I wander through the field of your forehead
the illuminated path
between the furrows of worry
to the horizon
of gray hair
and more deeply into the garden of thought (…)
from Regina Lipecka’s collection of poems „Kites”
The cyclops woman looking from the billboard announcing the 35th ULICA Jubilee Festival bears no resemblanceto the mythical giants who tend herds of sheep and raise gigantic walls withbare hands. Thisimage that might as well be put on the cover of a fashion magazine presents a well-dressed woman with almost perfect facial features and hair styled with a so-called ponytail.
It could be so beautiful!And everything is disturbed by that single eye in the middle: alert, focusedand piercing. And the worry lines on the forehead that indicate years of experience and awareness. It is the big brother’s eye, feminized in this particular case, the big sister’s eye that gives the impression of depth and infinity. It reaches the spheres thatour eyesight cannot not reach. It perceives the horizon, that line of apparent contact between heaven and earth. A place where the most important and trivial matters meet and connect. The space that we are able to observe, the range of our senses, the limits of our knowledge, and finally the beginning and the end of our interests,are all situated in the very centre.
This year’s, unique jubilee edition of the ULICA Festival will take place in Krakow in the period from the 8th to the 10th of July 2022. For the three festival days, filled to the brim with theatrical chocolate boxes (delightful outdoor shows, intimate performances for children and adults, premieres, concerts, workshops and discussion panels), the eyes of Krakow residents, guests and tourists from Poland and the world will be drawn to the most beautiful open-air venues (Main Market Square, MałyRynek, RynekPodgórski and the Jan Nowak Jeziorański Square). These are the places from which street art will look towards the „Polish Horizon” – the leitmotif of this year’s festival.
Beyond this horizon we will see broad references to the events that took place a long time ago and now they are returning and making us participate. We will roam through Poland and the whole world to finally see what we have known for a long time. To become witnesses to the history coming full circle before our eyes. We will penetrate it more deeply, beyond the foreground. Beyond the proverbial first glance. We will get to where we normally have no access or where we do not want to go. We will see what our eyes normally avoid, what is hidden and what does not match with our ideal image of the world and ourselves. We will get to the things that we hide, find shameful and reject.
The ULICA festival is not only a celebration of street theatres, but also of street themes by which we pass every day, into which we run , in which we may become witnesses and heroes at the same time. Open-mindedly, we invite you on a journey through the worlds of tolerance and indifference, diversity and homogenization, freedom and enslavement, tenderness and cruelty. Thanks to a musical journey through the mountains of Bieszczady and Beskid Niski with The Band from the Foot of Mount Rubania, and the performances such as „The Station of Witness” of the Brama Theatre from Goleniów and „Echoes” of the Migro Theatre – an impression on the theme of eastern borderlands, we will discover the incredible power hidden in local stories.
Answers to the questions regarding the limits of our humanity, togetherness and separateness will be found in a number of touching performances presented at the Festival. The artists of Afuma, intertwining with each other in a fraternal embrace, then separating, then fighting and then making peace again, will become a metaphor of the present time. And the four extraordinary women from Cie.Maduix presenting a travelling installation „Migrare” will strive with all of their might for the sense of belonging and a new home. They will become a response to all invisible, but still existing borders in the apparently borderless world. The fate of these victims of hatred and unfounded prejudice is still relevant and timely nowadays. We will be able to see all our human behavior, both good and bad, in the performance entitled „Kamchàtka” and verify our attitude towards strangers, foreigners and the different in general. Along with our crossing the boundaries of perception and reacting to new circumstances that appear on the horizon of our lives, during the ULICA Festival, we will also exceed the disciplines of art, such as dance, theatre and other forms of performing arts and music. Our stopping at one of the streets or squares of this year’s festival, disrupting the daily rhythm and routine, can be a unique opportunity to let in some air, take a deep breath and be ready for something new. We will get encouraged for that by the talented Agro The Clown, and the other side of life, the reverse about which we often forget, will be revealed to us by the Ici’bas Company, encouraging us to rest in the bosom of nature.
ULICA is also a space for premieres. Karina Grabowska will introduce us to the heroes of everyday life in her production entitled „Lives of Neighborhood Saints”, and the Krakow Dance Theatre in partnership with the Polish Theatre of Bydgoszcz and the KTO Theatre will present a new interpretation of the motif of the Little Prince, loved by everyone, who is already a „Big Prince” today .
The 35th edition of the ULICA Festival will become a battlefield for our thoughts, views and beliefs, as well as a space for entertainment and fun, thus helping us to take a breath of fresh air and experience moments of uninterrupted joy. Allow yourself the luxury of exploring new sensations and come to Krakow on the second weekend of July!
Written by Sławomir Szczurek