Important conversations at the AFA - summary of meetings

The meetings of the Academy of the Finest of Arts have come to an end. It was a time of conversations, discussions, and multiple questions on all sorts of topics. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes very serious.

The AFA is important, popular and, as it often turns out, a much-needed project that has been a permanent feature of Pol'and'Rock Festival since 2006. This year, once again, Festival-goers were able to meet extraordinary personalities, talking about topics close to their hearts. Over the past few days, the AFA hosted, among others, well-known singers, actors, travellers and war correspondents. Below is a short summary of all the meetings, day by day.


The series of meetings began with a conversation between Katarzyna Janowska and Jakub Żulczyk. They touched upon many topics – from waffles, through the words a writer or novelist might use, to the issue of addiction.

The Neo-Nówka group has stirred up public opinion with its latest jokes. Karol Kosiorowski, in an interview with the comedy group, did not shy away from questions about the latest skit, which caused many extreme emotions.

The message of this skit is simple - let's not get divided and let's not make your Christmas Eve look like the one in the skit!
-- Michał Gawliński

It was about politics, divisions, journalism, and the formula for hate, but presented in a funny and thought-provoking way.

Especially at festivalgoers' request, the well-known singer, mistakenly called Andrzej and known officially as Krzysztof Sokolowski, was a guest of Piotr Halicki. Anyone who has heard the Night Lover and been to their concerts knows what to expect.


The day got off to a really interesting start. Tomasz Gorazdowski met with two travellers – special guests of mBank. First, the journalist invited Piotr Strzeżysz, who “specialises in cycling and has made cycling a philosophy of life”, to join the conversation. Later, the fearless Kamila Kielar joined the meeting. Imagine, she kayaked alone to British Columbia in search of the rarest species of bears – ghost bears! What do these creatures look like? “They are black bears, which are white, but they are neither polar nor albino”, answers Kielar. How is that possible? And what do they have in common with Labradors? One could learn that and much more about travelling to distant parts of the world during the meeting.

War. War never changes. Kamil Dziubki spoke to Wojciech Bojanowski and Marcin Wyrwał about its different faces, the work of a war correspondent and why the world needs correspondents in the age of smartphones.

What were the first days in Ukraine like, just after Russia's unjustified aggression against this independent country, from their perspective? What do they have to face in their daily work? How do their relatives feel about their job? What are the consequences of such an intensive lifestyle? They shared the true backstage stories of a war correspondent job with the AFA audience.

Marcin Dorociński is an acclaimed Polish theatre, film and television actor. His great talent and modesty have won him a circle of fans. The actor's achievements were also recognised by Szymon Chwalisz, who put his likeness on a guitar to be auctioned at the 31st GOCC Grand Finale.

Piotr Kędzierski's conversation with Marcin Dorociński was engaging and genuine. The actor talked about his humble beginnings. From a tiny town of 150 inhabitants sharing two telephone lines, as Dorociński recalls, to his first appearances on the stage of the Dramatic Theatre in Warsaw. He talked about the role of luck in an actor's career, his involvement in foreign productions, which he gained through hard work and tenacity, and the importance of believing in yourself.

I probably recorded over a thousand of these audition tapes overseas and the first time I won was last year. It took me 10 or more years.
-- Dorociński confided

During the conversation, the audience could also learn more about his favourite roles, hard moments on set and his recipe for a happy life.


Saturday's meetings started with a difficult, but extremely important topic. Janina Bąk and Piotr Jacoń talked about the right to be oneself – about identity, love, and the need to support LGBTQ+ people. An issue that is still overlooked in the country. On the one hand, it remains a taboo subject that is avoided in order not to stir up controversy. On the other hand, as soon as it appears in the public space, it is immediately downplayed.

I find nothing more irritating than comments that discussions on, for example, same-sex marriage are a substitute topic. The happiness of a person is never a substitute topic.
-- Janina Bąk

We are delighted that the Academy of the Finest of Arts is creating a space for just such conversations. We are all the more pleased to see so many participants come to the AFA Tent.

The day was full of difficult discussions. Jaśmina Marczewska talked to the makers of the film “Johnny”: actor Dawid Ogrodnik, screenwriter Maciej Kraszewski and Patryk Galewski, Father Kaczkowski's ward, from whose perspective the whole story is told. The team talked about the film, which will have its premiere in September this year. This production is an extraordinary story about a charismatic priest and his protégé, who did not have an easy start. It is a moving illustration of love for the world, for another human being, showing that everyone deserves a second chance.

The final guest of the AFA was Polish actress Barbara Kurdej-Szatan, interviewed by Ewa Raczynska. A meeting that gathered a lot of interest already when it was announced. It was about social media, PR, hate speech and the anti-Polish model. The conversation was not easy, and not without tears.

The GOCC Foundation would like to thank all the guests and journalists it had the pleasure of seeing on the AFA stage, but most of all, we would like to thank the Most Beautiful Audience in the World, for coming in such large numbers to listen, to ask, to talk.

Anna Libertowska