Allies: How We Broke the Silence and Made Documents | Adamiecka-Sitek | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


From the left: Marta Miłoszewska, Beata Szczucińska, Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, Weronika Szczawińska, Małgorzata Wdowik and Agata Koszulińska during the 'Change - now!' conference, Teatr Ochoty, Warsaw, 7 October 2019, photo: Karolina Jóźwiak
Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, Agata Koszulińska, Marta Miłoszewska, Weronika Szczawińska, Beata Szczucińska, Małgorzata Wdowik

Allies: How We Broke the Silence and Made Documents


The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw has reached a crucial moment: we have drawn a new Code of Ethics, started to implement anti-violence and antidiscrimination policy, appointed Spokesman for Students’ Rights. This text is a story about what had to happen so that we could find ourselves in this particular place –to enable the change we impatiently expect. In December 2017 the Warsaw Academy witnessed an unprecedented occurrence in its over 80-year history: almost 40 male and female students together with graduates of the Directing Department met with the Academy’s Rector, and in the presence of the then department authorities talked about cases of mobbing, abuse and discrimination, which they either experienced or witnessed while studying. The scale of accusations was enormous. Their confessions triggered a discussion, but also exposed the system’s weakness and insufficiency of the existing procedures. Corrective actions did not guarantee changes the students expected, and were perceived as implemented too slowly and inefficiently. Tensions arising from drawn out lack of radical solutions was growing to only reach its peak in July 2018, when the students and graduates reiterated their accusations and the news about the situation at the Academy hit the nation’s media. It was time to give an effective diagnosis, start genuine dialogue and cooperation. It is high time we introduced substantial changes, whose main objective is to create a truly safe environment for students, foster their artistic development, creative freedom and subjectivity. We need to find effective tools to fight violence and discrimination within the system of artistic education.

A significant consequence of this chain of events was setting up a Working Group made up of female representatives of the Academy authorities, employees, students and graduates; female students of the Directing Department Agata Koszulińska and Karolina Szczypek, graduates Weronika Szczawińska and Małgorzata Wdowik, lecturers Agata Adamiecka and Marta Miłoszewska, the Academy Chancellor Beata Szczucińska – authors of the article.


The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw; Ethics; Discrimination

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Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

(1974), Theatre scholar, critic and publisher. She deals with gender, physicality and politicalness of art. Author of the book Theatre and Text. Staging in Postmodern Theatre (2006), editor of various books on the Polish theatre and staging culture. Editor of an internet academic Polish Theatre Journal (, member of a curators team Forum for the Future of Culture. She is Assistant Professor at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. As a dramaturg she continues to cooperate with director Marta Górnicka on theatre choir projects.

Agata Koszulińska

Studies of directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. She graduated from The Institute of Journalism and Social Communication in Wrocław and Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw. She participated in Poor/Rich Europe project, part of the European Theater Academy Platform. Koszulińska is a recipient of the Laboratorium of the Nowy Theatre in Krackow programme. She is currently working on her diploma play.

Marta Miłoszewska

Director, academic lecturer and social activist. She specialises in literature adaptations, from columns through fiction to non-fiction and comics; directs theatre plays, films and radio dramas. Prose adaptation was the subject of her doctoral thesis, which was published as a dramaturgy textbook Adaptation. Toolbox. She is co-founder of Teraz Poliż Artistic Group, an award winning, the only professional all-female theatre group in Poland. She leads a directorial seminar and heuristics
and adaptation courses at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In the years 2016 – 2018 Miłoszewska held the position of vicedean of the Directing Department, Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. She is engaged in antidiscrimination and feminist activities in support of the freedom of speech and independence of creative sectors. She is co-founder of Kultura Niepodległa (Independent Culture) movement and founder-member and secretary of the Trade Union for the Polish Male and Female Theatre Directors Guild.

Weronika Szczawińska

Director, playwright, performer, Cultural Studies and Inter-Area Individual Studies in the Humanities graduate (Warsaw University). Szczawińska obtained her doctorate from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences and studied directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. She has cooperated with many Polish theatres (e.g. Narodowy Stary Teatr in Cracow, Warsaw Teatr Powszechny, Komuna Warszawa, Wroclaw Teatr Współczesny) and Slovensko Mladinsko Gledališče in Ljubljana. She is a tree-time nominee for Polityka Passport (Paszport Polityki) awards in the theatre category (2014, 2018, 2019) for, among other things, ‘consequence in creating her own artistic language’ and ‘mature vision of the theatre’s social

Beata Szczucińska

Theatrologist and culture manager, graduate of the Department of Theatre Studies at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Szczucińska started organising theatre culture in 1998 as a board member of the RYX Association – one of the first Polish associations to promote culture. In the years 2000-2003 she was responsible for promotion and communication at the Rozmaitości Theatre in Warsaw. In 2003 she re-connected with the Academy of Dramatic Art, where she supervised the College’s international relations, including managing organisation of the ITSelF Festival. Since 2005 she has been the Academy chancellor in charge of organisational and economic matters.

Małgorzata Wdowik

She studied theatre directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Graduated from the faculty of Theatre Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Wdowik received one-year scientific scholarship at the Theater Institute in Giessen, at the Choreography and Performance Department. She represented Poland at the Prague Quartiennale ’15 with her project The Boundaries of Landscape, which was  nominated for the Promising Talent award. Its next staging – If You Lived Here was produced and presented at the Frankfurt’s Mousonturm. Together with K.A.U. collective she completed a project entitled Transit Monumental at the SpielArt Festival. Their joint project Fiasco was awarded the German Doppelpass scholarship, while its finale was held in March 2018 at the Staatstheater in Darmstadt. At the TR Warsaw theatre Wdowik presented the play Footballers, which won the Grand Prize at the Young Directors Festival in Cracow and Fear (premiered in April 2018). In the 2016-2017 season she directed Little Girls at the Studio Theatre. In the following season Wdowik staged Anger – the second part of a trilogy on representing emotions in theatre. She has currently begun studying at the Das Theater in Amsterdam.