This is already the third DEBUTS final, the initiative which aims to discover and promote the most talented emerging Polish photographers. In these days where images surround us everywhere choosing people has not been an easy task. Additionally, the majority of these images are bland and are instantly forgotten as we flick through the pages of a newspaper or skip between television channels and websites. How do we find the best images in this ocean of mediocrity? How to ensure the good pictures reach a wider audience?
“To find an answer these questions is why we started our project,” – says Grzegorz Kosmala, editor-in-chief of doc! photo magazine. – “We want to present the photography enthusiasts, who care, who are worth watching, despite the fact that they are at the beginning of their artistic roads, in the hope that with our support their careers will flourish and not trundle into a blind alley.”
What do the emerging Polish photographers tell us in their pictures? What preoccupies their minds? They discuss the issues that, at certain moments, are important in everybody’s life: the joy of experiencing childhood, loneliness after the loss of a loved one, anxiety about the future. They observe and document their nearest surroundings; comment on the reality around them. Sometimes photography helps them accept themselves, and sometimes it lets them take refuge in ideal world they themselves have created.
“As I dived deeper and deeper into the stories, the images, the portfolios the intensity raised,” – says Mads Nissen, member of the DEBUTS (edition 2016) jury. – “All of a sudden, I realised that I was not just staring into a screen – I was staring out. Out through the eyes of a young and talented Polish man or woman. Out on the world that surrounds him – but even more interesting than the naked facts – I was looking at his surroundings through the intriguing gaze of his mysterious mindset. That is photography for me. The photography I was looking for. The photography that tells us important stories about people and the realities that surround them, but always told with the photographers engaged and distinct voice. Because, if we don’t feel much when we take the picture – for sure – neither will anyone else when they see the image. And if the images are too sharp – too precise – then there is no room for thoughts. In the portfolios that I selected, I found just that, that magic that makes photography something much bigger than pictures.”
Despite of the range of photography we have to deal with – documentary, travel, street, fashion or fine art – all the portfolios are combined by the conscious use of the medium. The 40 people, whose photographs are presented at the exhibition and in the book, prove that the photography is something more than just pictures. It is about capturing forever emotions and life’s experiences. It is a joyful moment and a link between the present and the past, as well as a great gift for the future. It is a commentary on the photographer’s “here” and “now”, and it is up to us, the recipients, how we will decode this commentary. It requires us to open our minds to these pictures and to take the photographer’s point of view. Only then we will be able to decode his/her message. Only then we will understand his/her way of thinking. Only then we will be able to see ourselves in these pictures. So little and at the same time so much.
Jury: Calin Kruse (Germany), Petra Leene (the Netherlands/USA), Mads Nissen (Denmark), Moshe Rosenzveig (Australia), Grzegorz Kosmala (Poland)
Photographers: Basia Abramowicz, Joanna Bałaś, Adam Biernat, Katarzyna Bojko-Szymczewska, Alicja Brodowicz, Patryk Bułhak, Katarzyna Czerniak, Natalia Dołgowska, Kamil Domański, Tytus Grodzicki, Małgorzata Gwiazdonik, Edyta Jabłońska, Marta Kaczmarek, Julia Kaczorowska, Marta Kiela-Czarnik, Barbara Kosakowska, Katarzyna Kubiak, Magdalena Kuca, Artur Kucharczak, Dominika Kucner, Jacek Laube, Anna Lemke, Paweł Malinowski, Michał Matejko, Jakub Michalec, Maciej Narożny, Ola Nguyen Van, Laura Ociepa, Michał Orliński, Arkadiusz Pisarek, Arek Rataj, Sandra Recka, Marta Rybicka, Wojciech Ryziński, Małgorzata Skrzypczyk, Kamil Śleszyński, Weronika Twardowska, Dominik Witaszczyk, Weronika Woźniak, Aleksandra Zinkiewicz
2016 Fotofestiwal Łódź
HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel
June 9-19, 2016
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
The 15th International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL Łódź is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
This year’s anniversary edition of Fotofestiwal will begin on June 9 and last until June 19, 2016. The main theme of the fifteenth festival will be the experience intrinsically linked to photography from its very beginning – travel and the various forms of its recording and presentation. The main theme, HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel will comprise not only generic postcard photography, but also the forms that transcend it – conceptual, press and documentary photography.
