Remembrance and Future Forum. We invite thinkers to the debate on the 40th anniversary of Solidarity

5 June - 31 August 2020 Centrum Historii Zajezdnia, Grabiszyńska, Wrocław, Polska

The first Remembrance and Future Forum organised by the Zajezdnia History Centre awaits us! In June we will entering the online world, as we open a platform for debate on the topic of the most important challenges and contemporary dilemmas. We would like to invite you to a multi-voice discussion with the participation of the most interesting minds of our time, intellectuals and social leaders from Poland and the world. We are moving to the virtual world where, over the coming weeks, invited guests will focus on the “Dimensions of Solidarity”, also in the context of the current crisis caused by the global epidemic.

Dr Marek Mutor, Director of the Zajezdnia History Centre, speaks…
- In 2020, forty years after August 1980, the theme of the Forum relates to the experience of Poland in the 1980s and the birth of the Solidarity movement. The idea of solidarity provides us with a start-point for reflection on contemporary divisions and cracks in society, and on the sense of social solidarity in an era of contemporary capitalism and cultural conflict. Solidarity also helps us understand empathy and social sensitivity in these times of new media, while international solidarity is helpful in an era of new geopolitical tension, international crises, questions about the state and future of liberal democracy, the meaning of the word community, and citizenship.

Invited guests will discuss the most important challenges and dilemmas of contemporary life, issues important from the point of view of both Wrocław and Poland, as well as all Europe. More than a dozen European thinkers will take part in the event, which is planned for the coming months, and they give lectures and participate in online debates. Who will participate in the Forum? Confirmed guests include Professor Chantal Delsol, Simone Zoppallero and Professor Antoni Dudek.

Dr Mutor adds…
- We perceive that the challenge of today is the progressive division and collapse of communities. This applies to both the local dimension, the capital of trust in everyday social relations, and finally the crisis of the European community. We consider that the post-war experience of Wrocław with the whole process of taming the unknown, of Polish–German reconciliation, or the era of “Solidarność” might be a good starting point for a discussion of these problems.

Lectures, debates, discussions

From 5 June, exceptional events especially prepared for the Forum will appear on a weekly basis on the website of the Zajezdnia History Centre. At these events, our guests will discuss the theme of solidarity in the context of current global problems. Apart from the lectures, the Forum will also include an online discussion entitled “Confrontations with totalitarianisms and the formation of religious freedom”. The debate planned for 29 June includes the participation of Prof. Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, and Prof. Gert Pickel from the University of Leipzig. There will also be a series of workshops entitled “Solidarność step by step”, led by Prof. Michał Łuczewski. The speakers will include Piotr Czekierda, Krzysztof Noworyta and Dariusz Rosiak. The following event within the framework of the Forum will be a debate between historians from Central–Eastern Europe focusing on the road to freedom in particular countries and how they have coped with their unwanted legacy of communism. This discussion will be prepared jointly with the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, and will be led by dr Łukasz Kamiński.

Participation in all events organised during the Forum is free of charge.

The choice of the guiding motif of this year’s Forum is not accidental. It is connected with the commemoration in Wrocław of the 40th anniversary of the founding of NSZZ “Solidarność”. These celebrations will be organised in the coming months by the Zajezdnia History Centre. This August sees the planned opening in the Zajezdnia of the “Zajezdnia goes on strike” exhibition which will present the events from 40 years ago and will include an academic conference entitled “NSZZ Solidarność in southern Poland” to be jointly organised with the Institute of National Remembrance. Details of the full programme for the commemoration will be made known at the beginning of June. The Forum is planned to be a recurring event and each subsequent Forum will have its own unique guiding theme.

Remebrance and Future Forum Lectures:

Chantal Delsol. Does Europe have a future as a united community? | RAF Forum

Jean Daniel. How did life in Taizé change during the corona virus epidemic? | RAF Forum

Prof. Antoni Dudek. What does the history of Solidarność mean today? | RAF Forum

Antoine Arjakovsky. Europe after the virus - what can we do? | RAF Forum

Simone Zoppallero. Solidarity during a time of infection. An account from Milan | RAF Forum

Richard Demarco for the Remembrance and Future Forum

Nikolaj Iwanow. Solidarność in the eyes of dissidents from the USSR | RAF Forum

Confrontations with totalitarianism and the formation of religious freedom | RAF Forum Debate

Edwin Bendyk. Europe of the future - a united community? | RAF Forum

Dealing with the communist past. Success and failures | Debate Online

Michael D. Kennedy. America and the pandemic. Is there a plece in capitalism for solidarity? | RAF Forum

Joanna Wojdon. Solidarność in the public sphere | RAF Forum

Please visit our Facebook page and our portal