ISSN 2451-2966


Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, Iwona Kurz

Democracy: Do It Yourself


The article analyses one of the most important events to have occurred in Poland in connection with censorship in the arts. The cancellation of Rodrigo García’s production of his Golgota Picnic by the Malta Festival Poznań in 2014 sparked a wave of civil protest across the country supported by dozens of public institutions and NGOs, with many thousands attending the protest events. Throughout Poland, performance recordings of the play were screened, as well as readings of the censored drama. The authors of the article show that this sequence of events, viewed as a whole, reveals fundamental tensions in Polish society. The results of their analysis go beyond issues of freedom of speech and blasphemy laws, and touch upon the very essence of Polish democracy. The case of Golgota Picnic, like no other censorship interference since1989, reveals a distinctive confluence of religious, political and economic conditions, which in an implicit yet extremely powerful way have hampered freedom of speech and determined the interplay in public space in Poland. After recent parliamentary elections and the passing of power into the right wing’s hands, these determinants have become the basis, in turn, of an explicit cultural policy aimed at constraining the public sphere and making culture a tool of ideological indoctrination.


agon; agonism; censorship; democracy; freedom of creative expression; public space

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Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

(1974), graduate in cultural studies from the University of Silesia. Author of the book Teatr i tekst. Inscenizacja w teatrze postmodernistycznym (“Theatre and Text. Staging in Postmodern Theatre”, 2006) as well as several dozen essays and articles published in the magazines Dialog, Didaskalia, Teatr, Notatnik Teatralny and collected volumes. Founder and editor of two publication series – Inna Scena and Nowe Historie – and editor of numerous books on theatre. Recently led the project and was on the editorial board of the first edition of Jerzy Grotowski’s Teksty zebrane (“Collected Texts”). Works at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, where she manages academic projects, including a programme of research on Polish theatre from a gender and queer perspective. Research on construction of gender and sexuality in Grotowski’s theatre was also the subject of the semester-long course which she designed in 2011 for the Jerzy Grotowski Institute. Worked with Marta Górnicka on the Chorus of Women project. Teaches at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, as well as gender studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.


Iwona Kurz

(1972), academic teacher in the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw. She investigates modern Polish culture through the lenses of image, anthropology of visual culture and issues concerning body and gender. Author of Twarze w tłumie [Faces in the Crowd] (2005, nominated for the Nike Literary Award, received Michałek Award for the best book in film studies), co-author of Obyczaje polskie. Wiek XX w krótkich hasłach [Polish customs. The twentieth century in short entries] (2008), editor of the anthology Film i historia [Film and History] (2008), co-editor of academic textbooks Antropologia ciała  [Anthropology of the Body] (2008) and Antropologia kultury wizualnej  [Anthropology of Visual Culture] (2012). She publishes regularly in Dwutygodnik; co-founder and co-editor of academic journal Widok. Teorie i praktyki kultury wizualnej [View: Theories and Practices of Visual Culture] (