Ladies and Gentleman, Cohenites of the world, friends,
On behalf of Polish Cohen fans I’d like to announce our candidacy for the 2010 Cohen Event in Kraków, Poland.
We have the will and the team ready to accomplish the demanding task. Here’s our organizing committee:
- Justyna Galant
- Małgorzata Leonowicz
- Marzena Brynkus
- Jakub Kasperkiewicz
- Kazimierz Sak
- and myself, Sebastian Korta
Mirek Dworniczak, Paweł Górny, Paweł Orkisz and many others have also volunteered to help.
We do realize there exists no direct connection between Leonard and Kraków. He has probably never been here, though, who knows, maybe till 2010 a lot will have changed. However, there are several reasons why are proposing Kraków as the next European Cohen Event site:
1. we have the team ready to organize it
2. Leonard is very popular, respected and well-liked in Poland, as he himself once declared: "I discovered that Poland was probably my largest audience in the world.” – we’ll try to prove that to you.
3. Kraków is a beautiful, historic city with a wide range of cultural and tourist activities. It’s one of the European Capitals of Culture as well as one of the first sites to appear on the UNESCO world heritage sites list. This is where the Jagiellonian University is. It is also the city of two of the Polish Nobel Prize winners: Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska. Kraków has a lot to offer before, during and after the Cohen Event and it’s worth a visit even by those Cohenites furthest from the heart of Europe.
4. Kazimierz is one of the most important centres Jewish Cultural Heritage. An annual Jewish Culture Festival takes place here attracting visitors from Kraków, Poland, and all over the world. We would like to offer you the precious moments of shared singing of Leonard’s songs in the exceptional atmosphere of this old Jewish quarter.
We are counting on your support, help, ideas and feedback. We’ll be happy to answer all the questions.
With the best of wishes of Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy New Year,
Dear Sebastian & the team
Thanks for posting the announcement about the 2010 Event today on the Xmas Eve; it's like a Christmas present to all of us.
There in just one word I'd like to correct in your message. You used the word "candidacy" - however, a better word of would be "nomination".
During the past months serious discussions have been going on about several cities. It became clear that your team in Krakow has the best readiness and ability to organize the next Event in 2010. There are other European candidates like London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Venice etc. but their turn will come, if we will continue with the Event tradition also in the future.
Poland is a very special country for Leonard - fans in Poland (and Norway) have been most loyal during the years, and Leonard has been some kind of cult figure in the country. And still is - I witnessed it in Warsaw this year!
We know that Leonard's concert in Warsaw in 1985 was more than just a concert - many Poles took it as a political manifestation (read http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/warsaw85.html).
Leonard's songs are very well known in Poland - also thanks to Maciej Zembaty’s translations and his countless albums and live concerts of Leonard's songs. Recently Pawel Orkisz released a 2CD tribute album in Krakow; I’m happy to see his name listed in the team.
Finally, probably the very first festival dedicated to Cohen took place in Krakow.
The book “Prophet of the heart” by Dorman & Rawlins has something about the festival, we have to check what exactly; however they mention incorrectly that it is an annual happening. Two, three years ago there was another Cohen celebration and concert at a local cultural festival.
Now we will go back to the roots!
The Event in Krakow also gives foreign participants chance to see some important places near the city. The museum of the Auschwitz concentration camp is an important monument of human madness at its very worst. I also recommend a visit to the Wieliczka salt mine with its underground world where everything is made of salt.
Cracow has also excellent communications by air, train, or road from most European countries - and it's a wonderful city!
I am happy and proud to announce officially that the 2010 Leonard Cohen Event will be in Krakow.