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. We build a leading intellectual event on an international scale.
The leading topic of the 2018 edition of Freedom Games is devoted to Battle of History. The year 2018 commemorates the centenary anniversary of regaining Polish independence. In light of the 2017 celebrations and the infamous March of Independence in Warsaw, it becomes apparent that not only the streets, but also the narrative surrounding the Polish history has been almost entirely taken over by the nationalists and false patriots.
It is difficult to imagine a greater tragedy than a group of racists wearing balaclavas becoming the symbol of this significant day in the history of independent Poland. This is precisely why we intend to take up the gauntlet in the fight for memory. We are capable of reclaiming the ideals of civil and brave Poland that does not have to amend its history to be proud of it.
In our debates we will tackle the issues of historical myths, while at the same time trying to create our own myths for the modern age – after all, it is difficult to imagine a community which does not share common myths. Moreover, we will also discuss the notion of patriotism as a manifestation of responsibility and the idea of raison d’etat. All this in the company of renowned historians from all around the world in a bid to explain the impact of international historical processes on societies and to emphasize the importance of European intergation in creating peaceful Europe and ensuring well-being in Poland. Finally, we will defend the idea that a Common Europe truly constitutes Polish raison d’etat.
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. Each day of Freedom Games will end with a concert.
Freedom Games are a leading intellectual and educational event in Poland. We hosted renowned speakers from the United States, Russia, China, France, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and United Kingdom, among others. The Organizer has proved that within four years it was possible to gather in Łódź outstanding intellectuals, representatives of culture and public life from around the globe – including lecturers from the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley, Lodz, and Paris, Massachusets Institute of Technology, Lodz University of Technology, a former prime minister of Russia, dissidents, writers, poets, and the leaders of influential non-governmental organizations such as National Endowment for Democracy or European Liberal Forum. The partners of the event included: Open Society Foundations, Atlas Foundation, Friedriech Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the City of Lodz Office, Marshall Office of Lodz Region, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, and such companies as Orange, DNB, and PZU.
Among hundreds of speakers who took part in Freedom Games we may find: Robert Cooper, Adam Michnik, Agnieszka Holland, Maria Peszek, Marek Belka, Leszek Balcerowicz, Peter Gloor, Brendan Simms, Angana Chatterji, Andrzej Stasiuk, Marcin Świetlicki, Liao Ywiu, Robert Biedroń, Borys Budka, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, Maria Asenius, Karim Jebari, Jacek Dukaj, Sławomir Lachowski, Mariusz Szczygieł, Nilüfer Göle, Oksana Zabuzhko, Carl Gershman, Adam Bodnar, Jan-Werner Mueller, and Viktor Eerofyev, among others.
The bands that performed during Freedom Games so far: Pink Freud, Mitch & Mitch, Marcin Masecki, Wacław Zimpel, Gaba Kulka, Świetliki, Jazzpospolita, Kristen, Stara Rzeka, and Muchy.
Below you may find a set of folders summarizing previous editions of the event:
We are also proud to present two short videos from Freedom Games 2017: