The most Łódź-related of all, the Łódź of Four Cultures Festival is a continuation of the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival, established in 2002 on the initiative of Witold Knychalski, and it refers to the four cultures that have impacted the development of Łódź.

For 15 years, the festival has been managed by various people and its organizers were different foundations and institutions. I hope that some culture expert will thoroughly describe and analyze all the events and actions taken for these years, because much happened here, although – undoubtedly – there were different ideas for the development of this festival. In spite of this, one can be sure of one thing: there is no other festival in Łódź that is so much recognizable and, at the same time, so Łódź-related, so deep-rooted in the history of the city. Thanks to this festival, it is known throughout Poland that Łódź was and still remains a multicultural city co-created by Poles, Jews, Germans and Russians. And although more nationalities or ethnic groups could be distinguished among the inhabitants of Łódź in the 19th century, as they can be distinguished today, these four historical cultures have left an impression that cannot be ignored.

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This year, the organizer of the Łódź of Four Cultures Festival is the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center, which I am very happy about, because our statutory goal is to popularize the achievements of different cultures and to promote the multicultural and multiethnic heritage of Łódź. Four curators are responsible for this year’s programme: Teresa Latuszewska-Syrda, Przemysław Owczarek, Jakub Porcari, and Marcin Tercjak. They are the ones who have created an interesting, interdisciplinary programme, whose central motif is “the Alphabet of Dialogue”. We are coming back to the roots, to the Old Town, which was the cradle of Łódź, but we will also be present in many other spots of the city; in the far Widzew (Wi-MA), in Górna (the Central Museum of Textiles), in Polesie (the Wytwórnia Club), in Bałuty (the Dialogue Center) and in Śródmieście (the New Theatre, OFF Piotrkowska). There are music, theatre and film events waiting for you, as well as some literature and visual arts. There will also be lessons for schools about the multicultural Łódź, an urban game, two scientific conferences and meetings about the four cultures of Łódź.

However, we are not only going to focus on the past; the city is developing dynamically and changing. We would like this festival to be immersed in the present time, in what is important today for the inhabitants of Łódź, Poland, and Europe. So that it was directed towards the future, while being based on the history.

This year’s edition is the peculiar Łódź Alphabet of Dialogue, the ABC that will allow us to piece letters together and build complex stories of Łódź and the world of the 21st century.

We hope that the inhabitants of Łódź will participate in great numbers in the festival events proposed by us. We are also waiting for your remarks and opinions. We would like you to co-create this most Łódź-related festival of all.

Joanna Podolska
Director of the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Łódź