Luba Jurgenson

Freedom Games 2018

Born in Moscow in 1958, she is currently a full Professor at the Department of Slavic Studies of Sorbonne University. Her main research areas include: witness literature about Nazi camps and Gulag, representations and memory of mass violence in Eastern and Central Europe (20st century).

She has penned and edited several books and articles, notably on memory of Gulag and Stalin’s repressions. Reently, she published Le Goulag, témoignages et archives (Laffont 2017) written in cooperation with Nicolas Werth.

Paul Gradvohl

Freedom Games 2018

Contemporary Central Europe is the main topic of Paul Gradvohl’s historical research and publications. Among these (co-editor): Culture et identité en Europe centrale. Canons littéraires et visions de l’his­toi­re (Paris, Institut d’Études Slaves/Brno, Masaryk University, 2011) or L’Euro­pe médiane au XXe siècle: fractures, décompositions – recompositions – sur­com­po­sitions (Prague, CEFRES, 2011). Former director of the Center for French Civilization and Francophone Studies at the Warsaw University (2012-2016), he came back to the University of Lorraine. In 2013, he published, with Violaine Gelly, a biography of Charlotte Delbo (Paris, Fayard). The book was awarded the Prix de la critique by the French Pen Club (December 2013). He started working on a global approach of Central Europe (historiographical, see Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest, 20014/2, or centered on fears since 1918 Esprit 2016/March-April, nr 423) and is often interviewed in the media about the recent events in Central Europe (Le MondeRadio France InternationaleFrance Info these last weeks).

Michel Onfray

Freedom Games 2018

A contemporary French writer and philosopher who promotes hedonism, atheism, and anarchism. He is a highly prolific author on philosophy, having written more than 100 books.

He has gained notoriety for writing such works as Traité d’athéologie: Physique de la métaphysique (translated into English as Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), Politique du rebelle: traité de résistance et d’insoumissionPhysiologie de Georges Palante, portrait d’un nietzchéen de gaucheLa puissance d’exister and La sculpture de soi for which he won the annual Prix Médicis in 1993.

His philosophy is mainly influenced by such thinkers as Nietzsche, Epicurus, the cynic and cyrenaic schools, and French materialism. Onfray writes that there is no philosophy without self-psychoanalysis. He describes himself as an atheist and considers theist religion to be indefensible.

Onfray has published 9 books under a project of history of philosophy called Counter-history of Philosophy. In each of these books Onfray deals with a particular historical period in western philosophy. The series of books are composed by the titles I. Les Sagesses Antiques (2006) (on western antiquity), II. Le Christianisme hédoniste (2006) (on Christian hedonism from the Renaissance period), III. Les libertins baroques (2007) (on libertine thought from the Baroque era), IV. Les Ultras des Lumières (2007) (on radical enlightenment thought), V. L’Eudémonisme social (2008) (on radical utilitarian and eudomonistic thought), VI. Les Radicalités existentielles(2009) (on 19th and 20th century radical existentialist thinkers) and VII.La construction du surhomme: Jean-Marie Guyau, Friedrich Nietzsche (on Guyau´s and Nietzsche´s philosophy in relation to the concept of the Übermensch). VIII Les Freudiens hérétiques (2013). IX Les Consciences réfractaires (2013).

Onfray was a high school philosophy teacher for two decades until he resigned in 2002 to establish a tuition-free Université Populaire (People’s University) at Caen, at which he and several colleagues teach philosophy and other subjects.

Michael J. Abramowitz

Freedom Games 2018

President of Freedom House.  Before joining Freedom House in February 2017, he was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. He led the museum’s genocide prevention efforts and later oversaw its public education programs.

He was previously National Editor and then White House correspondent for the Washington Post.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. A graduate of Harvard College, he is also a board member of the National Security Archive.

