Plans and objectives of the International Cultural Centre 2018

The year 2018 is rich in historical overtones. Two of them will be very strongly reflected in the programme of the International Cultural Centre. In the Central European context this year means the centenary of a great watershed, which invalidated the old order and established a new one in our part of the continent. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 1918 was the moment when the modern Central European was born.

And in the overall European context 2018 was declared the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage entrusted the ICC with the coordination of EYCH in Poland. The role of the Centre will be to support organisations and institutions in carrying out initiatives fulfilling EYCH assumptions. A variety of events will be organised: conferences, seminars, exhibitions, educational programs, consultations, internships and voluntary work. Special publications will be prepared, among them the first Polish edition of essays and articles written by John Tunbridge, pioneer of the theory of heritage. Our knowledge and support will be available not only at the ICC itself, but also in other Polish cities, where we intend to reach out with our EYCH programme.

We intend to look at the centenary 1918–2018 through the perspective of architecture, cities, space and landscape. We will inaugurate the year with the exhibition Lviv. 24 June 1937. City, architecture modernism, which had its opening at the ICC Gallery back in 2017. It is a multidimensional portrait of the city emphasising the role of Lviv as the centre of modernity in the times of the II Republic.

The next exhibition, Istanbul. Two worlds, one city, will present the metropolis at the junction of Europe and Asia as a place where also other worlds confront each other. Istanbul photography from the period since the middle of the 19th century until the 1940s perpetuated a unique moment when this 2000‑year‑old city was invaded by modernity; the photos captured not only a change in its cityscape, but above all social and cultural transformations brought about by the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Turkish Republic.

The year will culminate in the exhibition The architecture of independence in Central Europe. It will present a broad outline of what has been happening in our part of Europe since 1918 – new geography, urban planning and architecture of young states, the immediate human surroundings in the shape of houses, housing estates, cities, tourist facilities or recreation sites. Through juxtaposing examples from various countries, we will attempt to point at differences and similarities in approaching space in Central Europe. The exhibition will be counterpointed by the book 11 November 1918 as a memory site. The extraordinary story of the Independence Day – the discussion around the date and interpretation of the process which had led to the establishment of the independent state – will be presented against the backdrop of other states. This will allow us to place the Polish case in a wide spectrum of regional arguments about memory.

We look at memory, modernity, the city and Central Europe through many aspects, we do not avoid controversy. For such is the nature of heritage, a process of reinterpreting the past, but also of the area of debate. And the International Cultural Centre steadfastly remains a place of continuous dialogue.

ICC Director – Agata Wąsowska‑Pawlik
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