The idea of the Polish Social Forum responds to the need to organise the future, i.e. looking for realistic alternatives in the area of social, political and economic organisation. With its name and formula, the Polish Social Forum refers to similar meetings held regularly in various places worldwide, e.g. the European Social Forum and the World Social Forum, organised for over two decades in Porto Alegre in Brazil.
Participants of the Forum will include organisations and individuals working for progressive social change (including in the areas of ecology, minorities’ rights, women’s rights, urban policy and employee rights), but not connected with the state administration. This does not mean that we want to turn away from politics, paying homage to the utopia of an apolitical civic society; it is that we would rather bet on grass-roots movements transforming the social practice and awareness that goes with it. It is the crucial moment of a socio-political change that, as a variety of sociological research indicates, is ahead of what happens in the world of institutionalised politics. Polish society is, in almost all respects, more progressive than the political class that reportedly represents it, which only confirms the slogan appearing frequently during the Occupy movement and the Indignados rallies: Politicians do not lead. They follow.
We want the Forum to be a practical consideration of horizontal self-organisation, self-governance, mutual assistance, social justice and solidarity. We do not, however, aim to organise an academic conference or a series of panel discussions about the ailments of the contemporary world for the “talking heads” to share their insights. We consider the theoretical reflection to be hugely valuable and necessary, but in this instance we want to enhance the meeting, whose context is a practical, self-organised activity carried out on the basis of autonomously controlled resources – own free time, own skills and knowledge, voluntary contributions, own business activity for the cause, spaces occupied as squats, etc. A similar initiative has already been organised in Poland; it did not, however, transform into a continually functioning platform of cooperation, which would undoubtedly be beneficial for the consolidation of Polish activist communities. This is why, as a part of our effort to organise the future, we decided to refer also to this formula of an activists’ assembly.
The Polish Social Forum consists of two days of debates and discussions accompanied by artistic and discursive events: a performance of the play Solidarity. The New Project directed by Paweł Wodziński, the presentation of the book edited by Jan Sowa, Solidarity 2.0, or democracy as a form of life, summarising a six-month series of lectures and debates devoted to the horizontal self-organisation and democratic alternatives to parliamentarism, as well as the screening of Oliver Ressler’s films about democracy.
The session of the Forum will be accompanied by the choral commentary of the Polin Choir which is one of the constituting elements of the polyphonic manifesto for the future – a musical piece that will be heard in its entirety on 23 June.
The Forum is also carrying out the mission of Biennale Warszawa as a public institution that remains rooted in the field of culture, but whose point of existence is active participation in working for the common good and making the field of culture a place supporting the shaping of progressive activism.
Organizacje biorące udział w Forum
W Forum dotychczas zgłosili swój udział delegaci i delegatki poniższych organizacji:
Autonomiczna Przestrzeń Edukacyjna
Bemowskie Centrum Kultury
Blog Lewica Wolnościowa
Centrum Wsparcia Imigrantów i imigrantek
Extinction Rebellion Polska
Fundacja „Koalicja Sprawiedliwego Handlu” – Fairtrade Polska
Fundacja Pole Dialogu
Miejski Ośrodek Kultury w Olsztynie/Galeria Dobro
Gdańskie Centrum Równego Traktowania
Grupa nad Wisłą
Grupa Nieformalna Ulica Siostrzana
Kampania Przeciw Homofobii
Łódź Bez Smogu
Nieformalna Grupa Inicjatywna
Obóz dla Mierzei Wiślanej
Obóz dla Puszczy
OZZ „Inicjatywa Pracownicza” (delegatury z różnych regionów)
Prawo do Miasta
Spółdzielnia Socjalna Margines
Stowarzyszenie Stan Równości
Trójmiejska Akcja kobieca
Trójmiejska Świetlica Krytyki Politycznej
Zwrotnica – Dom Inicjatyw Społecznych
Warszawski Strajk Kobiet
Szczegółowy program Forum
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