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Karolina Golemo

(Jagiellonian University, Institute of Intercultural Studies, Kraków, Poland)

Sound, Image, Performance. The “Sacrum Profanum” Festival between real and virtual space


Sacrum Profanum is a festival with a long tradition and one of the flagship musical events of Krakow. The festival - offering the so-called contemporary classics, electronic music, jazz and other genres - is known for experimenting, presenting courageous arrangements and combining traditions with the avant-garde. The organizers’ intention to cross borders and explore unconventional forms of musical expression is accompanied by the search for new channels of communication.  In 2020, due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, the Sacrum Profanum festival radically changed its format. From a “live” event, it turned into an online event, but the way virtual space was used was significantly different from the online editions of other festivals. The experimental edition of 2020 made it possible to expose the multimedia dimension of Sacrum Profanum, as well as to show it’s performative and staging potential.  It also allowed the testing of new forms of interaction with the audience and new possibilities of connections between sound and image. The aim of the speech is to discuss the experimental online 2020 edition of the Sacrum Profanum festival, with emphasis on its multimedia dimension. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of new technologies on the reorganization of the festival space and the emergence of new types of festival experiences. The analysis will be based primarily on material from field research carried out as part of the project “European Music Festivals, Public Spaces, and Cultural Diversity”.

Short biography

Karolina Golemo, PhD, a sociologist of culture, holds a degree in journalism and social communication. Assistant Professor at the Institute of Intercultural Studies, Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Research interests: cultural diversity of Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, stereotypisation in the media and in symbolic culture, migration issues, migrants and artistic expression, music in intercultural relations. Graduated from secondary music school (piano). Principal Investigator in the HERA-funded project European Music Festivals, Public Spaces, and Cultural Diversity (