The European Summer Academy ' 99

Photo: Bernhard Kahmel, ESA Co-ordinator

The European Summer Academy has been taking place for three years. After Spain and Germany in previous years, this time the event was hosted by Poland. More than 130 people from all over Europe came to Czarny Potok near Krynica to work together and share their cultural experience. The main ESA theme this year was:" Transition to the new".

The aim of the ESA is not education as such but integrating young people from different European countries and overcoming intercultural barriers. The participants could choose their favourite way of expression from a variety of workshops including: music, photography, sculpture, dance, costume design, black theatre, drama, video, radio journalism, the Internet, meditation and Tai Chi. The instructors came to Krynica from Germany, the Netherlands, India, France and Poland. The results of the workshops were presented during a great show in Krynica town square, for which crowds of people gathered.

The ESA people could also gain specific knowledge of the most vibrant subjects connected with the idea of 'transition' . Prof. Emil Orzechowski of the Jagiellonian University gave an insight into the history and importance of Kraków, and Prof. Jerzy Mikułowski talked about the relationship between globalism and tradition. Jerzy Bystrowski of the Copernicus Foundation developed the idea of the English language as playing a crucial role in intercultural integration, and a representative of the German organizers, Dr Stroh, discussed the most important aspects of the European Union.

Apart from visiting Kraków, the ESA spent a day in Auschwitz and Tarnów discovering the past and getting acquainted with the culture of the Gypsies.

The European Summer Academy in Poland was organized by Fundacja Hetmana Jana Tarnowskiego, Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa and Zespół Kolegiów Nauczycielskich. All the work, however, was done by two determined women, Renata Kozioł and Renata Cierpich, who got involved in the ESA as former participants in other countries. It has not yet been decided where the next European Summer Academy will be held, but some say that it will be in either Turkey or the Netherlands.

Grzegorz Nawrocki