culture in Poznań

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Growing roots

If you feel, or want to feel at home in Poznań, Porta Posnania has just the May weekend event for you. A celebration of its fifth anniversary.

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photo: Łukasz Gdak CTK TRAKT

"Every year, we choose a leitmotif for the first weekend of May. This year, on our fifth anniversary, we thought it would be exciting to reach out to non-Polish newcomers and more settled residents who have come here from other countries and have chosen to stay a bit longer", says Anna Gruszka of the Trakt Cultural Tourism Centre, the operator of Porta Posnania. In selecting the theme, the organisers drew inspiration from Poznań's multicultural and multi-ethnic history.

Here is what Natalia Szenrok-Brożyńska of Trakt has to say about this multi-culti event: "In many of the attractions, we don't rely exclusively on language for communication, thus allowing anyone to participate", she explains. To make communication easier, activities will be held not only in Polish, but also in English and Russian. In fact, foreigners themselves will run many of the events, thanks to help from Migrant Info Point, our event partner.

The main attractions are scheduled for 1 and 3 May. On those days, activities will be held in the amphitheatre and around Porta Posnania. Special guided tours of the Royal-Imperial Route will also be offered. Other attractions include the food zone, featuring cuisine from various parts of the world, a vinyl record fair, a knitting, crocheting and weaving workshop and Slavic fitness for women. A showing of the 1926 film Cyganka Aza (Aza, the Gypsy Woman) with live music by Waldemar Rychły and friends, will be held in the Porta Posnania building. Equally special is the appearance of Polish and French traditional-music artists, who blend the common features of folk music from both of their countries. The programme also includes a "peace" literature workshop. The participants will produce a peace time capsule with a message for future generations. Both genders are invited to an anti-women's-discrimination class. A number of activities are designed specifically for families with children. These include a performance by the group Mozaika, who tell stories about the Middle East and teach little ones about the culture of Persia. The 2nd of May is the day you can visit the entire permanent exhibition of Porta Posnania. Those not satisfied with the above can kayak around Cathedral Island on 4 and 5 May and enjoy the bargains of "Half-Price Poznań".

The May weekend event does not end the celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Porta Posnania, which will continue up till the "Weekend with History" in September. The celebration will also include the summer holiday series Rzeka żywa (The Living River). "We are aware of how much we owe to our audiences. They kindle our family spirit, inspire us to get involved and give us a sense of belonging in this town. The experience we have gathered over time has strengthened our resolve to give the public a complete account of our heritage", says Natalia Szenrok-Brożyńska. "We feel we are experts and practitioners in interpreting our heritage", she adds. The anniversary will feature the premiere of the first Polish edition of the book Interpreting our heritage by Freeman Tilden.

Jan Gładysiak

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

1 and 3 May: May weekend with Porta Posnania, 2 May: exhibition tours, 4 and 5 May: kayaking trips. For more, see: www.bramapoznania.pl

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2019