Kongres Współpracy Transgranicznej Lublin


Oct 07 2022


12:30 - 14:00

Beyond borders: building a network of international solidarity and cooperation for the freedom of art – experiences from Poland and Europe

Dariusz Jachimowicz – Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Lublin for Inclusion through Culture (Poland)

Robert Piaskowski – ICORN Board member, program coordinator in Krakow (Poland) [on-line]
Helge Lunde – ICORN’s executive director (Norway) [on-line]
Lesia Pcholka – artystka i aktywistka, rezydentka ICORN w Gdańsku (Białoruś)
Dr hab. Dominika Kasprowicz, prof. UJ – Dyrektorka Instytutu Kultury Willa Decjusza (Polska) [on-line]

We will consider how cities / local communities can become a safe space for development, create the right conditions for those who had to leave their home country due to war, political regime, depriving of the right to vote and the possibility of creating. Freedom of artistic expression is one of the fundamental freedoms, next to freedom of expression, information and communication. Art, on the other hand, is one of the best places to promote peaceful dialogue. Artists have unique tools to positively and powerfully influence on changes in condition their voices are heard. We will invite representatives of international networks, organizations advocating artistic freedom and providing legal protection to artists to talk about tools that can be used in cities and countries to build solidarity and cooperation for the sake of freedom creation.


The word “border” in the most literal sense means the same as a dividing line separating two spaces, closing or separating a certain area. In this sense, it is referred to as state borders. In a metaphorical sense, we are talking about personal and social borders, the borders of moral norms, freedom, creative expression, mutual understanding and knowledge. We then refer to certain barriers that people build with each other in their mutual relations and in relations with the surrounding world. We define the limit of our / someone’s abilities and patience. Both the literal and figurative meanings of this word contain connotations of division, differentiation, ending, limitations. The border separates something that is already known, native, own, from the unknown, and therefore foreigner and outlanders. Attempts to cross borders evoke resistance and negative emotions. However, this crossing, going “beyond ourselves”, beyond what we have and know, breaking the limits of our own abilities and achievements, is the basis for growth, development and creation. Only when we go beyond ourselves, closed to the needs of others we do become truly free. Being beyond borders becomes the realization of the highest form of love and freedom – positive freedom and negative freedom.

On February 24, 2022, in the east of Ukraine, the borders of a free sovereign state, democracy, European and human values were brutally violated. Once again after 2014. At the same time, the countries on the western side began to consistently open their borders, showing solidarity, extending a helping hand, giving shelter and hope to millions of refugees from Ukraine – as befits good neighbors. At the same time, the situation on the border with Belarus remained unchangingly dramatic. When most of the population rushed to help their eastern neighbors, in the border forests a few hundred kilometers away, adults and children from countries geographically and culturally remote that also had suffered from war and violence were freezing. It is impossible not to notice this duality – borders that could not be crossed.

#CityBeyondBorders – such a slogan will accompany this year’s cultural part of the Congress, which is organized in the month when we celebrate the International Empathy Day. At a time when several million refugees from Ukraine, Belarus and other countries torn by war or a totalitarian regime came to Poland and other Western European countries in a very short time, joining the large group of immigrants already living here, the topic of inclusion, and in particular through culture, it becomes more relevant than ever. Cultural activists – all those who work in culture believe in its ability to change life and the world, connect and include, integrate, and promote cultural and social dialogue. It is difficult to imagine the process of integration without participation in broadly understood culture. We also live in times of increasing challenges and threats to the freedom of creativity and artistic expression, in the conditions of the prevailing tendency to close ourselves within our own boundaries – both literal and metaphorical, and therefore we want to investigate them: look at them from different sides and try to cross them with the language that is best suited for it – the language of art (through word, image and sound).

The action is organised under the Bilateral Initiative “Youth for the City, City for Youth – projects and initiatives involving and including local communities” supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021.

Simultaneous translation into PL-EN-UA;
live broadcast on a streaming platform

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