Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage - The Day of Reportage during WBF

last update: 16 May 2019

Friday, 24 May

20:00–22:00 Ceremony for the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage 2018.

Invitations only, simultaneous interpretation into English; the gala will be broadcast online.


Partner of the gala: Dramatyczny Theatre

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: Dramatyczny Theatre, Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw

Saturday, 25 May

10:00–19:00 Day of Reportage on 10th Warsaw Book Fair.

Reportage books of this year’s finalists will be sold at a discounted price. The authors will be signing their books after each discussion.

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
10:15–11:50 Meeting with Paweł Kapusta and Mariusz Szczygieł.

Meeting with Paweł Kapusta¸author of the book “Agonia. Lekarze i pacjenci w stanie krytycznym” (Agony. Doctors and patients in a critical state), published by Wielka Litera, hosted by Julia Fiedorczuk, meeting with Mariusz Szczygieł, author of the book “Nie ma” (Missing), hosted by Dorota Danielewicz.


During this event awards will be presented in an educational competition “Mój Busz po polsku” (around 11 o’clock).


Partners of the event: Stołeczne Centrum Edukacji Kulturalnej, Wirtualna Polska, Wielka Litera, „Nowy Folder”

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
12:00–13:45 Translating the polyphony of the world.

Julia Fiedorczuk in conversation with the authors of short-listed translations: Barbara Gutowska-Nowak (“This is London…” by Ben Judah), Mariusz Kalinowski (“A House with Two Turrets” by Maciej Zaremba Bielawski), Hanna Pustuła-Lewicka (“Street of Eternal Happiness” by Rob Schmitz), Katarzyna Tubylewicz (“Shootings in Copenhagen” by Niklas Orrenius).


During this event award will be presented in the “Translators of the world” Student Competition for a review of a translation.


Partners of the event: Embassy of Sweden in Warsaw, British Embassy in Warsaw, British Council, The Society of Authors ZAiKS, Literary Translators Association, Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies of the University of Warsaw, Ryszard Kapuściński Centre for Research and Education

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
14:00–15:00 “A House with Two Turrets” (Karakter) – a meeting with the author of the book, Maciej Zaremba Bielawski, and its translator, Mariusz Kalinowski

Hosted by Remigiusz Grzela


Partner of the event: Karakter

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
15:15–16:15 Russia: Will It Ever Be Different?

A meeting with Masha Gessen, author of “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia” (Prószyński i S-ka), with the participation of translators: Magdalena Iwińska and Hanna Faryna-Paszkiewicz, hosted by William Brand.


Meeting in English, consecutive translation into Polish

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
16:00–16:45 Book signing by Svetlana Alexievich, Krystyna Czubówna reads fragments of the books.
Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa
Place: stand 80/D11
16:20–17:20 Life and Death in World Metropolis.

Meeting with Ben Judah (Jagiellonian University Press), with the participation of Barbara Gutowska-Nowak, hosted by Olga Stanisławska.

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Londyn A
17:30–19:00 Between war and peace: a meeting with special guests of the 10th edition of Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage: Svetlana Alexievich and Jean Hatzfeld

The meeting as part of jubilee meetings of the 10th Warsaw Book Fair. will be hosted by Marek Radziwon.

Partner of the meeting: Warsaw Book Fair

Organizer: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, „Gazeta Wyborcza”
Place: hall Amsterdam
The organizers reserve the right to change the programme


What is the Significance of the Award

After 1989, the map of literary awards in Poland has been constantly changing and expanding. Yet there are still too few prizes to adequately promote the most interesting phenomena in literature, including in the category of literary reportage. Meanwhile elsewhere in the world awards such as the Italian Premio Terzani or Premio Chatwin are a means of paying respect  and expressing highest praise for this form of writing.

Polish reportage has a long tradition and many outstanding representatives (Ksawery Pruszyński, Melchior Wańkowicz, Ryszard Kapuściński, Hanna Krall, Małgorzata Szejnert, to mention only the most prominent ones). The genre is thriving and constantly developing, as proven by numerous anthologies of Polish reportage published abroad (the Swedish “Ouvertyr till livet”, edited by our shortlisted author Maciej Zaremba Bielawski; the French “La vie est un reportage”, edited by Margot Carlier, or the German “Von Minsk nach Manhattan”, edited by Martin Pollack). All these were very well received, and became compulsory reading for students of journalism.

The Ryszard Kapuściński Award brings the most valuable reportages to the fore, and serves as a strong commentary on the condition of the genre. The Award is an important signal for authors, translators, and readers, as well as Polish and foreign publishers. Since 2014, the award for translators has not been granted ‘automatically’ – the author of the best translation is selected separately by the jury.