Find Mr Abramowitz on Twitter

Brendan Simms

Freedom Games 2018

Professor of History of European International Relations, Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Peterhouse. He has been involved in policy work through the (Conservative) BOW Group, the (Labour) Foreign Policy Centre, the British Irish Association, and the Bosnian Institute (London).

He is also co-president of the Henry Jackson Society and President of the Project for Democratic Union. He has been interviewed by BBC 4, BBC World Service, RTE, and numerous Balkan radio programmes. Simms has given lectures in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia on various aspects of the Bosnian War.

An author of numerous articles and reviews for the Times Higher Educational Supplement, Observer, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Spectator, The times, Independent, Evening Standard, London Review of Books, and Wall Street Journal. Publications: Unfinest hour. Britain and the destruction of Bosnia (2001),  Europe. The struggle for supremacy, 1453 to the present (2013), among others.

Brendan Simms will join Freedom Games for the second time.

Stefan Chwin

Freedom Games 2018

A highly prolific Polish novelist, essayist, literary critic, and historian of literature whose life and literary work is closely linked to the city of Gdansk. He holds a post of Literature Professor at the University of Gdansk, his professional interests are focused on romanticism.

In the 1980s, he was a member of the editorial board of the renowned Transgresje series. The best-known novel by Stefan Chwin is entitled Hanemann (1995). It has been translated into German, Swedish, Spanish, and English. The plot of the novel is set in Gdansk in the wake of World War II.

He penned numerous books, including Romantyczna przestrzeń wyobraźni (1988), Literatura i zdrada (1993), Samobójstwo jako doświadczenie wyobraźni (2010), Samobójstwo i grzech istnienia (2012), Miłosz. Interpretacje i świadectwa (2011), Miłosz. Gdańsk i okolice (with Krystyna Chwin, 2012), Krótka historia pewnego żartu (1991), Esther (1999), Złoty pelikan (2003), Kartki z dziennika (2004), Żona prezydenta, Dolina Radości, Dziennik dla dorosłych, and Panna Ferbelin (2011), Ein Deutsches Tagebuch (2015), and Srebrzysko. Powieść dla dorosłych (2016), among others.

He is also an author of several fantasy books: Ludzie-skorpiony and Człowiek-litera (published as Max Lars) and essays, such as Zwodnicze piękno (2016).

In 1997, he received the Erich Brost Danzig Award for his merits on Polish-German reconciliation.


Photo: Marcin R. Chwin

Elzbieta Cherezinska

Freedom Games 2018

A Polish writer specializing in historical novels, a theatrologist. She graduated from the fcaulty of theatre studies of the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. As an author of historical novels she debuted in 2005 with a book written in cooperation with Szewach Weiss – Z jednej strony, z drugiej strony. Next, she published a novel based on the memories from the Lodz Ghetto, entitled Byłam sekretarką Rumkowskiego. Dzienniki Etki Daum. In Gra w kości, released in 2010, she tackles the theme of Polish Middle Ages, devoting the book to the Congress of Gniezno of the year 1000. At the same time, she released several books from the Północna drogaset in Scandinavia at the turn of 10th and 11th century.

She made the bestsellers list for the first time in 2012 with with her first book from the Odrodzone Królestwo series, set in the times of the fragmentation of Poland and contrasted with the history of Central Europe. One of her most recognized books is, however, the two-volume  Harda Królowa, about Świętosława – the daughter of the first Polish prince and the sister of the first Polish king, Boleslaw I the Brave.

Apart from the Middle Ages, Cherezinska is also interested in the World War II – which has been reflected in her book Legion – and the diplomatic games in the 19th century – her monumental book Turniej cieni. 

She writes her books in cooperation with historians, archeologists, and other experts in the field. She does not, however, shy away from enriching the stories she tells with elements of fantasy. When she published her first book on the Piast dynasty back in 2010, she wrote: “I worry that as a nation we still perceive our history as too heavy of burden. I would rather it became a practical guide in our journey”.

