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08/06 - 28/06/2015

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,

The following letter is issued to express our concern about the situation which has been building up for the past few weeks around ‘Golgota Picnic’, a play directed by Rodrigo García, which will be presented at the Malta Festival Poznań 2014.

The protest against this play being shown in Poznań is founded on the opinion that it is offensive towards religion and that it propagates anti-christian ideas. However, as the protesters themselves admit, the only information they have about the play comes from the internet and none of them have actually seen it. Any leniency towards the demands of removing the performance from the festival will therefore be a classic example of preventive critique and an assault on freedom of speech. It is our belief that freedom, one of the most fundamental human values, is based on the right to live and think freely, as well as being able to ask questions – event those which are difficult. Art has always been open to experiment, to pluralism and tolerance, to different points of view.

No one should have the monopoly on discussing topics that raise emotions. The history of the Church should also be open to research and commentary. Rodrigo García exercises this freedom – as a human being and as an artist – to express his ethical and intellectual engagement with the surrounding world. The main theme of his play is the condition of European society immersed in consumerism and hedonism, and the fight against an overwhelming spiritual void. The artist does not violate any human rights, no one is forced to see his work. What is more the performance is presented in an enclosed space, tickets are required and it is designed for people who are over 18.

Poland is a place where the questions about freedom should be raised, as it is one of those countries which has fought for its democracy for almost 50 years. Recently, on the ‘the Square of Free Speech’ in Warsaw a monument was raised, commemorating the underground publishing movement between 1976 and 1989. During communist times ‘The Office for Press, Publication and Performance Control’ had its headquarters not far from that spot. Today, 25 years after regaining our independence, putting on a play in an enclosed space is making people in Poland consider preventive critique and a crusade against art, again.

As people who hold culture in high regard, we demand respect for the value of free speech.

House on Fire:
Sven Åge Birkeland – Artistic Director of BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen
Mark Ball– artistic director of LIFT
Beki Bateson – artistic director of LIFT
Mark Deputter – Artistic Director Maria Matos Municipal Theatre of Lisbon, coordinator HOUSE ON FIRE NETWORK
Thomas Frank – director BRUT (Vienna)
Guy Gypens – director Kaaitheater Brussels
Ondřej Hrab – director ArchaTheatre (Praga)
Laura Lopes – program assistant Maria Matos Municipal Theatre of Lisbon
Jacky Ohayon – director of Theatre Garonne (Toulouse)
Annemie Vanackere - Artistic & Managing Director of HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)

The letter also signed up:

Jerry Aerts – Director deSingel International Arts Campus
Maricel Alvarez – actor
Marie-Thérèse Allier
Hortense Archambault
Ana Balduini – actress
prof. Mirosław Bałka – artist
Grace Ellen Barkey – NEEDCOMPANY
Filip Berkowicz – artistic director of the festival Sacrum Profanum Mysteries Paschalia ActusHumanus, Goodfest and Opera Rara
Cecilia Blanco – actress
Jerome Bel – choreographer
dr. Georg M. Blochmann – director of the Goethe-Institut in Warsaw
Diego Bianchi – theatre director
Renata Borowska-Juszczyńska – director of the Grand Theatre in Poznan
Michał Borczuch – theatre director
Verónica Boggio
Camila Carreira – actress
Romeo Castellucci – theatre director
Hana Cervinkova
Gabriel Chmura – artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Poznan
Andrzej Chyra – actor
Paola Ciccolella – director of Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Beata Chmiel - manageress culture, Citizens of Culture
Łukasz Chotkowski- playwright, theatre director
Oliver Chrzanowski

