'Following I.B. Singer's Traces 2018' festival starts on Monday

Twelve towns in the Lublin region of eastern Poland, which were written about by Nobel Prize winner Izaak Baszewis Singer, will be visited by artists and performers from around the world during the eighth 'Following I.B. Singer's Traces' festival, which starts on Monday.

The idea of the festival is to popularise the works of Singer, author among others of the novels The Magician of Lublin and stories whose action took place in the various towns of the Lublin region, and thereby reminding people of the bygone Jewish heritage of those places and the Jewish communities that once lived there.

"It is an exceptional festival, such as no other region of Poland has," commented the festival's director, Witold Dąbrowski of the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre in Lublin, the festival's main organiser. "We try to play, to intrigue, to delight in order that there appears a deeper reflection concerning the collective needs and individual memories of the residents of the cities we visit. This memory doesn't exist, it is very vestigial."

Dąbrowski stressed that the festival - which originally took place in four towns and later successively added more in each festival - is organised in cooperation with the local authorities and cultural centres. "That cooperation is ever closer," he declared.

During this year's 'Following I.B. Singer's Traces' festival, 13 artists will show off their skills from Croatia, Israel, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, England and Martinique. They will be musicians, actors, dancers as well as circus performers such as jugglers, acrobats and a hula-hoop master. The shows will take place in the towns' squares and streets. The artists will also make reference to Singer's prose and to the histories of the places they visit as well as to their former Jewish populations.

The festival starts on Monday in Chełm. The show will then move on to Piaski, Szczebrzeszyn, Krasnobród, Józefów, Biłgoraj, Tyszowce, Janów Lubelski, Bychawa, Kraśnik and Kock. The festival ends on July 28 in Lublin with a joint show of the artists, which will also form part of the Magicians Carnival festival taking place in the city at the same time.