On 12-14 June there was an annual Big Book Festival in Warsaw. It started in 2013 (when I was still in Indonesia), but I’ve been taking part in the festival since 2014. As a volunteer. Being a volunteer is great, you get to know great people – other volunteers. 😉 Surprisingly, or not, mostly women.
This festival was different from the previous one – which was held in various places (single-themed) around the Warsaw (and even beyond). This time the festival was held in one place – in the city centre at Hoża 51. There was former cheese factory, but now it’s a good place for spending free time – either in cafe, on a boulder wall, in a gym or art gallery… or cooking.
The motto of the festival was: Człowiek nie pies i czytać musi (A human is not a dog and [thus] must read). The festival was international, there were writers from various countries (mostly European) and some of the meetings were held in Polish & English (simultaneous translation).
Among the writers were: Zadie Smith, Sofi Oksanen, Jeet Thayil, Elias Khoury and Danny Wattin. I could only enjoy the meetings with Sofi Oksanen and Danny Wattin.
On 9th January 2015, I went to my first library book discussion club. It was a meeting of a club focused on fantasy and science fiction. I thought I should give it a try, especially with The 2015 Sci-Fi Experience and 2015 Library Challenge going on. The topic was Stanisław Lem, whose several stories I read and reviewed earlier.
I hoped to gain some more insight into his works and maybe a recommendation on what to read later on. With such thoughts, I went to the library. Just to have…
Warsaw, capital city of Poland has 18 districts. Every district has a chain of local libraries. If you register at any library, you have the access to all of the libraries in the district. Moreover, you can borrow at the same time 15 books for 35 days.
There are 4 types of libraries:
children and teens (including school lectures);
adult (and teens);
reading rooms (with science and popular science books and magazines).
Except reading room, you can use them Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 19:00. Reading rooms are open on Saturdays too.
Do you remember when I wrote in a post Theatre in Your Home pointing out to some ways of watching theatre plays from your home?
Now it’s summer and… the street theatres time. Performing on busy streets, for free! What a great idea!
Few weeks ago a street theatre festival – Sztuka ulicy – has ended, but it’s not the end of street theatres. Krystyna Janda‘s theatres: Polonia and Och Teatr have street performances until the end of August. Every day at 17:00 there is a performance, several different plays a week. Unless it rains.
I had watched the “Lament na Placu Konstytucji” play. It’s a story of 3 women: daughter, mother and grandmother each telling about their lives, hopes and problems. It’s a play from 2007, but still very “it sounds so realistic and up to date”.
The plays (in July) are on Plac Konstytucji, one of the major Warsaw squares with lots of buses and trams around. I had no chance to watch other plays yet (time issues), but I see that those plays gather a big audience. It’s not just “viewers by accident”, who are also in the audience lead by the live performance while waiting for bus, but people come there fully prepared, with their own stools. that’s a great idea, because the benches provided by the theatre are not enough.
This won’t be the last play I see, definitely. I thought the play was great and well done, so I’ll make sure I’ll watch the others… And eventually go for a ticketed performance to Krystyna Janda’s theatre. I was familiar with this theatre only because of its name, but now I’m convinced it’s worth going there…