UNESCO.

Aneta Szyłak | photo Michał Szlaga

a cura­tor and wri­ter, co-​​founder and cur­ren­tly the direc­tor of the Wyspa Insti­tute of Art and since 2010 the arti­stic direc­tor of Alter­na­tiva. After co-​​founding and run­ning the Laznia (Bath­ho­use) Cen­tre for Con­tem­po­rary Art (1998−2001) she pur­sued a career as an inde­pen­dent cura­tor and rese­ar­cher. Since 2004 she has been respon­si­ble for run­ning Wyspa – the intel­lec­tual envi­ron­ment for con­tem­po­rary visual cul­ture – in the Gdansk Shi­py­ard. In 2005, she rece­ived the Jerzy Sta­juda Award “for inde­pen­dent and uncom­pro­mi­sing cura­to­rial prac­tice”. Szy­lak has a long inte­rest in loca­ted prac­tice and her exhi­bi­tions are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a strong response to cul­tu­ral, poli­ti­cal, social, archi­tec­tu­ral and insti­tu­tio­nal par­ti­cu­la­ri­ties and inc­lude: Mate­ria­lity for Alter­na­tiva (with Arne Hen­driks, Ines More­ira and Leire Ver­gara 2012), Buil­dings and Rem­nants (Fabrika Asa, Porto, 2012 with Ines More­ira), Estran­ge­ment for Alter­na­tiva (with Hiwa K, 2011), Labor and Leisure for Alter­na­tiva (2011), Estran­ge­ment (with Hiwa K) at the Show­room, Lon­don (2010); Over and Over Again at the Cen­ten­nial Hall, Wroc­law (2009); Cho­sen in the Digi­tal Art Lab in Holon (with Galit Eilat); Trans­late: The Impos­si­ble Col­lec­tion at Wyspa (2008); Ewa Par­tum: The Lega­lity of Space at Wyspa, You won’t feel a thing: On Panic, Obses­sion, Ritu­ality and Ana­esthe­sia in Kun­sthaus Dres­den, and Artur Zmi­jew­ski: Selec­ted Works at Wyspa (all in 2006); Dockwat­chers (2005, Wyspa); Palimp­sest Museum (2004, Lodz Bien­nale); Health & Safety (2004, Wyspa); Archi­tec­tu­res of Gen­der (2003, Sculp­tu­re­Cen­ter, New York) and others. She has tau­ght and lec­tu­red at many art insti­tu­tions and uni­ver­si­ties inc­lu­ding the Dutch Art Insti­tute in Arn­hem, New School Uni­ver­sity, Queens Col­lege and New York Uni­ver­sity, Flo­rida Atlan­tic Uni­ver­sity, Gold­smith Col­lege in Lon­don, Copen­ha­gen Uni­ver­sity, and wor­ked as a guest pro­fes­sor at the Aka­de­mie für Bil­dende Kün­ste in Mainz, Ger­many. Cur­ren­tly she is fina­li­zing her Ph.D. the­sis enti­tled Cura­ting Con­text. The Palimp­sest at Gold­smi­ths Col­lege in Lon­don and Copen­ha­gen Docto­ral School, Copen­ha­gen University.

Dr. Paula Bialski

Paula is the founding member of the internationally-renowned pop-folk band. She recorded 2 studio albums, and played nearly 90 concerts in 2012 alone - both in Poland and internationally. She teaches a course on Music & Society in Hamburg, and has discussed her views on the artist market and the recording industry at various festivals and conferences.