We are pleased to welcome Jakub Depczyński to CIMAM

3 August 2023

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Jakub Depczyński, Curator of Public Programs, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw , Warsaw, Poland

At the very beginning of my career in the art world, I am accompanied by one, prevailing feeling: uncertainty. Every day I struggle with pervasive doomism, pessimism, lack of hope, and positive vision.

We live inside many intertwined crises – planetary climate and ecologic emergency being perhaps the largest one, the key challenge for the 21st century – but also others: rising inequalities, struggling economies, authoritarian and anti-democratic tendencies, the rise of far-right politics and discourses, long-term consequences of imperialisms, colonialisms, and racisms, patriarchal campaigns against women rights, outright attacks on culture, minorities, and human rights, lack of solidarity, hateful and violent anti-migrant and anti-refugee sentiments, increasing social polarization, the threats brought by new technologies. Every day I am challenged to try to grasp them globally and face and respond to them locally: costs of living rising exponentially, unbearable heatwaves, far-right taking over cultural institutions and turning them into propaganda machines, the humanitarian crisis at the Polish-Belarus border, hateful rhetorics and discourses taking over the media and public debate in Poland, destruction of rule of law in my country the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As a cultural worker –curator, art historian, researcher, and writer – I strongly believe that culture and art have a very important role to play if we want to somehow respond to these intertwined crises and make the future believable again. I constantly seek for new ways to make my practices and the institution I work in more useful, response-able, hopeful, and future-oriented.

I know that it’s impossible to work out answers and responses to those crises alone. We need solidarity, common learning, and international relationships to experiment together by using art, the agency of institutions, and creative imagination as tools to respond to the crises of the present and at least imagine a vision of a better future for everyone – that’s the least we can do. I believe that CIMAM as a network is a space where that type of common learning and exchange happens and that it will help me develop myself as well as my career and practice to be more response-able, empathetic, and sustainable.

Jakub Depczyński, Curator of Public Programs, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw , Warsaw, Poland


CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art – is an Affiliated Organization of ICOM.* Founded in 1962, CIMAM’s vision is a world where the contribution of museums, collections, and archives of modern and contemporary art to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of society is recognized and respected.

Join today, and take part in our network with over 700 contemporary art museum professionals from 84 countries.

Thank you Jakub Depczyński for becoming a member of CIMAM!