The festival will take a look at the works of Robert Rauschenberg, co-creator of pop-art, and at the photographs of David “Chim” Seymour, one of the originators of the world famous Magnum Photos agency. The exhibitions under the HIT THE ROAD scheme are curated by Alison Nordström, the art director of the Fotofestiwal and former curator of George Eastman House at Rochester (NY, USA).
One of the regular sections of the festival is the Grand Prix. It begins with the photo contest and ends with the publication of its results as well as the opening of the final exhibitions. The winner of the Grand Prix, amounting PLN 10,000, will be announced during the festival opening ceremony. It will be one of the following artists:
Carlos Alba – The Observation of Trifles
The Observation of Trifles is a documentary photography project about how a foreigner finds his way in a new country and a new neighbourhood. The objects found in the street – details of letters with notes, drawings, urban furniture reproductions – are the key to an unexplored world and to new life stories.
David Fathi – Wolfgang
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, one of the founders of quantum physics, was nicknamed the “Conscience of Physics”. But he was also known among his peers for something a bit less “scientific”. Legend says that when Pauli entered a room, experiences would fail and machinery would break down. His colleagues jokingly called this phenomenon The Pauli Effect. This series is a semi-fiction where the Pauli Effect continues to haunt everyday life at CERN. The observer is the actor in establishing what is science and what is a myth.
Nick Hannes – Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man
Over 100 million tourists flock to the Med every year. Thousands of desperate immigrants from Africa and Asia continuously attempt to cross its water in shabby boats. The project comprises pictures of the 20 countries, documenting contemporary issues such as tourism, urbanisation, migration, crisis and conflict.
Patryk Karbowski – Halfway
A middle-sized city in the centre of Poland, halfway between the mountains and the Baltic Sea. Neither rich, nor really poor, with a typical history of the region’s industrial capital which blossomed in the times of state socialism and lost that position after 1989. A halfway state, in between present and past, between East and West, between here and now.
Birte Kaufmann – The Travellers
The Travellers project gives insight into the everyday life of Ireland’s largest minority group. This group has a nomadic origin, stemming from the tradition of migrant workers. As this tradition no longer exists, the travellers are looking for a new identity within the Western European society of the 21st century.
Karolin Klüppel – Mädchenland (Kingdom of Girls)
In the state of Meghalaya in India, the indigenous people of the Khasi with 1,1 million members form the majority of the population. Here, traditionally it is the girls who are of particular importance and who play an exposed role in the family. The succession in the maternal line guarantees girls and women in Meghalaya a unique economic and social independence in contrast to the general conditions in India.
Yurian Quintanas – Happy Nothing
For some people the desert represents decay and death. There is scarcity of water and shade, extreme temperatures and a lack of resources for humans to survive. But at the same time there is a long tradition of the desert as a place of healing, both physically and spiritually. With the Californian desert as background, Happy Nothing is a personal journey that delves into the lives of its inhabitants and its secrets.
Jewgeni Roppel – Magnit
Today, Russians are talking about Siberia, especially in esoteric and spiritual societies, as a magical place on the Earth that attracts people who are seeking spiritual or mystic experience. The phenomenon of the new desire in Siberia, and its growing interest is the topic of Magnit.
Shadman Shahid – Ajna
Shadman Shadid’s journey has a slightly different character. The word Ajna is Sanskrit means the eye that one uses to see the immaterial, to observe that which is formless. In Ajna, the author of the photographs explores human existence, looking for answers to basic questions about self-fulfillment.
Sanne De Wilde – The Island of the Colourblind
Over 250 years ago, a catastrophic typhoon swept over the island Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean, leaving only 20 survivors. One of the survivors was the king, the ruler at that time, who carried the rare achromotopsia gene that causes complete colourblindness. The king went on to have many children and by the time the island reached the 4th generation of Pingelapese after the typhoon. Most of them see the world in black and white. What would colour look like, how would they colour the world, the trees, themselves?
