The Conrad Festival is the largest international literary event in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. Since 2009 the festival is organised annually by the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation and the Krakow Festival Office. The idea is to create a festival of the largest possible scope and range, that is widely recognised around the world for its innovation, creativity and diversity of programme.
The festival welcomes guests from all over the world, representing various cultures and worldviews as well as cultural disciplines, including film, theatre, music, visual arts and more. The goal is to put world literature front and centre, represent various perspectives and ways of describing the world, which result from different experiences, and initiate intense artistic and social discussion relevant for our times. The participants of the organised debates, workshops, film screenings and theatre performances, concerts, exhibits, literary walks, interactive city games have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully into literature from a variety of angles, expanding their knowledge and co-creating the literary landscape that exists in Poland. Besides the main programme of the Conrad Festival, several thematic series are also organised, including ones focusing on film, children’s literature, music, publishing and more. The International Book Fair in Krakow takes place in parallel to the festival and attracts tens of thousands of book enthusiasts every year.
The list of distinguished guests of the festival is very long and includes such greats as Svetlana Alexievich, Orhan Pamuk, Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen, Jaume Cabré, Boris Akunin, John Banville, Etgar Keret, Jeanette Winterson, Yuri Andrukhovych and Amos Oz as well as the Polish headliners, such as Hanna Krall, Wiesław Myśliwski, Olga Tokarczuk, Marek Bieńczyk, Eustachy Rylski, Krzysztof Varga, Andrzej Stasiuk, Dorota Masłowska, Wojciech Jagielski, Magdalena Tulli, Michał Witkowski, Justyna Bargielska, Jacek Dehnel, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Zygmunt Bauman.