Corso Polonia, Festival of Polish Culture in Rome

01.06.2019 - 16.06.2019

Theater, music, art, cinema, talk, focus on tourism but also activities for children: Corso Poland 2019 , the Polish culture festival organized by the Polish Institute in Rome which from 1 to 16 June 2019 will animate the Capital for over two weeks of events spread in different places in the city, from the Casa del Jazz to Villa Borghese , from the Torlonia theater to the Farnese cinema , from the Interzone Gallery to Palazzo Blumenstihl , the Institute’s headquarters.

An unmissable opportunity to take stock of the extraordinary vitality that marks the contemporary Polish scene but also to discover and rediscover the works of some of the protagonists of the cultural history of Poland. The title and theme of this XVII edition is „Gdansk free city“, a tribute to the city in which the autonomous trade union Solidarność was born in 1980, in the thirtieth anniversary of the democratic change of 1989, a prelude to great changes for Europe and for the whole world, first of all the fall of the Berlin Wall just three months after the Polish elections.

The Festival
The festival opens Saturday 1 June at the Casa del Jazz with the concert of the Tomasz Chyła Quintet . Winner of the 2016 Grand Prix at the Krakow International Jazz Festival, the young formation from the Gdansk jazz scene has quickly conquered the Polish scene, also emerging internationally thanks to a unique style that can elegantly combine choral music , jazz, folk and post-rock. In his debut in Rome, the quintet presents the tracks of Circlesongs, the last album received with enthusiasm not only by the critics of the sector but also by the public, winning several nominations as best Polish jazz album.

Shipyard – Documents of loss is instead the first solo show in Italy of Michał Szlaga which is inaugurated, in the presence of the artist, on June 5th at the Interzone Gallery, where it will remain set up until June 28th. The photographic exhibition, created in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, brings together a cycle of thirty-two photos belonging to the photographic collection of the Pompidou Center in Paris. Touching images taken between 2004 and 2013, which document the dismantling of the historic shipyards of Gdansk, a symbol of Solidarity, in an attempt to preserve the collective memory of the most important industrial site in the whole of Poland.

Great space will be reserved for the cinema: it starts on June 6 at the Cinema Farnese – in collaboration with Europa Cinemas – with the restored version of The Marble Man, a masterpiece film of 1976 by master Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016), a very hard act accusation against Stalinist politics, in which in the final scenes the Gdansk „theater“ of the famous strikes at the shipyards of 1980 appears „prophetically“.

Just that stretch of history that changed the face of Europe traces the historical documentary Workers ’80 by Andrzej Chodakowski and Andrzej Zajączkowski, a unique recording of those events that took place in August 1980 in Gdansk that momentarily returns the atmosphere of the assembly, of the negotiations, the heated debates and moments of tiredness of the workers on strike. The film will be screened June 10 at the Polish Institute with the introduction of Marek Lehnert, journalist, correspondent from Italy and historical voice of the Polish Radio.

Third and final appointment on June 12th again at the Farnese Cinema (and again in collaboration with Europa Cinemas) with Arrivederci domani, Janusz Morgenstern’s directorial debut (1922-2011) and film which represents one of the first reflections of the „nouvelle vague“ in Poland, against the backdrop of a beautiful Gdansk. In the film the cameo of a young Roman Polański stands out, in addition to the soundtrack of the Polish jazz legend Krzysztof Komeda, author of the music of many films of the same Polanski.

On the theater front, two appointments at the Torlonia Theater realized in collaboration with the Teatro di Roma . Saturday 8 June will be staged La Cometa by Teresa and Andrzej Wełmiński, two authors born artistically within the legendary Polish theater company Cricot 2 by Tadeusz Kantor. The piéce – which features eleven actors, with objects and puppets, immersed in an absurd world of terror in which living matter mixes with the inanimate – is inspired by the life and work of Bruno Schulz, one of the most famous 20th century Polish writers, and in particular his eponymous enigmatic narrative on scientific discoveries, social changes and magic, which contains the description of an imminent apocalypse, A disturbingly modern and current work.

On 11 June, the focus will be on Al centro del sole, the ash, a drama by Artur Pałyga, winner of the Gdynia Dramaturgy Festival (2013). With the direction of the young Polish director Kamila Straszynska and the participation of the actors of the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio d’Amico, is the show part of the project In Poland, ie, nowhere? that between June and September 2019 presents to the Italian public some of the most significant modern and contemporary Polish theatrical texts. At the center of the sun ash is collected is a vision of the end of the world in a space-time suspension, a story about the omnipresence of death confronted with the desire for life. On the absurdity of dying and the powerlessness of man towards time and destiny.

Space for children
Also this year the festival shows particular attention to children with Corso Bambini , the special program on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June at the Villa Borghese Casina di Raffaello, where young spectators can learn about the most famous Polish legends of all time – The Dragon of Krakow, The Golden Duck, The Siren of Warsaw and The Star of Gdansk – and participate in workshops on the subject.

The gold of Gdansk, Thursday 13 June at the Institute’s headquarters, is the event organized in collaboration with the Polish National Tourist Board and the Gdańsk Tourist Board and the Municipality of Gdansk. A journey to discover the capital of Pomerania led by Roberto Polce – Italian writer, translator and tourist guide living in Gdansk for years – and Dorota Cenecka, artist and designer of amber jewelery. Following the „golden thread“, Polce and Cenecka will lead the public to discover the extraordinary treasure of the Baltic Sea, amber, the precious resin that together with gold is a symbol of glory (past and present) and prestige of the city from tormented history, but always resurrected in all its splendor.

Corso Polonia 2019 closes Sunday 16 June with the concert-story by Alina Ratkoswka, once again at Palazzo Blumenstihl. The Ratkowska will play the music of Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756) and will tell of the harpsichordist and composer of Gdansk, a pupil of Johann Sebastian Bach. Also from Gdansk, Ratkowska recorded the complete set of Goldberg’s works for solo harpsichord, recently released in a double album, as well as being the author of a monograph dedicated to the artist. Immediately after the concert, prof. Wojciech Morawski, a historian of society and the economy, will lead the participants of an imaginary walk through the alleys of Gdansk’s history, following in the footsteps of people who have made credit to local and European culture.

All the events are all free except for the inaugural concert at the Casa del Jazz and the children’s workshops at the Casina di Raffaello in Villa Borghese.

More information: 06 36 000 723

Locations: Casa del Jazz, Villa Borghese, Torlonia theater, Farnese cinema, Interzone Gallery, Palazzo Blumenstihl.
Date: June 1-16
Cost: Free


Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy



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