The International Photography Festival in Łódź will also feature slideshows, over 30 exhibitions in the OFFROAD section (including the first public presentation of the DEBUTS 2016 laureates), portfolio review, photographic workshops and photowalks as well as a large section devoted to photobooks. The festival also returns – in cooperation with Transatlantyk – to a film programme containing the freshest and the most interesting films on photographers and photography.
2016 Fotofestiwal in Łódź
HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel
June 9-19, 2016
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
The 15th International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL in Łódź is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Crisis? What Crisis?! is the main theme of the 14th edition of Krakow Photomonth, Europe’s leading photography festival, starting on May 12 in Cracow (Poland). The Main Program, curated by Lars Willumeit (German curator and cultural anthropologist), tries to present crisis not as a transitional phase or an anomaly, but as a characteristic trait of everyday life, a permanent state with which we must cope in practically all spheres of our lives: private, public and global. Political, economic, environmental and migration crises concern us to the same degree as crises of identity, trust, and “individuality” in the globalised world.
Nor has the crisis bypassed photography which, in our epoch of overproduction of images, is trying to find its place. The constantly changing media landscape has forced photographers – journalists, reporters and artists – to turn to new forms of communication with the viewer and creative use of source materials.
“The exhibitions presented during Krakow Photomonth, each alluding in their own way to global, social and political problems, have their own stakes in telling of the problems of the contemporary world; they are reflections upon the function of photography,” – says Lars Willumeit.
The artists invited to take part in the festival use a range of strategies to address these phenomena and to comment on them. The list opens with world-famous photographer Paul Graham, whose New Europe project has become remarkably prescient in the face of the all-too-evident crisis of “European values.” A wider global perspective comes courtesy of Swiss artist Yann Mingard who draws from the notion of the Anthropocene – the first geological epoch in history which has come about through human intervention. His project Deposit, completed between 2009 and 2013, makes visible how humankind collects, stores and classifies both biological specimens and digital information that are usually hidden from public view. To enable this, Mingard brought back images from twenty-one locations, dividing them into four sub-chapters: Plants, Animals, Humans and Data.
Another, private perspective is adopted by outstanding Polish artist Aneta Grzeszykowska in whose work we find themes of incompatibility of individuals and roles played by human bodies. This exhibition will be displayed at MOCAK where we will also have a chance to see a rising star of world photography, the youngest Magnum nominee in the agency’s history, Max Pinckers. The project presented during this year’s festival is a story about love – of the star-crossed sort, as it is forbidden by the Indian caste culture – and universal aspirations to show happiness. The artist pairs his photographs with newspaper clippings, notes, and artefacts from wedding photography studios, which might be seen as an attempt to go beyond the crisis of classical documentary photography.
The search for new forms of visual narrative in the era of the crisis of visual media is the main motif of a collective exhibition curated by Iris Sikking. The six projects presented here take on such difficult subjects as the heroin trade, genocide and migration; they are linked by a desire to go beyond a classical way of telling global histories, which the artists acknowledge to be insufficient. Here photographs on a wall are just as adequate form of response as a radio broadcast, a YouTube film or illustrations from an archive. The #Dysturb Collective speaks directly about the crisis in journalism, using the walls of buildings and advertising media to force Cracow’s inhabitants to face “street news” that seldom appears in newspaper headlines.
The strong showing of photography collectives is a notable feature of this year’s Photomonth with exhibitions of such groups as Sputnik Photos (Poland), Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt (Sweden), Werker Magazine (the Netherlands/Spain) and Discipula (Italy).
Program of the 2016 Krakow Photomonth also includes ShowOFF section with exhibitions of young artists selected through an open competition. This year’s winners include: Martin Errichiello & Filippo Menichetti, Weronika Gęsicka, Katarzyna Hoffmann, Krzysztof Racoń, Constantin Schlachter, Michał Siarek, Kacper Szalecki and Justyna Wierzchowiecka.
