2012 Poland

The word beyond borders

Poland has achieved the most outstanding literary results outside the novel’s border: Ryszard Kapuscinski’s reportages and essays in general, the theatre of Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor, and above all the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert, of Nobel laureates Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska, of Tadeusz Różewicz, Julia Hartwig and Adam Zagajewski, among the greatest poets of the XX Century.

In 2012 Babel invites Poland and seizes the chance to venture into the non-fiction: the work of the new generations of poets, lyrical essays, the “Polish school of reportage”, drama and visual literatures such as the graphic novel and the visual poems.

Babel 2012 literary program concentrates primarily on poetry: a choice dictated by love for the great Polish poets of the 20th Century, and the subsequent curiosity about what has been created after them. Babel’s poets are Adam Zagajewski, Jaroslaw Mikolajewski, Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, Wojciech Bonowicz, Jacek Dehnel. This last part implies a work of research, scouting and active collaborations.

Besides, Babel will invite an outstanding representative of the “Polish school of reportage”, Mariusz Szczygiel, and for the visual part of the program, Marzena Sowa with French illustrator Sylvain Savoia, authors of graphic novel Marzi, and director/artist/poet Lech Majewski.

The literary programs opens with Antoni Libera, writer, translator of Beckett and librettist for Penderecki, and Italian essayist Francesco Cataluccio.

Beyond the word’s borders

Translation is not only a linguistic matter: Babel investigates the relationship between the various artistic languages and offers several extra-literary events; in 2012 the program «Beyond the word’s borders» presents an intricate patchwork of translations between the arts:
Exhibitions of Polish cinema and theatre posters, screening of the Brothers Quay’s Street of Crocodiles, inspired by Bruno Schulz’s short stories, and Lech Majewski’s “visual poems”.
A concert of by jazz-klezmer group Bester Quartet (formerly Krakow Klezmer Quartet): Hourglass Sanatorium, a project on Bruno Schulz’s masterpiece composed with John Zorn.
Working in collaboration with the four “Circoli del cinem ticinesi”, cineBabel is a season of both important and more experimental films from the guest country that runs for two months before and after the festival, exposing the public to the cultures they will then encounter during the actual days of Babel. The festival opens with a screening of The Mill and the Cross, a cinematic translation of Bruegel’s painting, followed by a Q&A with director Lech Majewski.
Babel presents feature projections in various locations during the days of the festival: interviews produced by the Babel crew (results of the infraBabel programs), archive documentaries and video art screenings.