Lithuania and its culture at the ICC

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The International Cultural Centre has for many years been dedicated to showcasing the most inspiring examples of the mutual influences between the Polish and Lithuanian cultures, which allow for highlighting the divergence and specificity of Lithuanian culture.

On July 11, 2021, the International Cultural Centre hosted a meeting between the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, who talked about Polish-Lithuanian cultural cooperation, based on centuries-old relationships and the belief that intensive cultural cooperation serves a better mutual understanding between citizens of both countries.

It was no coincidence that the meeting took place at the ICC, which for years has been active in the sphere of public and cultural diplomacy, with its programme consistently discussing and presenting Lithuanian history, culture, identity and art. The greatest expression of recognition for the activities so far was the award granted in Vilnius in 2020 to Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik, director of the ICC, and prof. Jacek Purchla, the founder and longtime director of the Centre, with the Knight's Crosses of the Order "For Merit for Lithuania".

In just three weeks, from 30 July 2021, the exhibition Photobloc: Central Europe in Photobooks, curated by the International Cultural Centre, will be presented at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius. It offers an intriguing view of Central Europe, reflected in the 20th-century photo books, and at the same time the first overview of the most important and interesting Central European photobooks.

Five years ago, an important event on the Polish cultural map came with the exhibition organised in cooperation with the M.K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art in Kaunas, titled M.K. Čiurlionis. Lithuanian Tale. It was the largest exhibition of the works of the greatest Lithuanian artist in Poland up to date, artist whose works feature elements of symbolism and expressionism, as well as the early experiments in abstraction. The ICC Gallery showcased 100 works - paintings, graphics, drawings, as well as the artist's sketchbooks.

The special 40th issue of the "Herito" quarterly, published in 2020, was entirely devoted to Lithuania, which, in spite of the stereotypes of a pagan Lithuanian forest or the tropes of Mickiewicz and Miłosz, was reviewed from an unusual side - from the sea. The heritage and culture of Lithuania were addressed by a select Lithuanian-Polish group of authors, among others by Leonidas Donskis, Małgorzata Kasner, Mindaugas Kvietkausks, Adam Mazur, Małgorzata Omilanowska, Wojciech Stanisławski, Dalia Staponkutė, Nikodem Szczydłowski.

The International Cultural Centre has regularly addressed Lithuanian culture, while Lithuanian researchers, writers and intellectuals repeatedly visited "The Ravens" House.

The 5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe took place in 2019 and coincided with the 450th anniversary of the Union of Lublin, so Lithuania had a special place in its programme. At that time, as many as seven Lithuanian specialists presented their lectures, incl. Dr. Ingrida Veliutė, then Deputy Minister of Culture. The special guest of the Forum was Dr. Kristina Sabaliauskaitė, one of the most important contemporary Lithuanian writers, winner of the Two Nations Prize, author of the best-selling tetralogy Silva rerum. During this year's 6th edition of the Forum Laimonas Briedis, a respected Lithuanian writer and researcher living in Canada, author of the book on the cultural heritage of Vilnius, dedicated his paper to the interpenetration of various forms of memory, narrative and language in the story of this city.
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