Embassy of the Republic of Poland
Friday, October 11th
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Intercultural Center (ICC) 301
Georgetown University
37th & O Streets NW,
Washington, DC 20007

Jerzy Giedroyc and his legacy: a panel discussion and exhibition at
Georgetown University

Event Invitation

Friday, October 11th, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm,

join us at Georgetown University for a discussion on the lasting legacy of Jerzy Giedroyc, the editor of Kultura and one of the key Central European intellectuals of the 20th century.

Intercultural Center (ICC) 301
Georgetown University
37th & O Streets NW,
Washington, DC 20007

5:00 pm, an introduction to the exhibition, Jerzy Giedroyc and His Achievement by Professor Iwona Sadowska, the Director of Polish Studies at Georgetown

5:30 pm, a panel discussion, The Eastern Partnership before 1989: The Paris Kultura and the impact of Giedroyc’s vision on Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians

The panelists, Vincuk Viačorka, Irena Lasota, and Saulius Sužiedėlis will discuss Giedroyc’s legacy in the context of the last 30 years of transformation and democratization processes in Eastern & Central Europe. Experts will debate the challenges facing democracy and the role of the United States in its support. We ask: can Europe be whole and free without fully incorporating Eastern European nations? Can Central and Eastern European experiences strengthen societies in the age of governments’ efforts to limit civic and political space? Could they encourage democratic processes farther to the east? How does the EU Eastern Partnership program help to bring us closer to a peaceful, democratic and free continent?

Professor Iwona Sadowska will deliver an opening address on the cultural, literary and political role of Kultura followed by remarks by Marcin Przydacz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Poland), the Ambassadors of Poland, Piotr Wilczek, and Lithuania, Rolandas Kriščiūnas.

A light meal featuring Central European specialties will be served at 5 pm.

Admission is free - registration not required.

Born into a Polish-Lithuanian family, Jerzy Giedroyc was a journalist, editor, a political émigré and one of the most insightful political thinkers of the 20th century. The Paris-based, Polish-language Kultura he edited for over 50 years was a cultural and political journal that played a pivotal role in opposing communist totalitarianism. Jerzy Giedroyc’s political doctrine called for the independence of Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine and for multilateral cooperation in the region; the present international situation shows that this idea is still an important one.

Vincuk Viačorka is a Belarusian scholar, writer, democratic activist, a
co-founder (1988) and former leader of the Belarusian Popular Front (BNF)—a
Belarusian opposition movement. He worked as a professor at the Belarusian
State Pedagogical University and the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum; he served
as an editor of the nonconformist cultural magazine Spadčyna. His
involvement in anti-totalitarian activities dates back to underground
pro-independence and anti-communist groups of the 1970s and the 80s. In
1987, he co-founded the Belarusan Associations Confederation – the first
nationwide pro-democratic network which provided the foundation for the
nationwide democratic movement, BNF, a year after. Between 1999 and 2009, he
served as chairman and deputy chair of the Belarussian Popular Front
movement and the party. In 1995, Viačorka helped to establish "Supolnasc"
Civil Society Center, a member of international Centers for Pluralism
network. He coordinated pro-democratic and anti-totalitarian networks of
NGOs. He regularly contributes to Radio Liberty Belarus Service with essays
on language and identity issues. Since 1984, Vincuk Viačorka has been
detained and imprisoned many times for political reasons.

Irena Lasota is a journalist, political activist, and president of the
Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE). Formed in 1985, as a
follow-up of the New York Committee in Support of Solidarity, IDEE developed
innovative programs on civic education and civic participation, introduced
regional networking, and supported independent media in 22 post-communist
countries. Lasota left Poland in 1970 and came to the USA as a political
refugee. She has an M.Phil. in Political Science from Columbia University,
and taught political science at Yale and Fordham. She was the co-editor of
"Uncaptive Minds," a journal of information and analysis on Central and
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. A freelance journalist for Radio
Free Europe for 16 years, she authored and co-authored numerous articles and
reports on Eastern Europe, and edited several series of pamphlets and books
on democracy.

Saulius Sužiedėlis is Professor Emeritus of History at the Millersville
University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Catholic University of
America and the University of Kansas (Ph.D. in History), where he focused on
Slavic studies as well as on the history of Eastern Europe and Russia. He
edited the Journal of Baltic Studies from 1994 to 1998 and was president of
the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS 2002-2004). Dr.
Sužiedėlis is a member of the International Commission on the Evaluation of
the Crimes of Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania and chairman
of the Commission’s working group on Nazi crimes. The focus of his research
is the history of Russia, Eastern Europe, Lithuania, as well as issues of
the Holocaust and genocide. Dr Sužiedėlis is the author of more than 60
research articles, reports and reviews. He authored books such as The
Historical Dictionary of Lithuania and The Persecution and Mass Murder of
Lithuanian Jews during Summer and Fall of 1941 (together with Christoph

The exhibition Jerzy Giedroyc and His Achievement will be on display at the
Georgetown’s ICC from October 8th to 16th.

The owner of the exhibition is the Kultura Literary Institute Association
and Paris Kultura Foundation, represented by Wojciech Sikora and Anna
Bernhardt. The exhibition curator in the USA is Paweł Bąkowski:

The panel, sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in cooperation with the Embassy of Lithuania, is made possible thanks to the Georgetown’s Department of Slavic Languages.
FREE Digital Edition
See and read Diplomatic Connections Magazine
View Archived Digital Editions