THE FOURTH REPUBLIC Fabricating Success in the Planned City of Nowa Huta. Sandra K. Kolacz ; Brave New World, Edward Bottoms.
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC Fabricating Success in the Planned City of Nowa Huta (1945 – 1953)
(1953 – 1967)
(1967 – 1989)
(1989 – 2004+)
[CREATION | TRANSMUTATION | RESURRECTION | ASCENSION]
. Notes : 1. The planned city under investigation is that of Nowa Huta, a district I had the pleasure of visiting in December 2016. This essay and its contents are particularly weighted for me, given my Polish heritage and childhood spent interrogating the primary circumstances affecting my parents’ Socialist upbringing. To further inform the essay, I interviewed my parents about their experiences. I also had the privilege of meeting with Łukasz Stanek (who I reference extensively) speaking to locals in Nowa Huta and exchanging emails with authors Kinga Pozniak and Katherine Lebow. 2. The essay is divided into four chapters: the Creation, Transmutation, Resurrection and Ascension. They serve to highlight the underlying influence of the Catholic Church despite an atheistic occupation, the enduring cultural heritage of religious customs within the state and provide a chronological account of the shifting political role of Nowa Huta. 3. ‘Kraków’ means the principle urban mass marked by the Old Town Square and immediate density; it does not include the surrounding peripheral districts. 4. The First Republic refers to the gentry-led democracy destroyed by the partition of Poland (C. 18th). The Second Republic refers to the return to independence (1918) smashed by Nazi occupation (1939) and subsequent Stalinist terror (1945 – 1989). The Third Republic refers to the fall of Socialism and re-introduction of Capitalism (1989). The Fourth Republic was invented by intellectuals to indicate a radical break with the transformation after 1989 – the fifteen years of transformation were regarded as “lost time”, as this period was deemed to be merely a continuation of the Socialist regime. The Fourth republic was to be a return to… the unity of the nation, the solidarity between people… the aim was to reconstruct a lost community. So suddenly… the problem of the past again became the hottest political issue. The Fourth Republic is marked by Poland’s entry into the E.U., benefiting from increased funding. Definitions of the republics of Poland, source: Leszek Koczanowicz, Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-communist Poland (2008), p.12
_____________________________________________ (1569 – 1795)
(1918 – 1945)
(1945 – 1989)
(1989 – 2004+)
[FIRST REPUBLIC | SECOND REPUBLIC | THIRD REPUBLIC | FOURTH REPUBLIC]
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC Fabricating Success in the Planned City of Nowa Huta
... . Quote : The allure of planned cities. “I don’t believe there’s a challenge anywhere in the world that’s more important to people everywhere than finding solutions to the problems of our cities. But where do we begin… how do we start answering this great challenge? Well, we’re convinced we must start answering the public need. And the need is for starting from scratch on virgin land and building a special kind of new community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future, where people actually live a life they can’t find anywhere else in the world.” 1 – Walt Disney, speaking about his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (E.P.C.O.T.)
fig. 1: Concept sketch of the planned city of E.P.C.O.T.
. . .