Since the Nobel Award in Literature has been granted to Svietlana Alexievich, reportage has been officially recognized as belonging to the domain of literature. Svetlana Alexievich, who gained the Kapuściński Award twice, is a special guest of the jubilar 10th edition of the Award. In Poland, in 2017 the Jury of the Nike Literary Award  honored a reportage book for the first time in its 21-year-long history: ‘Żeby nie było śladów. Sprawa Grzegorza Przemyka’ – [‘Leave no Traces. Grzegorz Przemyk’s case’] by our shortlisted author Cezary Łazarewicz.

The translators’ panel organized each year at the Day of Reportage during WBF is a great opportunity to present Polish translators of the nominated foreign books, and to discuss problems encountered in the field of literary translation.

Why is the Competition Organized in Warsaw?

Ryszard Kapuściński’s ties with Warsaw were lifelong. Apart from his childhood in Pińsk, it is here, in Warsaw, where he went to school (Stanisław Staszic Secondary School), studied history at the University, and where he worked (for the Polish Press Agency and the periodicals: “Sztandar Młodych”, “Polityka”, “Kontynenty”, “Kultura”). It is here that he lived: first with his parents in Srebrna Street, then in an estate of Finnish detached houses in Pole Mokotowskie. After that he moved with his own family to Nowolipki, then Pustola, then Prokuratorska Street. It is in Warsaw that he published his books, mainly with Czytelnik (starting with “The Emperor”, finishing on “Travels with Herodotus”). The last ones were published in instalments in “Gazeta Wyborcza”. Finally, it is here that he is buried – in the Professors’ Avenue of the Powązki Military Cemetery. It is also here, in Warsaw, in his favourite park Pole Mokotowskie, where he was commemorated as a journalist of the century with a “walking trail”, constructed and opened in 2010. The Ryszard Kapuściński Award for the author of the best reportage book of the year is Warsaw’s tribute to its outstanding citizen, who turned journalism into art.

The Award is co-organized by the Capital City of Warsaw and “Gazeta Wyborcza”, under the honorary patronage of the writer’s wife Alicja Kapuścińska.


Sponsor of the Award:
Kulczyk Investments

Partners of the Award:
Embassy of Sweden in Warsaw, British Embassy in Warsaw, British Council, Polish PEN Club, The Society of Authors and Composers ZAiKS, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw Book Fair, Ryszard Kapuściński Foundation – Herodot , Stołeczne Centrum Edukacji Kulturalnej (Warsaw Cultural Education Centre), Literary Translators Association, Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies of the University of Warsaw, Ryszard Kapuściński Centre  for Research and Education, Empik, Bookbook bookstore (ul. Wiejska 14, Warsaw), Polonia Palace Hotel, Metropol Hotel

Media patrons:
Wyborcza.pl, Gazeta.pl, “Duży Format”, TOK FM, “Kontynenty”.

Laureates of previous editions:
The French war correspondent Jean Hatzfeld for “The Antelope’s Strategy” and the Polish translator of the book Jacek Giszczak; the Belorussian reporter Svetlana Alexievich for the book “War’s Unwomanly Face” and the Polish translator of the book Jerzy Czech; the Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu for “The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories. China from the Bottom Up” and the translators of the book Wen Huang and Agnieszka Pokojska; the British journalist Ed Vulliamy for the book “Amexica...” and the translator, Janusz Ochab; the Swedish journalist and writer Elisabeth Åsbrink for her book “Och i Wienerwald star traden kvar” (“And in Wienerwald the trees are still standing”) and the translator, Irena Kowadło-Przedmojska; Svetlana Alexievich (second time) for the book “Second-hand Time: The Demise of the Red (Wo)man”, translated by Jerzy Czech, together with Polish journalist and prose writer Michał Olszewski for “World’s Best Shoes”, that year the translation award went to Mariusz Kalinowski for his work on “A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz” by Göran Rosenberg; in subsequent years the Award for reportage was granted to Paweł P. Reszka for his book “The Devil and a Bar of Chocolate”; Rana Dasgupta for “Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First-Century Delhi”, its translator, Barbara Kopeć-Umiastowska, as well as translators: Marta Szafrańska-Brandt for her translation of “Hunger” by Martín Caparrós and Janusz Ochab for his translation of “The War is Dead, Long Live the War: Bosnia: the Reckoning” by Ed Vulliamy. Last year’s winners were Anna Bikont for “Irena Sendler. In hiding” and Sergiusz Kowalski for the translation of  “City of Thorns. Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp” by Ben Rawlence.


More about the Award>






Executive Organizer

Murator EXPO Sp. z o.o.
ul. Dęblińska 6
04-187 Warsaw
tel. (+48 22) 829 66 80
faks (+48 22) 826 66 81
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