Krakow and the World

The International Cultural Centre sees its mission and udertakings as founded on what is labelled as cultural heritage, namely using the elements of the past so as to serve present and future goals. The city understood as a mirror of civilisation – let’s take Krakow as an example – was always at the core of this way of thinking. That is why we believe that the debate on the nature of the city as well as the transformation which Krakow has undergone is crucial.

Today, an inquiry into Krakow’s metropolitan functions is not merely an investigation of its place in the European settlement network, its relationship with the outside world and the nature of its ongoing change (which is impossible to overlook if one only takes a stroll across the Main Square). It is also a question regarding competitive assets of cities like Krakow. Presently, large cities seem to have two main characteristics: acceptance of others and intolerance of mediocrity. Interestingly, however, only a selected few urban settlements can foster new intellectual qualities. The level of a city’s creativity depends on multiple factors: political and economical indicators, but also the amassment of cultural, educational and informative elements, offering synergistic possibilities, which are an essential condition for the emergence of creativity and innovation. I believe we should turn to these factors for the source of a new vision for Kraków. It is not, nor will it ever be, a global metropolis, but it has all the makings of a creative city.

Even if Krakow is hardly the heart of Central Europe, it does remains an element of the urban network that composes its core. It seems, then, that it is worth asking about the specificity of our Kulturraum, the cultural space symbolised by Central European metropolises. What is it that sets them apart from urban settlements elsewhere in the world (if they are indeed perceptibly different)? And has Central European identity suffered as a result of the twenty‑five years of rapid cultural change?

    • 1
      Editorial

    • 4
      Worth a Look

  • Krakow and the World
    • 12
      Krakow in the European Core
      Larry Wolff, Simona Škrabec, Emil Brix, Shlomo Avinieri, Mykola Riabchuk, Jacek Purchla

    • 32
      Krakow from Afar
      Tokimasa Sekiguchi, Krzysztof Czyżewski, Łukasz Galusek, Peter Oliver Loew, Yaraah Bar‑on, Nathaniel Wood

    • 52
      Krakow and Literature
      Eva Hoffman, James Hopkin, Gaja Grzegorzewska, Alois Woldan, Robert Kusek

    • 72
      Krakow: A City of Heritage
      Joan Roca i Albert, Gábor Soós, Ruth Ellen Gruber, Matthias Ripp, Scjapan Sturejka

    • 96
      Krakow: A City of the Future
      Franco Bianchini, Andrzej Zdebski, Magdalena Sroka, Andrew Hallam, Jerzy Hausner, Joanna Sanetra-Szeliga

    • 124
      The City and Culture
      Milena Dragićević‑Šešić, Robert Piaskowski, Faith Liddell, Robert Palmer, Agata Wąsowska‑Pawlik

  • Reflections, Impressions, Opinions
    • 142
      Worth a Thought

      Kinga Siewior, Karol Kurnicki, Wojciech Wilczyk, Wojciech Szymański

  • By Myself
    • 154
      From Event to Fable
      Eva Hoffman

    • 178
      Memory of the War
      Colm Tóibín