Walt Disney speaking in Walt Disney’s Original E.P.C.O.T. Film (1966), The Walk Disney Company (11:24) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLCHg9mUBag> [accessed: 30/01/2017]
. Preface : Identity and social engineering through appropriation. _____________________________________________ As an aspiring architect, the allure of planned cities continues through the potential of seemingly unrestricted design operating beyond the limitations of existing structures - geophysical, material or societal. It holds within it the promise of hope, of the architect as ambassador to an earthly wonderland not dissimilar to the sketches of Walt Disney’s animated intentions. The monumental scales of planned projects exist as declarations to the prominence of the local regime or order, and are to be recognised as epitomes of their time and territory. Throughout history, the security offered by coherent architectural forms is often viewed through shades of economic growth, physical protection and geometrical beauty. The focus of this essay is on the urban communities that continuously mould the conditions for collective societal progress and therefore the nature of its future, happiness, and associated success. Certainly, the Socialist regime in post-war Europe promised a ‘psychologically different form of society.’ 2 The style known as Socialist Realism was designed to ‘exude power, optimism’ 3 and sufficient outward grandeur to assure civilians of universal status growth; people watched with frantic optimism at the ideology prescribed to them through ballot-rigging and terror as the solution to a shattered, post-war Second Republic, curious as to what form and rhythms the city might assume once the shape shifting was complete. Perhaps the most well known (and locally infamous) construct is Nowa Huta, a planned city in Southern Poland 10km East of Kraków, ‘treated as a propaganda project’ 4 charged with ambitions of turning Poles into good Socialists. fig. 2: Regional map showing the proximity of Nowa Huta to Kraków and the steelworks
Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings (2015), p.148 Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.24 4 Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings (2015), p.104 3
This thesis exists as an argument against the poetic ideology of Nowa Huta and the formation of a ‘model’ 5 Socialist city. Indeed, whether confronted or not, the development could not succeed. Its very inception as a product of opposing cultural and political principles should be considered as key moments in its appropriation through identity of increasing scales: the Creation through Stalin; Transmutation by Polish authorities; it’s Resurrection hijacked by Nowahutians and finally, an anticipated Ascension damaged by a national identity 6 * that continues to restrain Nowa Huta. These moments will be analysed through the mediums of the urban fabric, the community and finally, a reflection on the assimilation of the provincial regime – notions typical in determining the success of a given development. Within the notion of ‘success’ in the city and its measurement mechanisms, the repetition of community and their collective happiness is a constant theme. Charles Montgomery argues, ‘one thing is certain: we all translate our own ideas of happiness into form… it is impossible to separate the life and design of a city from the attempt to understand happiness’. 7 Indeed, the prolific social reformer Jeremy Bentham aspired to determine a universal formula for happiness, to be dully applied as a copypaste solution. The well-known ‘Panopticon’ is an architectural figure of this equation; it is a device that ‘functions like a kind of laboratory of power… to penetrate into men’s behaviour’ 8 with the ultimate ambition of rehabilitation to contribute towards a successful society. However, expanding the microcosm of a prison to the scale of the city exacerbates the disproportionate power relationship: the urban fabric assumes the role of both the facilitator and constrainer of civic interaction through its objective composition. The planned city is therefore the happiness hypothesis of governments and their distribution of the freedom to express, practice and participate; to alter material surroundings and engage in success as a verb through the personalisation of space and form, communally and individually, as ‘civic and personal well-being’ are ‘intimately linked.’ 9 * The mark of happiness, then, is characterised by the power of opportunity and flexibility of expression. fig. 3: Jeremy Bentham’s ‘Panopticon’
Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.72 Dąbrowska states, ‘Nowa Huta was a product of Russian ‘loathing of our ancient culture’; source: Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p.35 7 Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.16 8 Michel Foucault, Disciple and Punish, Panopticism. In Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, edited by Alan Sheridan, 195-228. New York, Vintage Books (1977). 9 In reference to Aristotle; Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.17 6 Maria
đ??ť đ?‘Ś! = đ?‘Ś! âˆ’ đ??¸ đ?‘Ś! đ?œ‘! ! đ?›ş! ]|!"!! = đ?‘Š! âˆ’ đ?‘Š!!! * A basic translation of Jeremy Benthamâ€™s Evolutionary Happiness Function: happiness = your success â€“ your expectations = your perceived social status. 10
... SUCCESS = OPPORTUNITY + EXPRESSION (fulfillment âˆ´ happiness) * A basic translation of Sandra Kolaczâ€™s Personal Reading of Success in the City.
_____________________________________________ fig. 4: Aerial view of the planned city of Nowa Huta
Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.82 10
_____________________________________________ Sandra Kolacz : “Tata, you were, by any account, ‘privileged’ to attend a private school in a Socialist state. Your family were farmers poor enough to avoid extensive land subdivision and redistribution, yet rich enough to afford you and ciocia a comfortable upbringing. You spent your teenage years distributing anti-Socialist propaganda at risk of imprisonment. Why?” Zbigniew Kolacz : (trans. Polish) “It is true that I had all those things, but we had dreams that we could not act upon ourselves. It was true that I was privileged, but I was not free.”