As always, the festival is accompanied by such events as:
- Portfolio Review, providing an opportunity for young artists to submit their works to outstanding reviewers, with exhibition of the 2015 Griffin Art Space Prize for the best portfolio – Wiktoria Wojciechowska (DEBUTS 2014);
- Master Series meetings with both, the artists presenting their work in the Main Program and specialists to enrich the discussion around the theme of the festival or to speak of the ongoing fashion for photobooks;
- Krakow Photo Fringe, an independent platform bringing together submissions sent in by artists, animators, activists, galleries, and all those whose passion is photography, including exhibition laureates of the DEBUTS (edition 2015) in andel’s Hotel Cracow.
The program of events is also filled out with book premieres, workshops, presentations, film screenings and guided tours by the curators.
But the first exhibition of the 2016 Krakow Photomonth will take place in… Warsaw’s Dom Słowa Polskiego (11 Miedziana St., Warsaw, Poland) already on April 23. The Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong’s Poppy: Trails of Afghan Heroin presentation will be open to the public until May 3 and is a teaser for the festival.
2016 Krakow Photomonth
Crisis? What Crisis?!
May 12 – June 12, 2016
Apaches with faces always black from dust and dirt, digging deeply underground zaboykas - an underground tangle of corridors with walls full of shining coal. Magdalena Borowiec (doc! #31; DEBUTS 2014) goes down with Apaches. She shoots the toil of their work, saying that the hell may look like their shifts – wet, hot and claustrophobic, and on the surface tiny people working on the frost air just like in the paintings by Bruegel. After the collapse of the Soviet Union most of operating coal mines were closed down in Kyrgyzstan. People massively left the country for work in Russia; those who stayed in Kyrgyzstan had to start extract coal on their own. Magdalena’s photographs show not only their hard and dangerous work. Her pictures also show strange landscapes, sometimes apocalyptic, sometimes gentle and quiet.
Beata Lejman, an art historian from the National Museum in Wrocław (Poland) aptly described Magdalena’s works: “It is into a void of silence that I am drawn when contemplating the photographs of Magdalena Borowiec (in particular, her work in black and white). I emerge into space, boundless landscapes, maps of dust and shale inhabited by the nearly traceless individuals whose physical exteriors and mental interiors we pass through within these compositions. Borowiec’s human subjects – captured in either intimate close-up or at something of a symbolic distance – appear to transcend time and place, although they are firmly rooted to both within her frame. (Unlike the rest of us: unstoppable, unframeable, worn down to shadows.) Here we find ourselves in the presence of presence itself: a young woman in the moments before a meal, embodying quietude, enveloped in grace, head tilted downward in prayerful repose. Attuned to the unheard, Borowiec records the eloquence of the unsaid in a simple room devoid of clutter and excess. A room in which there is little to begin with and still less that could possibly be discarded, for as in a still life painting’s overlapping of the noticed and the unnoticed, each present object attests to its own relevance and therefore essentiality. In Magdalena Borowiec’s photographic still-lives, rumpled secondhand blankets, mattresses, jackets, and prayer rugs attain a preciousness established not by the appraiser but through legitimate and repeated use; and each single crumb of bread upon a tablecloth, or puddle of grease slicked across the surface of a bowl of soup, is deemed worthy of the camera’s (literal) focus and the photographer’s curiosity. As we approach the end we sense a beginning. Clamour ceases and gives way to a supreme silence. Landscapes are pared down to the primeval and human interiors emptied of their material superfluity. A pure spareness is all that remains, elemental in its simplicity. We long for it like we long for wealth, but in so doing risk its eluding us, for it is only from the hands of poverty that it may be shared.”
The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
“In the 1830s, a chimpanzee named Tommy and an orangutan named Jenny, quite unusual animals for the times, were brought into the London Zoo. It was in the Victorian era – the exposed to public view monkeys were dressed in children’s clothes and while eating they used plates and spoons. The visitors observed them with curiosity mingled with pronounced anxiety and Queen Victoria, after having visited the zoo in 1842, wrote in her diary: ‘Jenny seemed unpleasantly and unbearably human.’ Nothing has changed since that time. Thousands of visitors come to zoos every day. Observing the behaviour of monkeys, especially anthropoids, makes people smile, but sometimes causes anxiety. Both of the reactions appear when the monkey behave in a way typical of human. It is then when we realise we are animals as well – relatives of primates.”
