I see you, Kraków!
“Rather than giving ourselves a medal, we decided to create a kind of notebook of reflections on this world heritage city. Perhaps this will provide fertile material for discussion between experts, officials and locals. It may also be a way of sharing Kraków’s experience with other parties, both on the domestic front and in the wider world.”
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the inscription of Krakow on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which falls this year, the City of Krakow, in cooperation with the International Cultural Centre, has prepared a unique, bilingual publication in which specialists and enthusiasts involved in the heritage of the city under Wawel Hill play the role of “collective narrator”.
The publication is based on a series of debates held in spring 2023 at the International Cultural Centre. The topics of the discussions were as wide-ranging as the issues of heritage in Krakow – from reminiscing about the times when the neglected Krakow of the declining communist era was identified in Francis Fukuyama’s famous book The End of History as one of the four (along with Chernobyl) worst tragedies caused by the totalitarian system, to contemporary issues of tourism, the exodus of residents from the city centre and saving its authentic character.
The remarkable effect of this text is the translation of the voices of the dozen or so participants in the discussions into a single, collective narrative in which many Cracovians and Cracovian women will find themselves. It is a different voice from typical official publications – wry, questioning, sometimes critical, but invariably seeking ideas for Krakow’s future based on its heritage. The intriguing illustrations to the text, based on the author’s cut-outs, were prepared by the recognised Krakow graphic artist Ula Palusińska.
On the following pages of the brochure, we will find out, among other things, what the municipal police have to do with heritage or the reason why Krakow celebrates Easter twice. We will get a behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary challenges of preserving the historic urban landscape and expanding our awareness of what heritage is. The text is also an accessible introduction to heritage protection and conservation issues.
The brochure is available when purchasing tickets for the permanent exhibitions at the Wawel Royal Castle, the Krzysztofory Palace, the International Cultural Centre and selected points of the Info Krakow network. In electronic form it is available here.