Featured People: Sławomir Sierakowski

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Politicians, artists, economists and journalists from the East and West will share the stage at De Balie in Amsterdam on 15 and 16 November, including our Networked Programme partner Krytyka Polityczna's founder Slawomir Sierakowski.

Sławomir Sierakowski is a Polish sociologist and political commentator who contributes a monthly column to the biggest Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, and to the international edition of the New York Times. In 2002 he founded Krytyka Polityczna, the biggest eastern European movement of liberal intellectuals, artists and activists, with branches in Ukraine and Russia. As well as leading this movement, he is also the Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and the President of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association, overseeing its publishing house; its online daily Dziennik Opinii; cultural centres in Warsaw, Gdansk, Lodz and Cieszyn, in Poland, and in Kiev, Ukraine; and 20 local clubs. He has been awarded fellowships from Yale, Princeton and Harvard and from the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and has been ranked as one of the most influential Poles by Polityka, Wprost and Newsweek.

Last month, Sławomir participated to our Idea Camp as a speaker and hosted a session on Why Social Protests Do Not Become Social Movements? You can watch the video below.

We have also asked Sławomir to share his thoughts on the new notions of public and democratic models: "Occupy Wall Street and the Spanish protests of 2011 and 2012 made the same claim that the thinkers who make up the group Krytyka Polityczna and many other groups have been making for years: we need to analyse the absence of real political choice, as well as the lack of differences between parties in their economic policies. What has changed in the public spheres of Western liberal democracies that these social protests did not become social movements?"

ECF is co-hosting one of the debates entitled Towards a New Wall?, which turns the spotlight on Ukraine.