_______ The city is always a happiness project. fig 5: Propaganda poster advertising Nowa Huta, ‘Free City; Yes!’
(1945 – 1953)
. Creation : Soviet Intervention and the 6-Year Plan for ‘Success’. _____________________________________________ The establishment of Nowa Huta underlined contrasting socio-political doctrines at the forefront of post-war Poland and its historically strained relationship with Russia. In 1946, a Soviet-backed referendum designed to evaluate public support for the foreign-installed regime resulted in national humiliation following the accidental publication of Kraków’s eighty-four percent “No” vote and consequent suggestion of mass riggings. Kraków was described in official media as ‘bourgeois, reactionary, old-fashioned, and weak’; 11 thus, the model Socialist city and accompanying steel factory were to be constructed by and for a working class to compete with the ‘bastion of backwardness and subversion.’ 12 In preparation, 11,000 hectares of village and rich farmland were forcefully appropriated, ‘sometimes without financial compensation’, 13 and an unskilled peasant workforce of ‘Romani, refugees and former prisoners’ 14 were encouraged or forced to replace those they had displaced, establishing an incohesive community of opposing religious and political agendas. Over the divisive legacies of Poland’s semifeudal social structure 15 emerged the slogan of work, renewal and opportunity in Nowa Huta, as the Soviet counterpart to the American Dream. The ‘Youth Brigade’ were ‘building Socialism’ 16 one brick at a time, aspiring to stifle the perceived ‘class imbalance’ of Kraków while utilising the territorial, geophysical and political opportunities: large-scale developments ‘established territorial control and solidified the new border’ 17 after the war, and the prospective location positioned it within the vicinity of two rivers – the Vistula and Dlubina – to absorb factory waste. Against the evidence of utilitarian placement, the most popular image of Nowa Huta was shrouded in negativity, filtering into local rhetoric as ‘the revenge of Stalin’. 18 Although one cannot verify the extent the unfavourable vote impacted decision-making, Stalin’s order to begin the construction of Nowa Huta in close proximity to the former capital, canonised in Polish mythology as ‘the centre of Polish culture, the sacred burial place of Polish kings’; 19 and natural place of pilgrimage following the devastation of Warsaw, was widely acknowledged as a direct political, economic and religious challenge, threatening the cultural freedom of the population. Indeed, the resistant nation declared that the Soviet model of opportunity in Nowa Huta could not succeed because Socialism must not succeed, thus it was cast under skeptical glare as a surrogate city or enclave of foreign suppression. fig. 6: ‘Forward! To The Battle for the 6-Year Plan!’ propaganda poster
Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.69 Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p.663 13 Lukasz Stanek, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2013), p.17 14 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.41 15 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.41 16 Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.38 17 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.69 18 Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p. 19 Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p.661 12
______________ If one could overlook the Haussmann-esque dislocation of underprivileged farmers in favour of extensive boulevards, they might consider the increasingly elaborate construction projects commissioned by Stalin an embodiment of success. Forging success was of paramount importance in the formal expression of happiness, converging in a blanket statement that ‘life has become more cheerful. And when life is cheerful, it is easier to work hard.’ 20 * Theoretically, happiness itself would be the ultimate means of production, with the product an emblem of success – attempting its reversal by first forging success in Nowa Huta to stimulate happiness was to prove an erroneous presumption. The steelworks commanded enormous efforts in the ‘6-Year Plan’ for industrialisation and the secondary rush to conceive Nowa Huta, with many workers staying in hotels or commuting daily from other regions of the country. 21 Indeed, the government issued a ‘special regulation giving the development of the steelworks top priority’ 22 despite the critical need to house the brigade and prospective factory workforce of 100,000. 23 Polish economy specialists, frustrated by evidence of ‘waste, irrationality, and inefficiency’ 24 exposed through the debt-inducing production of steel and abortive competition with a Capitalist market, shared concerns about the excessive scale of investment in Nowa Huta and its fabricated image of prosperity, which ‘neatly embodied inherent tensions in state Socialism’ 25 – specifically, the asymmetric relationship between the accumulation of production and distribution of those products.