Maciej Trojan, Ph.D.
Shortly after having become one of the 55 laureates of the second editions of DEBUTS, Paweł Bogumił joined the photographers represented by Leica Gallery Warsaw. Now it is the time for his first individual exhibition inHuman. The title itself is a play on words that perfectly captures the extreme emotions we experience while looking at the 40 black and white photographs of the monkeys the photographer took through the bars and windows in European zoos. Some of the photos arouse subconscious fear of these powerful beasts; others make us consider what the person in the picture is thinking about. Subconsciously we forget that we are looking at an animal. Bogumił’s portraits and his unusual models blur the boundaries between people and animals.
“What is the truth of Paweł Bogumił’s portraits? Humanity? Animality? Enslavement? Mutual fascination? Honesty? Cohabitation? The deepest understanding on the level of emotions? Disgust mixed up with curiosity? They are not only the questions we have to answer ourselves. Actually, we face such doubts every time when anyone’s portrait attracts our attention. In conjugation, activated mechanism of similarity and looking for something ‘that is like me’, activates the mechanism of mimesis, of imitation. As, who hasn’t smiled looking at a portrait of a smiling child?”
Paweł Bogumił (b. 1984) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | a graduate of the ZPAF Photo School | a laureate of DEBUTS (edition 2016) | his photographs have been published by LensCulture, Future Shot, Cles, Geo and Geo Saison, among others | a finalist of the Earth 15 competition organised by LensCulture and winner of the 2015 International Photography Awards | represented by Leica Gallery Warsaw.
The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Krzysztof Sienkiewicz – laureate of DEBUTS (edition 2014) – will present his photographs of the Nocturnes series at the exhibition in the Towarzyska Café in Warsaw! The second individual exhibition of Krzysztof Sienkiewicz (doc! #31) consists of photographs taken between 2010 and 2014. All pictures result from Krzysztof’s interest in the city as a trace left after the human‘s presence and activity:
“I get in the car and dive into a thick night. Sometimes I know the place where I am going to, but mostly everything happens by chance. And the journey itself, which I rarely plan, and this what I finally find. Because these images are my finds. They are places, scenes, that I encountered at night, lured, like a moth, by the light beating from them. I think it was never about anything more than just the loneliness and this strange silence always disturbed by tiny sounds of the metropolis.”
Krzysztof Sienkiewicz (b. 1991) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | autodidact photographer | student of the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Economic Sciences and Opava School of Photography | graduate of the 5th edition of the Snapshots project organised by the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” (2012) | interested in the city as a trace left after the human‘s presence and activity | editing a section devoted to Polish photography on urbanica.com.
Krzysztof Sienkiewicz – NOCTURNES
Towarzyska Café (49 Zwyciezcow St., Warsaw, Poland). The opening: July 28 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until August 24, 2015.
With opening of PIX.HOUSE on July 15, Poznan will join the cities, in which documentary photography has got its exposition space. The gallery starts with a great hit – international exhibition Generation 74 that will consist of pictures by 11 photographers: Gintaras Česonis (Lithuania), Kirill Golovchenko (Ukraine/Germany), Nick Hannes (Belgium), Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania), Davide Monteleone (Italy), Pekka Niittyvirta (Finland), Borut Peterlin (doc! #21; Slovenia), Przemysław Pokrycki (doc! #7; Poland), Tomáš Pospěch (Czech Republic), Simon Roberts (UK) and Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany).
„Are the numbers important here or do these eleven photographers have something more than the same year of birth in common? Yes, and quite a lot” - says Mindaugas Kavaliauskas from Lithuania, originator of the project. - “Today each of them is a well-known photographer in and outside their own countries. Some of them are considered photography icons all over the world. They were 15 when the Berlin Wall collapsed, the guys from the Eastern Bloc were 16-18 when their countries regained independence, and 30 when they experienced the European Union enlargement in 2004. They have all created long-term documentary projects, feeling that the world is changing from the analog-unique to uniformly global one. Their attitude to photographing is marked by their civic, social and individual sense of duty to say honestly about their home countries, dwelling places and the places they visited, preparing their projects. Their works don’t try to be fashionable, spectacular, anything but superficial or glossy. Instead of that, they are human, worried, bitter, ironic, humorous and critical.”