Marci Shore

Freedom Games 2018

Associate professor of history at Yale University. She is the translator of Michał Głowiński’s The Black Seasons and the author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968; The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe, and most recently, The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution.

Photo: Rostyslav Kostenko

Shalini Randeria

Freedom Games 2018

Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, as well as the Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy.

She is currently a member of the Editorial Boards of the American Ethnologist, Public Anthropologist and The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the journal Comparative Migration Studies. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central European University (CEU), the Academic Advisory Board of the Wien Museum as well as the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations.

Her research foci include the anthropology of law, state and policy, particularly the transnationalisation of law, normative pluralism; reproductive rights, population policy and gender; displacement and privatisation of common property resources; the anthropology of globalisation and development; post-coloniality and multiple modernities; and civil society and social movements.

She studied at the universities of Delhi and Heidelberg, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Free University, Berlin in 1992, and habilitation in 2002.

She was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich, as well as Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of the Central European University Budapest, and has held Visiting Professorships at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, at the University of Vienna and at EHESS, Paris as well as at the Berlin Social Science Research Center and the Free University of Berlin. 

She has been a Member of the Senate of the German Research Council (DFG), President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, New York and as member of the Editorial Board of Annual Review of Anthropology.

Recent edited volumes include: Migration and Borders of Citizenship (with Ravi Palat, special issue of Refugee Watch. A South Asian Journal on Forced Migration, 2017); Border Crossings. Grenzverschiebungen und Grenzüberschreitungen in einer globalisierten Welt (vdf Hochschulverlag, 2016); Politics of the Urban Poor (with Veena Das, special issue of Current Anthropology, 2015); Anthropology, Now and Next. Diversity, Connections, Confrontations, Reflexivity. Essays in Honour of Ulf Hannerz (with Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Christina Garsten, Berghahn Publishers, 2014); Jenseits des Eurozentrismus. Postkoloniale Perspektiven in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften (with Sebastian Conrad und Regina Römhild, 2nd edition, Campus Verlag, 2013); and Critical Mobilities (with D’Amato, Gianni, Panese, Francesco, Ruedin, Didier, and Ola Söderström, Routledge, 2013); Eckert, Andreas and Shalini Randeria, eds. Vom Imperialismus zum Empire: Nicht-westliche Perspektiven auf Globalisierung (Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 2009); Fuchs, Martin, Antje Linkenbach, and Shalini Randeria, eds. Konfigurationen der Moderne: Diskurse zu Indien (Special issue, Soziale Welt 15, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, 2004).

Freedom Games 2018

Battle of History

November 9-11, 2018

It is difficult to imagine a greater tragedy than celebrating the centenary anniversary of regaining Polish independence amidst a group of racists wearing balaclavas. This is precisely why we intend to take up the gauntlet in the fight for memory. We hope to make the city of Łódź a colorful and open oasis for Poles-Europeans, the stronghold of responsible patriotism and joyful celebration of Polish independence. Join us for a debate devoted to reclaiming our history so that Poland is a great country with strong civil society, the members of which do not wish to rewrite its history but instead feel proud to call themselves Polish citizens.

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What are Freedom Games?

Freedom Games are a meeting of individuals who are curious about the world and open to new ideas. It is a gathering of renowned experts and intellectuals, and a discussion about the key challenges the Western societies must face in the 21st century. Being a unique interdisciplinary event of this kind held in Poland, its main objective is to offer a creative space for exchanging ideas between the representatives of culture, business, and public life, among others. Freedom Games 2017 gathered over 2,000 attendees.

Freedom Games are the biggest and most prominent event organized by the  Liberté! Foundation. Our goal is to make it the leading intelectual event in Lodz, Poland.

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EC 1 Miasto Kultury

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Freedom Games 2018

First time in Lodz?

Find out what to see in the city!

Lodz is the third-largest city in Poland and an industrial hub. In 2017, it was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities network and named UNESCO City of Film. The industrial heritage of the city is perfectly combined with creative cultural atmosphere, art and business.

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