Stalin’s proclamation, ‘Life has improved, my friends, life has become more cheerful. And when life is cheerful, it is easier to work hard.’ Source: Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.24 21 Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.40 22 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.41 23 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.74 24 Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.39 25 Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.39
Accumulation allocated power while distribution legitimised the regime. The pronounced preference for accumulation, despite the alleged political doctrine, further exacerbated shortages and ultimately eroded legitimacy in Nowa Huta, its perceived epicentre. As Katherine Verdev argues, ‘once a consumer got hold of something, the centre no longer controlled it; [thus] central power was less served by giving things away than by producing things it could continue to control.” 26 It was felt that the steelworks was ‘Warsaw’s top priority’ 27 and the urban development of the city, devoid of committed resources, constituted blunt distribution. Above the hierarchy of the steelworks and mandatory 6-Year Plan that subdued community happiness in preference of economic value, rose the issue of the reduced urban role and opportunity of Nowahutians to influence their material surroundings – ‘the development of housing policy became subordinated to national industrial development… new housing was provided mainly in association with industrial enterprises’ 28 and their allocated production targets. To prevent the anticipated threat of exploitation by the steelworks and authoritative Kraków, an administrative body, Z.O.R. (Workers’ Housing Development Administration), was established by the state to oversee construction. However, virtually all social, recreational and cultural institutions or programmes in Nowa Huta were owned or funded by the steelworks, 29 generating a domestic dependence on the industry for a sense of community. Inevitably, all final decisions were approved by factory leaders that exercised universal control over the city, whose proximity to Kraków also resulted in its absorption as ‘District XVIII’ in 1952. Nowa Huta was located much too close for true autonomy, and its subsequent monetary and cultural marginalisation contributed to the array of ‘broken utopian promises’ 30 and shortened freedoms endured by residents. The planned city unsuccessfully morphed into its ‘model’ Socialist landscape, or rather, a corporate antithesis of it. It could not claim to be a success on the level of social freedom or as a vessel in legitimising Socialism. fig. 7: The presence of Z.O.R. in Nowa Huta
Katherine Verdev, What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? (1996), p. 26. Katherine Lebow, Interview with Bogumil Korombel, Krakow (March 20th 1998) 28 Michael Pacione, Urban Problems and Planning in the Developed World (Routledge Revivals), p.266 29 Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town (2014), p. 30 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.41 27
It was difficult to design a city for a varied and fluctuating population, thus the configuration of the urban fabric was set in relation to the steel mill as the monopoly of programme and culture. Accessed by lengths of 55-metre wide boulevards and encased in passive facades ‘with hardly any doors, variety or functions… [that] bleed life from the pavement’ 31 in their rigorous uniformity, removed from the Western-style downtown exhausted in ‘traffic and commerce’. 32 Excluding their function in dividing Nowa Huta into five Sectors (labelled A-E), the urban capacity for the boulevards as social spaces containing markets or makeshift playgrounds was overlooked to suit those of a tram system with avenue-bisecting fences, impeding the potential for interaction between the two sides with infrequent crossing opportunities. In this way, the boulevards in Nowa Huta mimic the behaviour of desolate motorways through the city when worker efficiency is prioritised over interaction and social engagement. In the labyrinth of success, Poland’s ‘most important investment’ 33 was a translation in the Western theories of the Garden City and Neighbourhood Unit concepts, adopted with positive intention feeding illusions of grandeur and companionship, though justified through the Socialist filter of practicality. 34* Implementation of design principles, however, could not escape the threat of Krakow, the control of the steelworks or ineffective social engineering in the tarnished model for success in Nowa Huta. fig. 8: The urban fabric of Nowa Huta and its Sector divisions
Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.167 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.75 33 Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.17 34 ‘Careful planning was key, and the suburb was designed with ‘efficient mutual control' in mind: wide streets would prevent the spread of fire and the profusion of trees would easily soak up a nuclear blast, while the layout was such that the city could easily be turned into a fortress if it came under attack.’ Source: <https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/Nowa-Huta_73840f> [accessed: 09/12/2016] 32
fig. 9: The composition of a boulevard, photographed Dec. 17th 2016
“We were trying to explain this all; that we were not responsible for that, not belonging to those criminals; that we were just doing our job connected with architecture and designing.” 35 – Tadeusz Ptaszycki, architect of the Nowa Huta project, speaking about the social context at its inception.
Nowa Huta – Labyrint Pamieci (with English subtitles) (2009), Tadeusz Ptaszycki (3:11 min.)
