Member: City of Krakow. Managing institutions/partners: Villa Decius and Krakow festival office.
Krakow joined the ICORN in 2011. The moment of the City’s accession to the Network coincided with the solemn celebrations of the Czesław Miłosz Year in Poland.
Krakow was the first city in Central and Eastern Europe to join ICORN, and provides ICORN writers with a safe place for continued creative and literary activity at Villa Decius. The villa has for many years been an important place of residence and reflection on human rights and freedom of speech for writers. This is done in collaboration with the Krakow Festival Office and the City of Krakow. The Head of the Villa Decius Association, Danuta Glondys, was elected a new member of the ICORN board in 2014, and international cooperation within ICORN has a strategic position in the Krakow UNESCO’s City of Literature.
Helge Lunde, the Director of the ICORN, pointed out that thanks to its cultural traditions and rich artistic and literary life, Krakow would be a perfect place of refuge and creative inspiration for persecuted authors. He also indicated that the geopolitical situation of the city was equally significant and he called Krakow the Gate to the East, especially as numerous writers persecuted in Eastern countries neighbouring Poland are in the focus of ICORN’s interest. Since then Krakow has hosted three writers staying here under the residency programme: Maria Amelie (real name Madina Salamova (North Ossetia / now in Norway), Kareem Amer (Egypt / now in Norway), and Mostafa Zamaninija (Iran).
In May 2013, the City of Krakow and Polish PEN hosted the biannual PEN International Writers in Prison Committee conference and the International Cities of Refuge Network Meeting, Writing Freedom, which gathered 200 writers, coordinators, city officials, activists and other guests from all parts of the world in Krakow.
In July 2014, Krakow has welcomed Lawon Barszczewski, a renowned author, poet, philologist, translator, politician and human rights activist from Belarus, as its fourth ICORN guest writer.
Literary/artistic resources in the city:
In the media: