Established in New Delhi in June 2012, the Polish Institute for culture is an extension of the Polish diplomatic mission to India. Polish Institutes are present globally in Europe, North America and Asia.Their aim is the promotion of Poland and Polish culture through public events in collaboration with Poland’s local partners and friends.
The Polish Institute in New Delhi expresses itself through contemporary projects built in cooperation with India’s leading talents and institutions, in order to contribute relevant programming within the cultural sector. Through shared professional exchanges, cultural understanding is nurtured in order to build a strong platform for on-going dialogue and exchange. The Institute works primarily in the disciplines of visual art, design, literature, music, theatre, film, architecture and academic research.
Dr. Tomasz Gerlach
Minister-Counsellor and Director, Polish Institute New Delhi
Dr. Tomasz Gerlach assumed his duties as the Director of the Polish Institute in New Delhi in May 2017.
He is well-acquainted with Indian culture and languages, being a graduate of Indology Department, Oriental Institute of the Warsaw University where he learnt Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu. His doctoral thesis on Indian contemporary history was titled “India in the consciousness of Indians”. The times of Indian national movement fascinate him very much. In Poland, the time coincides with the birth of the Solidarity movement. The then-political atmosphere became a natural source of inspiration for writing about intellectual resistance to British Raj.
When it was possible, he travelled abroad on his own to visit foreign countries. During his tenure at the Institute of Culture in Warsaw, he travelled to the USA and UK where he studied private and public patronage of art and the models of the promotion of cultural affairs in foreign countries. Some essays related to these topics were published in journals and magazines of repute (e.g. “Business and art”, “American art foundations”). A scholarship granted by the British Council helped him to write an essay on reception of the Polish literature by the English audience.
His first visit to India and Asia, was on invitation of the ICCR. He took this opportunity to see how the British Council in India was developing its promotional activities.
Many more opportunities to see the realities of the Asian region were opened when he began his diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in 1991-92. Most of his professional time was dedicated to the promotion of Polish culture, art and science in the Asian countries. India was the first country of his diplomatic tenure as the Counsellor for Culture, Science and Technology. During his stay in India (1993-99), he organized concerts, exhibitions and scientific meetings with Indian scholars. One of the most interesting exhibitions was “Art Deco for Maharajas”, dedicated to Stefan Norblin, the Polish graphic artist, who during WWII was employed as a court artist of Indian Maharajas in Jodhpur and Morvi decorating their residences. After India, his diplomatic duties took him to the South-East Asian countries, especially to Lao PDR and Thailand where he was busy promoting Polish cultural and educational affairs. One of the most colorful events he organized, was a series of exhibitions on Asian and European humor (with participation of local students of schools of arts) in Laos, exhibitions of Polish prints in cities of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, and exhibitions related to the history of Poland describing like the deeply rooted tradition of democracy and tolerance in the Polish political culture or the multicultural project of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or the Golden Age of Poland(e.g. exhibition titled “Glimpses of Polish history”, shown in the S-E Asian region).
During his travels, he likes to face new challenges. He is an open person learning about different cultures and local customs. He is always ready to share with others his own experiences and observations.
Head of Programming
Contact Gauri Sharma
Visual Arts, Design and Theatre Programmer
Contact Aneta Święcicka
Media and PR Specialist
Contact Mithun Ghosh
Assistant to the Director
Contact Jay Atri