Marie Collin – artistic director of Festival d'Automne à Paris
John Maxwell Coetzee – writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Ewa Guderian-Czaplińska
Krzysztof Czyżewski – director of the Borderland Foundation
Kamil Dąbrowa – director and editor-in-chief of the Polish Radio Program
Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska – Political Critique, the Association of the. Stanislaw Brzozowski
Artur Domosławski
Anna Drozd – producer
Olga Drygas
Tony Duckworth
Krzysztof Dudek
Małgorzata Dziewulska
Maciej Englert - theatre director
Tim Etchells – theatre director, Forced Entertaiment
Marcelo Evelin – theatre director
Bernard Faivre d'Arcier – former director of the Festival d'Avignon
Silvia Fanti – artistic director of XING Bologna
Agnieszka Fietz - Kleine Internationale Theater Agentur
Agnieszka Filip
Federico Figueroa – actor
Magdalena Fijałkowska
Anne Fontanesi - producer CCN Montpellier
Bruno Galindo – writer, performer
Alina Gałązka
Krzysztof Garbaczewski - theatre director
Luis Garay – theatre director
Grzegorz Gauden
Jonny Greenwood – Radiohead guitarist
Piotr Gruszczyński – playwright of the New Theatre in Warsaw
Roman Gutek – New Horizons Festival director
Koen Haverbeke – representative of the Flemish government in Warsaw
Dr. Nor Hall – artist
Matthias von Hartz
Arno Hintjens – musician
Agnieszka Holland – theatre director
Anna Hryniewiecka– director of the Cultural Centre in Poznań
Krystyna Janda – theatre director, aktorka, director Theatre Polonia in Warsaw
Katarzyna Janowska
Elke Janssens – NEEDCOMPANY
Dorota Jarecka
Grzegorz Jarzyna – theatre director, dyrektor Teatru Rozmaitości w Warszawie
Iwona Kaczmarek
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – composer, director of the Transatlantic Festival Poznań
Stefan Kaegi – theatre director
Jerzy Kapuściński – director TVP2
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – choreographer
Dorota Kędzierzawska – theatre director
Kira Kirsch – curator Steirischer Herbst Festival
Tomasz Kireńczuk – program director at the New Theatre in Krakow
Joanna Klass – theater programs curator Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Bartek Konopka – theatre director
Marcin Kościelniak
Grzegorz Kowalski – artist
Anna Kozłowska
Veronica Kaup-Hasler – dyrektor Steirischer Herbst Festival
Jan Klata – theatre director, director of the National Old Theatre in Krakow
Maja Kleczewska – theatre director
Krzysztof Knittel – composer
Christophe Knoch - Micamoca Project Berlin e.V.
Piotr Kruszczyński – reżyser
Michał Kucharski
Gaba Kulka - musican
Borys Lankosz – theatre director
Krzysztof Krauze - theatre director
Joanna Kos-Krauze - theatre director
Grzegorz Laszuk – culture animator, artist
Joanna Leśnierowska – curator of the Old Brewery New Dance
Katarzyna Lewińska
Angélica Liddell
Agnese Lozupone
Krystian Lupa – theatre director
Viola Łabanow - Fundacja Muzyka jest dla wszystkich
Paweł Łysak - theatre director
Juliusz Machulski – theatre director
Rafał Maćkowiak
Eduardo Maggiolo
Marcelo Martínez – composer
Krzysztof Materna
Justyna Matyjaśkiewicz
Joseph V. Melillo – The director of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York
Adam Michnik
Krzysztof Mieszkowski – director of the Polish Theatre in Wroclaw
Agnieszka Misiewicz – Teatralia Poznań
Alicja Muller – editor of the Krakow Teatralia
Juliana Muras – actress
Paweł Mykietyn – music director of the New Theatre in Warsaw
Gerardo Naumann – theatre director

Grzegorz Niziołek
Aleksander Nowak – composer
Maciej Nowak
Isis Olivier – artist
Jim O’Quinn – Theatre Communications Group, editor in chief of the American Theatre
Thomas Ostermeier – theatre director
Joanna Ostrowska
Jurek Owsiak
Mauro Panzillo
Belén Parra
Sebastian Pawlak – actor TR Warsaw
Dolf Planteijdt – musician, producer
Julieta Potenze
Paweł Potoroczyn
Amapola Prada – theatre director
Jerzy Radziwiłowicz – actor
Lech Raczak – theatre director
Dobrochna Ratajczakowa
Anna Reichel
Alice Roland - actor
Flavia Romera
Wilhelm Sasnal – artist
Jolanta Serwińska
Pablo Seijo / ActorI
Iwona Skwarek
Agata Siwiak – curator
Bogusława Sochańska – Director of the Danish Cultural Institute
Prof. Magdalena Środa
Magdalena Sroka – Vice President of Krakow for Culture, Promotion and Sport
Adam Suprynowicz – journalist
Jarosław J. Szczepański
Bartosz Szczęsny
Małgorzata Szczęśniak – production designer of the New Theatre in Warsaw
Paweł Szkotak – theatre director, Director of the Polish Theatre in Poznan
Julia Szmyt
Amalia Tercelan – actress
Mark Timmer – artistic director of Frascati (Amsterdam)
Jan Topolski – New Horizons festival programmer
Katia Tirado – performer
Mariusz Treliński – artistic director of the Grand Theatre - National Opera
Paula Triñanes – actress
Mateo De Urquiza – actor
Krzysztof Warlikowski – theatre director, director of the New Theatre in Warsaw
Jacek Weksler – president of the Foundation Media Arts Film
Andrzej Wirth – translator, literary critic, theater critic, theater studies
Ewa Wycichowska – director of the Polish Dance Theatre
Candelaria Saenz Valiente – artist
Florencia Vecino
Gisèle Vienne – theatre director
Andrzej Wajda – theatre director
Ewa Wanat – editor-in-chief of the Polish Radio RDC
Emilio García Wehbi – theatre director
Mariusz Wilczyński – theatre director
Franz Wille – Theater Heute
Agata Wittchen-Barełkowska
Ewa Wójciak
Michał Zadara – theatre director
Iwo Zaniewski - artysta
Adam Ziajski – theatre director
Agnieszka Ziółkowska – Krytyka Polityczna
Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz – theatre director, vice-dean of the faculty of directing at the Film School in Lodz
Mateusz Zmyślony
Jacek Żakowski

Signed an open letter of people of culture can be sent to the address press@malta-festival.pl