FestivALT Jewish festival to kick off in Kraków on summer solstice

The third FestivALT festival featuring independent presentations of Jewish art will run from June 21-30 in the southern Polish city of Kraków, with shows, concerts, events and unconventional sights planned in the former Jewish quarter of Kazimierz.

The organisers stress that through art and critical thought, FestivALT tackles difficult Jewish subjects in today’s Poland.

“FestivALT creates an inclusive platform for conversation, debate, education, and reflection around critical and complicated issues of contemporary Jewish culture in Poland,” states the festival’s website.

The third edition of the festival “focuses especially on the topic of women and agency through history.”

Festival co-director Michael Rubenfeld said that FestivALT is a Jewish artistic collective and annual festival of critical thought, art and activism in Krakow.

“As Jews, we were in Poland for 1,000 years before the Holocaust and, now, although it seemed impossible, Jewish life is again blooming in Poland,” he added.

Event co-organiser Magda Rubenfeld-Koralewska highlighted that the festival’s programme is made up of “brave and experimental art, which makes reference to the complexity of Polish-Jewish issues in today’s Poland.”

She added that the last two editions of the festival saw 30 events and projects organised, of which 15 had never been presented before.

FestivALT co-director Jason Francisco said: “We launched the festival in 2017 because we wanted to create a space for free discussion above divisions, open to us and to everybody who wants to talk about these issues.”

Upcoming and established artists from Poland and around the world are invited to participate in the presentation of original and experimental art, and discussions and reflections on the conditions of Jewish life and remembrance in Poland.

The festival’s opening will take place in the evening of the Sabbath on Friday, June 21, with a performance by a duet from Kraków − Maja Pompa and Laja Szklo.

For more information click here or watch the video below.