The exhibition will be connected with a Polish launch of the book of the same name. It will be accompanied by numerous meetings, discussions and lectures which together will constitute the four-day feast of documentary photography.
|July 15, 2015|
|1:13 PM||press lunch – conference with animators of PIX.HOUSE and authors of the Generation 74 exhibition|
|6:00 PM||vernisage of the Generation 74 exhibition and official opening of PIX.HOUSE|
|7:30 PM||Meeting with Mindaugas Kavaliauskas and Kirill Golovchenko|
|July 16, 2015|
|1:13 PM – 8:00 PM||easy Thursday @ PIX.HOUSE: come, see the pictures, discuss|
|July 17, 2015|
|1:13 PM||meeting with Maciej Frąckowiak, co-author of the Invisible City project|
|2:30 PM||meeting with Piotr Małecki (doc! #18), documentary photographer of Napo Images agency|
|4:00 PM||meeting with Jacek Piotrowski, documentary photographer, author of the City-People-Cars. 1984-93 exhibition|
|5:30 PM||individual going to Stary Browar for the opening of the 2015 BZ WBK Press Foto’s post-competition exhibition|
|July 18, 2015|
|1:13 PM||presentation of photographic initiatives of Greater Poland region (Władysław Nielipiński of Regional Public Library)|
|2:30 PM||meeting with Grzegorz Kosmala, editor-in-chief of doc! photo magazine and originator of the DEBUTS project|
|4:00 PM||review of multimedia projects awarded at Grand Press Photo contest|
|5:30 PM||portfolio review with Mariusz Forecki, Adrian Wykrota (doc! #31), Michał Adamski (doc! #19) and Andrzej Dobosz (doc! #22)|
Free admission to all events!
Venue: PIX.HOUSE, 35a Glogowska St., Poznan (Poland).
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Another great news coming from the 2015 BZ WBK Press Foto gala! Mateusz Baj (DEBUTS 2014), Adrian Jaszczak (DEBUTS 2015), Wiktor Kubiak (DEBUTS 2015), and Katarzyna Maluga (DEBUTS 2015) are among winners of the competition!
Mateusz won the 2nd award in the Culture and Art – Photo Story category, Adrian – 1st award in the Sport – Photo Story category, Wiktor – 3rd award in the Sport – Photo Story category, and Katarzyna – 2nd award in the Culture and Art – Single Picture category.
More info @ BZ WBK Press Foto website (website in Polish language version only)
The new, slightly revised, and 100% English issue of doc! photo magazine has been published today! As usually, the magazine discusses eight stories of great importance to the world, local communities, and individuals.
The main photographer of the issue is Rob Hornstra, co-author of The Sochi Project. The story covers a dramatic situation on the Caucasus, bringing an alternative story to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (Russia), that may be used as a comment on the recent news from Ukraine.
- interview – WE ALL HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
- photo essay – THE SOCHI PROJECT
Other stories in doc! #31 are:
- Bora Ayonur – BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
- Magdalena Borowiec – APACHES
- Tanmay Chowdhary – ACROSS DRYLANDS, AMONG NOMADS
- Jordi Huisman – OUTLINE
- Przemyslaw Kozlowski – AFRICA. THE WORLD’S DUMP
- Adrian Wykrota – THE RETURN
- Ksenia Yurkova – LETTERS FOR TWO, AND NO-ONE ELSE
Everything on 260 pages with 173 (69 duotone and 104 colour) images!
Go to our doc! store and buy the issue for just EUR 2.20!
Have a nice visual reading!
Cover photo: Rob Hornstra
Grzegorz Kosmala – based in Warsaw (Poland) | founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of two online magazines dedicated to contemporary documentary (doc! photo magazine) and fine art (contra doc!) photography | originator of the DEBUTS project | juror in international photo contests | coordinator of the 7th and 8th editions of BZ WBK Press Foto, one of the Poland’s largest press photography contests | graduated from the Media Management and International Relations and Diplomacy faculties at the Nowy Sacz School of Business.