EtnoKraków / Crossroads 2020

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  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 12:00 PM - Saturday, August 22, 2020

At a crossroads

The festival has been a feature of Kraków’s summers every year for the last 21 years without fail, and this year will be no different!

The pandemic brought months of uncertainty, but the organisers of the EtnoKrakow/Crossroads festival have worked tirelessly to bring artists from all over the world to perform for Cracovian audiences once again. Held between 18 and 22 August, the international forum of ethnic, traditional and world music brings together representatives of cultures from all corners of the globe for the 22nd time.

This year’s theme is Dialogue among cultures, societies and traditions. Due to the coronavirus, we weren’t able to see one another face-to-face or listen to live music for many long weeks. EtnoKrakow is the perfect opportunity to go back to the good old ways and meet artists who seek and initiate dialogue. “The universal language of music and the art from myriad diverse, distant corners of the globe is not just symbolic. It is also an act of creating new values and a genuine sign of dialogue between different worlds,” says festival director Jan Słowiński.

Although there will be fewer outdoor concerts this year, their formula will be expanded. It’s best described by the slogans OnEarth – OnAir – OnLine. We will see live performances (restricted due to safety concerns) and join events using other channels: concerts will be transmitted and streamed live, and available to hear later, to draw audiences whether they are able to attend in person or not.

The programme of EtnoKrakow also features workshops in music and traditional crafts. Between 18 and 20 August, we head to Strefa, Living Workshop and the Ethnographic Museum.

Strefa hosts low-key concerts between 19 and 21 August, with outdoor performances at the Small Market Square on 22 August. Artists include the Syrian composer and multi-instrumentalist Wassim Ibrahim joined by the Mexican percussionist Tomas Celis Sanchez, and the Polish vocalist Anna Witczak with Mustapha El Boudani playing traditional music from the Sahara. The world-famous band Indialucia performs fusion of flamenco and Indian music, Hamdan Trio from Iran introduces traditional Persian music, while the Derico Alves Band presents forró dances from north-east Brazil.

The stationary part of the festival also features an exhibition of award-winning entries to the poster competition EtnoKrakow/Crossroads: Meetings – Dialogue – Openness, whose participants created visual interpretations of the ideas accompanying the project. The exhibition is held between 7 and 28 August at the Kraków Cultural Forum.

This year’s EtnoKraków/Crossroads culminates online: recordings of concerts from previous years will be streamed in September and October for the first time. (Bartosz Suchecki, “Karnet”)

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