Kolberg Year 2014

Dec 6, 2013

On 6 December 2013, Polish parliament’s lower house, the Sejm, proclaimed 2014 the Year of Oskar Kolberg.

Justifying the decision, the Sejm stated: “Oskar Kolberg’s scientific output and research documenting the folk culture of the 19th century is impressive, both because of the versatility of his interest in folklore and the geography of his research, which included the territories of Poland before her partitions, as well as those of the folk cultures of Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Silesia, South Slavs, Sorbs, Czechs and Slovaks.
Oskar Kolberg published 33 volumes of regional and thematic monographs, along with close to 200 articles on ethnography, folkloristics, linguistics and musicology. His legacy remains an all-important resource for today’s artists and culture researchers.”

The Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Bogdan Zdrojewski, has given the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw the task of setting up a Kolberg Year celebrations office, and made the institute’s director the Coordinator of the Kolberg Year Celebrations. The minister has also launched a special programme under the name “Kolberg 2014 – Promesa”, meant to stimulate the biggest possible number of events of artistic, academic, educational, documentary and promotional character connected with Oskar Kolberg, his output, and traditional culture and art in general, throughout the year. Winners of Promesa grants will be announced in December 2013.

In association with the Oskar Kolberg Institute, the Forum of Traditional Music, Polish Ethnological Society, Open-Air Museum of Rural Architecture in Radom, Polish Radio, Folk Artists Association, Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Composers’ Union, and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, National Audiovisual Institute, a rich programme of concerts, educational, promotional and publishing activities will be put in place in 2014, including the official inauguration of the Kolberg Year in Przysucha and Warsaw, a website dedicated to the folklorist and an interactive guide around Kolberg’s Poland, digitalisation and popularisation of Kolberg’s manuscripts and published works, renovation of his gravestone in Rakowicki Cemetery in Kraków, publication of a "Report on traditional music and dance", along with exhibitions devoted to Oskar Kolberg in the context of the history and culture of the 19th century.

At the same time, the Organisers are determined for the Kolberg Year not to focus solely on folk culture, but to be a time when tradition as we experience it in our everyday life is better explored, also in urban communities. Without understanding the roots of our rites, behaviours and gestures we will never fully understand the contemporary world.

You will find regular updates on the Kolberg Year projects on the official website of the celebrations: www.kolberg2014.org.pl.

Also, a special Kolberg Year section has been launched on the website of the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw – just click on “Anniversaries” in the top menu to find the most important information on the Kolberg Year celebrations and free downloadable materials. You may also visit the official Facebook page of the celebrations: „Rok Kolberga 2014”.

In September 2013 a competition for a design identifying the Kolberg Year was launched. The winning logotype, whose use will be awarded to institutions taking part in the celebrations, was submitted by Wojciech Janicki. The use of the logotype requires a permission of the Celebrations Office.

The concerts inaugurating the Kolberg Year are taking place on 21 February 2014 in Przysucha and 24 February 2014 in Warsaw.