21/06/2019 30/06/2019

FestivALT alternative Jewish festival to open in Krakow in June

Jerzy Ochoński/PAP

The third FestivALT festival featuring independent presentations of Jewish art will run from June 21 to 30 in the southern Polish city of Krakow. Shows, concerts, happenings and unconventional sights are all planned in the former Jewish quarter of Kazimierz.

The event's oragnisers stress that through art and critical thought, FestivALT tackles difficult Jewish subjects in today's Poland. Upcoming and established artists from Poland and around the world are invited to participate in the presentation of original and experimental art, and discussions and reflections on the conditions of Jewish life and remembrance in Poland.

Festival director Michael Rubenfeld noted that FestivALT is a Jewish artistic collective and annual festival of critical thought, art and activism in Krakow. "As Jews, we were in Poland for 1,000 years before the Holocaust and, now, although it seemed impossible, Jewish life is again blooming in Poland," he observed.

Event co-organiser Magda Rubenfeld-Koralewska highlighted that the festival's programme is made up of "brave and experimental art, which makes reference to the complexity of Polish-Jewish issues in today's Poland." According to her, the last two editions of the festival saw 30 events and projects organised, of which 15 had never been presented before.

"We launched the festival in 2017 because we wanted to create a space for free discussion above divisions, open to us and to everybody who wants to talk about these issues," FestivALT director Jason Franciso noted.

The festival's opening will take place in the evening of the Sabbath on Friday June 21 with a performance by a duet from Krakow - Maja Pompa and Laja Szklo - who will present the musical-lyrical spectacle 'Di libe brent wi a nase szmate' (Love burns like a wet rag).