The twelfth edition of "Brave Festival — Against Cultural Exile" is going to be significant and, hopefully, symbolic. Why do I think so? Because this edition more than any other so far deals specifically with "exile". Today's world is a board across which hundreds of thousands of people migrate, flee, and relocate, in search of hope or refuge. It would be difficult to name or even categorize all forms of modern exile. You would need only to immerse yourself in the works of Bauman or Eliade to understand that the category of the "Other" is broad-ranging, dramatic, and well-capable of sparking a reaction.
The twelfth edition of the festival is titles "Outcasts". We decided not to discuss refugees. That is too fresh, too painful, and still happening in front of our very eyes, here and now. Instead, we decided to discuss people who have always been different in their own communities or in foreign ones, for which they have been stigmatized. This year's edition will be host to a number of events from across the world showing people whose everyday lives are, for a variety of reasons, very difficult and complicated. We show people who used art to change or even utilize their exclusion.
Behind each of these artists there is a powerful history, painful, yet also noble. They survived, and they are starting to push through to a self-sufficient life. Every performance will be preceded with a short documentary showing why that particular artist or group caught our interest. We will introduce you to a world showing people with a great will to live and create. A world of people who decided to make an apparent or actual weakness into a strength. A world of people with an amazing will to live and to save their own sensitivity.
Alongside our "performance" program, we invite you to an entirely new edition of our film festival. We have decided to change the formula it had followed thus far. We are starting BRAVE: Forbidden CINEMA. Despite the suggestion in the name, however, this will not be a festival of pornographic films. It will focus on films which, for various reasons, be they political, social, artistic, or moral, found themselves at various points in time to be "forbidden" and only viewable abroad or after many years had passed. The festival will have several sections and should be the most interesting presentation of "excluded" films in modern Polish cinema.
Of course, we are also expanding our children's project, BRAVE KIDS. This will be its seventh edition. The first edition saw three groups participating, this year promises... 20! In other words, almost 150 children. The aim of the project is to allow as many orphaned or abandoned children from across the world as possible to befriend one another. With this project we create a worldwide network of friends. The children arrive in groups of six with a leader. All groups have some sort of knowledge of their traditional dances, songs, rhythms, or rituals. Children from one country can teach the others a semblance of their own tradition. This creates a beautiful, powerful collage of children's experiences turned into a spectacle, a show for families, both children and adults, who come from all over Poland for this unique event. It is a light-hearted project, simple and joyful. There is no ideology here, nor any unnecessary aspirations.
After several years of the project, there also arose the need to create the BRAVE YOUTH project. This will be its first edition and it will gather a number of young people who had previously been participants of BRAVE KIDS. These young people will be participating in workshops where each of them can learn from the rest how to be a leader within their community. We wish to support young people in helping others in the areas from which they came, participating in the good of their communities, and showing other young people how to benefit those who need us.
BRAVE FESTIVAL is only the beginning for many projects. The goal is to teach identity, diversity, and the strength that flows from them. In Wrocław, we only begin to stimulate certain global mechanisms. We invite the excluded, so that their voice can be heard. We work with children and youths from across the world, so that they can change the world for the better. Alongside these things we also participate in educational and aid work with local senior citizens. We plant trees in Wrocław.
BRAVE FESTIVAL is a desire to bring as much benefit as possible, both locally and globally.