The Festival Góry Literatury (Mountains of Literature Festival) was created in 2015 at the initiative of writer Olga Tokarczuk. The festival is a unique literary and social event, its main goals being cultural and civic activation of the public, launching a discussion on environmental protection, equal rights, identity, multinational cultural heritage, transborder cooperation and sustainable development of the region through culture.
“Still there are seeds to be gathered, and room in the bag of stars.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
“When the story changes, so does the world.” – Olga Tokarczuk
The 7th edition of the Mountains of Literature Festival in 2022 will take place between 13 and 20 July. The central idea of this year’s festival was inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin, who in 1986, in a text entitled “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”, referred to the intuition and concepts according to which the memory of humanity’s development continually cultivated through the history of creating and using tools of violence – bones, spears, axes, etc. – is an intellectual fraud. According to the writer, the foundation of the origins of civilisation lies in baskets, bags and nets – containers in which we collect useful things, which we then carry home, use ourselves and share with others. Elaborating on that idea, we will notice, apart from its various values and inspirations, the debunking of the still-dominant narrative: shifting the focus of the founding myth of humanity from the Man-Hero to the Human Being-Gatherer. Which also allows for a different look at the stereotype of the woman. The contemptuous, yet still present, image of “a woman with heavy bags” changes its character. It becomes a story about the true beginning and origins of humanity.
This year, the festival will become a huge basket, in which – thanks to authors, artists and academics – the seeds of many ideas which are extremely important in the contemporary world will be gathered and shared with the participants, in an attempt to change the world for the better. More loyal, more equal, more just.
This year’s edition features the traditional meetings with authors, concerts, film screenings and exhibitions, but will also focus in particular on debates on the rule of law, freedom of speech, feminism and ecology. Participants will discuss various models of protest, will gather stories of the local residents, diagnose threats and define changes, considering the notion of identity and design the future. Using the example of the Benelux countries, the festival will return to the founding idea of the values of the European Union, in order to talk about coexistence, multiethnicity and multilingualism. The festival will also refer to current events which seem to be spiralling out of control – most of all, the crisis on the Polish-Belarussian border.
Hiking in the mountains, participants will cross the Czech border with botanists and poets, who will speak about nature knowing no borders. As usual, there will be workshops teaching adults to write and young people to read individually and with comprehension. The festival will be crowned by a seminar on surrealism and a multi-genre exhibition of young Polish art.