My visit to this historic city this year focused on two main points: a visit to the European Solidarity Centre and participation in the International Shakespearean Festival.
The exhibition at the European Solidarity Centre is dedicated to the creation of the independent trade union "Solidarity." It covers the period roughly from the 1970s until June 4, 1989, when the first free parliamentary elections took place. The elections were won by the opposition, and Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the first non-communist prime minister in the Eastern Bloc.
The exhibition explains the origins of the name "Solidarity," the forms of resistance against authority by the younger generation and artists, elucidates the causes of strikes, and explores why Martial Law was introduced.
An important exhibit is a wooden board on which workers wrote their demands. This board has later been inscribed on the UNESCO list. The exhibition also highlights how important the election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II was for the Polish people and emphasizes that Poland made a peaceful transition to the path of democracy, unlike other countries in the former Eastern Bloc, such as Romania and Yugoslavia.
At the entrance to the museum, you can see the historic gate of the Gdańsk Shipyard.
After visiting the museum, I headed to the Shakespeare festival. This is an annual event that always takes place in the summer, attracting Shakespeare enthusiasts and various theater groups from around the world. This time, the main highlight was the French theater Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, which presented the play "Project Tempest" directed by Peter Brook, the founder of the theater. The performance was actually a tribute to the late director, one of the leading figures in 20th and 21st-century theater.
Another interesting presentation was a theater-dance piece titled "Do You Know All of Them," featuring four female characters from Shakespeare's plays: Miranda, Ophelia, Gertrude, and Lady Macbeth. After the performance, there was a meeting with the artists during which they talked about their creative process, which they referred to as "conscious dreaming."
The festival lasts until August 6th, so if you have the time and inclination, I warmly recommend attending.