Dear, oh dear. Lots of Warsaw based “artists” and culture workers who put their faith in Mr. Zdrojewski and PO to award Warsaw the title of “City of Culture 2016” are sorely disappointed. A sense of disbelief and betrayal is written across their poor faces.
Silly fools. This cynical government was merely going through the motions of holding an open competition. Warsaw never stood a chance and all that money spent on promoting its chances could and should have been better spent (by putting policemen back on the beat, for example.)
Nor did Warsaw deserve a chance, if truth be told. With failing state institutions in every aspect of the arts, with its bevy of self-serving bureaucrats and arts managers, Warsaw is hardly a model to hold up to the nation or the world.
Nor, for that matter, is the winning city of Wroclaw, the city of which Minister Zdrojewski was mayor before he moved into the Ministry of Culture. Despite all the talk of an economic and cultural miracle, the reality is far less tangible. (Read my blog on Boleslawiec.) More a case of PO PR.
And, by the way, did the Minister really announce the day before the vote that he would give Wroclaw a massive handout of Ministry money if it won, then claim afterwards that he had been misunderstood? He would have given the money to whichever city won. Heaven forbid that the judges were influenced.
Isn’t this something a court should decide? I hear you say. Clearly, the Gods think something should be done. Shortly after the vote a thunderbolt was dispatched from Heaven. It landed in the Minister`s home, tripped him up and broke his leg.
Without a shadow of doubt, the city that should have been awarded Culture City was Lublin. True, its state institutions are probably even more rooted in the Soviet mould than elsewhere in the country. But, isn’t it time something decent happened to the south east? Isn’t it time that the south east was made to feel that it is not second rate, a Poland B? Isn’t it time the more prosperous regions of Poland turned their attention eastwards to that impoverished land where, after all, the soul of Poland resides?