A national conference on the meaning and symbolism of water in the arts and cultures of Asia and Oceania will be held at the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw on March 14-15, 2024. Its aim is to create a space for an interdisciplinary discussion devoted to the issue of the cultural role of water in a broad context, both historically and in the contemporary world.

We invite anthropologists, ethnologists, art historians, musicologists, orientalists, scholars of culture, philosophy, literature, historians, archaeologists, researchers in cultural or religious studies, sociologists, literary scholars, linguists to participate.


Topics of the conference include the following:

  • water as a condition for the development of civilization and as a cultural element;
  • the idea of water in philosophy, in religions, the importance of water in rituals;
  • the symbolic meaning of water, aquatic animals and plants, mythical creatures;
  • recreation and water sports in historical and anthropological terms;
  • water as an inspiration in visual and performing arts, literature, music;
  • water in ecological anthropology and environmental anthropology.

Scientific Committee:

  • Prof. dr. hab. Jerzy Malinowski, President of the Polish Institute of World Art Studies
  • Dr. Józef Zalewski, Director of the Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw
  • Dr. hab. Anna Cieślewska, Collegium Civitas
  • Dr. Magdalena Ginter-Frołow, Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw
  • Dr. hab. Joanna Minksztym, Ethnographic Museum in Poznań
  • Dr. hab. Mateusz Salwa, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. dr. hab. Jerzy Sławomir Wasilewski, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw; Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology
  • Dr. Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach, Department of Sociology, Cracow University of Economics
  • Prof. dr. hab. Sławomira Żerańska-Kominek, Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw


Partners: Polish Institute for World Art Studies, Faculty of Arts and Culture Sciences, University of Warsaw

Conference Secretary: Karolina Krzywicka, Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw

Please send your applications to: konferencja@muzeumazji.pl


Conference fee: PLN 100

Admission for the public: free of charge.


We are waiting for applications until January 31, 2024.

We are also considering speeches online and speeches in English.


Submissions should include a completed form with the following details (APPLICATION FORM):

  • working title of the speech;
  • abstract (700-1000 characters);
  • biographical note (300-700 characters);
  • contact information;


signed consent to the processing of personal data (CONSENT)