HERE & NOW Andersen in Gdansk

Thursday 12 May opens the "Andersen - Shades and Shadows" year-long programme of Andersen events in Gdansk.

By awk - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 09 May 2005

Andersen - Shades and Shadows is a year-long project organized by the BSCC in Gdansk. Its aim is to present a lot of aspects of Andersen's life, most of all, those unknown. Andersen as a writer addressing his books not only to children but most of all to adults; Andersen as an author of works of art - those are different shades of Andersen's personality. His life and works inspire contemporary recipients including great artists like Günter Grass.

Year-long programme:

12 May
 - "Andersen's New Clothes" - seminar about the new translation of Andersen's fairytales - directly from Danish
12 May - "The Shadow" - exhibition of lithographies and sculptures by Günter Grass
Autumn - "The Most Incredible Stories" - film festival
Winter - Andersen's "Christmas tree"

The project has been granted the logo of HCA2005 Foundation.

12 May 2005 Andersen's New Clothes

Old Town Hall, ul. Korzenna 33/35
"Andersen's New Clothes" is a project organized on the occasion of 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birthday within the year-long program Andersen - Shades and Shadows. Its aim is to present the unknown face of the writer.

Andersen's New Clothes consists of two events: 

 - seminar - presentation of new translation of Andersen's fairytales, the first translation directly form Danish 

 - "The Shadow" - exhibition of illustrations inspired by Andersen's fairytales made by Günter Grass.


10.00 - fairytales by Hans Christian Andersen in new translation of Boguslawa Sochanska read by Gdansk actors: Marzena Nieczuja-Urbanska, Jerzy Gorzko and the HCA Ambassador in Poland - Marek Kaminski

11.30 - seminar
led by Maryla Hempowicz
Boguslawa Sochanska, Andersen known (about the work on the translation of fairytales) Joanna Papuzinska, Andersen in Polish translation
Barbara and Maciej Szargot, Sadness of Andersen's fairytales Grzegorz Leszczynski, We all take from him discussion

14.30 - break

16.00 - Andersen's fairytales "Swineherd" and "What father does is always right" - told by a Danish storyteller Connie Olsen

16.30 - continuation of the seminar
Boguslawa Sochanska, "Andersen unknown" (about artistic works)
Magdalena Olszewska, "When the fairytale finished" (about Günter Grass' illustrations to the fairytales)

18.00 - opening of the exhibition of litographies and sculptures by Günter Grass "The Shadow"

The new translation of fairytales made by Boguslawa Sochanska - the director of Danish Cultural Institute and published by 'Media Rodzina' uncovers the forgotten or omitted in previous translations (the best known were made by Stefania Beylin and Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz) qualities of Andersen's fairytales. The most important are humor, colloquial style, greater naturalness and dynamics of the dialogs and a double addressee - a child and maybe most of all an adult. Andersen's intention was that the plot, anecdote of the fairytale should appeal to children while the thought, reflection, humor, allusion to adults. Andersen did not feel that he was a writer for children. But inaccuracies and misunderstandings in translations and adaptations that grew to over a century and a half caused the limitation of reception of Andersen's works. It happened that happy endings were added or scary fragments were deleted - against the author's will. The new edition of fairytales was purified of those influences and that is why the works gain their primary, universal character. Although the fairytales made Andersen famous, we have to remember that he was also the author of many poems, dramas, a journey diary and artistic works, most of all cut-outs. Those different facets of the writer will be presented and discussed during the seminar with participation of the translator Boguslawa Sochanska and experts on children's literature.

The seminar will take place on 12 May in the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre. Actors from Gdansk and the HCA Ambassador in Poland - Marek Kaminski - explorer of the Polar Regions will start the seminar by reading the fairytales.
It will be closed by the performance of a Danish storyteller Connie Olsen and the opening of the exhibition of lithographies and sculptures by Günter Grass.

Co organizers:

Danish Cultural Institute -
The Voivodeship and City Public Library -
Kunststyrelsen -

The exhibition
The exhibition of Günter Grass' "The Shadow" will be one of the main events of Gdansk celebration of 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. A year ago the Nobel Prize winner was asked by the Danish Queen Margrethe II to illustrate some of Andersen's fairytales. During five months of work Grass created 97 lithographies. They were published in the book "The shadow - Andersen's fairytales through the eyes of Günter Grass". The author received Hans Christian Andersen's award for the book this year. 30 of these illustrations are going to be presented at the exhibition in Gdansk. Also 10 lithographies from the new cycle 'Last dances' and 8 sculptures 'Dancing couples' will be shown. It is worth pointing out that his sculptures are going to be presented in Poland for the first time. Graphic works of Günter Grass are well-known to the Gdansk audience.

The exhibition will be opened on 12 May in the Gallery of the BSCC. The grand closing with participation of the Author will take place on 18 June 2005 at 6 pm.
Co organizer: Gdansk City Council -

The Film Festival "The Most Incredible Stories",
the most important event in autumn, will present films from all over the world based on Andersen's works or inspired by them as well as those showing the writer's life. The festival will be accompanied by a discussion on adaptations led by film critics.


The events in spring are organized by many partners:

The Voivodeship and City Public Library in Gdansk organizes the board exhibition "H.C. Andersen, a Man and a Writer" (27 April - 17 May).

The Scandinavian Department at the University of Gdansk is the main coordinator of the academic conference in English "H.C. Andersen's Fairytales in Europe and Europe in H.C. Andersen's Fairytales" ( 20-21 May).

In winter we plan to announce results of the contests organize workshops, invite actors to read fairytales. There will also be a concert of music inspired by works of Andersen or coming from his epoch - "The Musical Letter to Andersen".

While the events in spring and autumn are aimed mainly at adults, in December the celebration will be addressed most of all to children.