‘We didn’t know who we really were’: Krystian Lupa and Zbysław Maciejewski | Wasztyl | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


Krystian Lupa (left) and Zbysław Maciejewski (right) near Jastrzębie-Zdrój, 1965. Photographer unknown. Source: Krystian Lupa’s private collection
Waldemar Wasztyl

‘We didn’t know who we really were’: Krystian Lupa and Zbysław Maciejewski



This text was first presented at the conference ‘Krystian Lupa: Artist and Educator’ at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków in December 2018. It outlines the history of Lupa’s relationship with the painter and art professor Zbysław Maciejewski. It tells the story of a love that significantly impacted the sensibilities of two young students at the Academy of Fine Arts. The author explores the homoerotic tropes in their relationship and their influence on the two artists’ early works as well as on their individual attitudes. This biographical ‘game’ is presented against a backdrop of excerpts from Lupa’s diaries and memoirs written by his friends. The article employs a nonchronological narrative and thus jumps between different periods: student years and initial mutual infatuation, early efforts at producing literature, art and film, nostalgic memories recalled years later, and references to Lupa’s contemporary works. The text draws on unpublished excerpts of Lupa’s diaries. The narrative is constructed around several images taken from his private collections: photographs, drawings, artworks and short films.


Krystian Lupa; Queer; Homosexuality; Biography

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Waldemar Wasztyl


is a graduate of theatre studies at Jagiellonian University and now a doctoral student at the university. He has collaborated with the theatre periodicals Didaskalia and Teatr. His research focuses on the theatre and biography of Krystian Lupa.