(1953 – 1977)
. Transmutation : Stalin’s death and the cult of Christianity. _____________________________________________ The expedition to accomplish the ‘6-Year Plan’ to increase industrialisation as a necessary means ‘for modernising and enriching the country’ 36 further emphasised industry as the priority over domesticity, immediately compromising the model of the planned city as a scope for interpersonal and personal prosperity. fig. 10: Industrialisation modernising the farming fields of Poland, Nowa Huta
_____ Construction began in peripheral districts utilising pre-war Warsaw blueprints and a provisional city centre was established while detailed drawings of the planned, urban square and perimeter were developed. However, this apparent displacement was typical of Nowa Huta – within sketches the civic space of the ‘central square’ 37 * was not at the center physically, practically or symbolically; rather, it served as an extravagant entrance to the Socialist counterpart in the competitive expression of national identity. The square was the priority of Socialist urban planning, considered a ‘measure of political mankind… a site of grandeur and beauty’ 38 that occupied an axial function from which the sectors and their enclosed neighbourhood units of Socialist Realism extended ‘hugeness, order, symmetry – all associated with solemn and unchallenged authority’. 39 Aesthetics aside, the capacity of the square, scorched and cordoned off by tram tracks, advertised the developing dispute for public space: as District XVIII of Kraków, Nowa Huta’s planned monuments of autonomy, ‘invitations to participate in the life of the polis’ 40 – a cultural centre, town hall, obelisk and theatre – could be argued away. In their place an imposing and solitary statue of Lenin watched over the ‘forum’, a distinctly narrow alternative to the square and appendix of a boulevard, cast into heavy shadow by towering architecture, and utilised for Socialist displays and the extravagant marches of ‘Labour Day’. 41 *
Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.18 36 37
Nowohutians call to the urban square by this name to avoid referring to it as the ‘Jozef Stalin Square’. Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016), p.75 39 Richard Stites, Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution (1991) p. 40 Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.17 41 My mother, Ewa Kolacz, recalls: (trans. Polish) “Labour Day marches, while in celebration of labour, were compulsory. It was a day in honour of labour when labour itself was banned.” 38
fig. 11: The statue of the ‘striding’ Lenin in Nowa Huta
The lack of elected public platforms for expression spawned resentment. Only the widespread humiliation of the Socialist regime could stimulate a revision in the discourse of public space in Nowa Huta, occurring through the illegitimate publication of Adam Ważyk’s ‘A Poem for Adults’. Tadeusz Ptaszycki, architect of the planned city, argues ‘because of this poem the authorities realised that there was not enough entertainment. They built a theatre and the ‘Świt’ cinema soon after the poem had been published,’ 42 spotlighting the relevance of public expression in shaping the life and surroundings of a population. For the first time ‘success’, as defined by expression, had trickled in – but it had not stemmed from an independent opportunity or through the vehicle of freedom, nor was it in favour of Nowa Huta; rather, it was a demonstration against it. fig. 12: Adam Ważyk’s ‘A Poem for Adults’ (trans. Polish)
Nowa Huta – Labyrint Pamieci (with English subtitles) (2009), Tadeusz Ptaszycki (12:00 min.)
A POEM FOR ADULTS AdamWażyk Stanza no. 4, Nowa Huta :
From the village, from the towns they ride in carriages to build a steel works, to conjure up the city, to dig out of the earth a new Utopia, with a pioneering army, they collect rabble they crowd in sheds, barracks, hotels, they shuffle along and whistle in muddy streets: great migration, confused ambition, on the neck a cord - a crucifix from Czestochowa, three levels of insults, a downy bed pillow, a flask of vodka and longing for wenches, distrustful soul, torn between farming plots, half awake and half mad, silent in words, singing folk songs, pushed suddenly from the Dark Ages wandering mass, Poland with no identity howling with boredom in December evenings... The garbage bins suspended on rope boys running with cats along the wall, Female hotels, these secular monasteries, tremble from mating, and then the count’s wife will dispose of their offspring- Vistula flows here. The great migration building industry, not known to Poland, but known to history, fed emptiness of great words, living wildly from day to day and despite the preachers in coal dust and in slow agony, from it are formed the working class. A lot of waste. In the meantime gruel.
Adam Ważyk, Poemat dla dorosłych (‘Poem for adults’) First published August 21st 1955 in the weekly magazine, Nowa Kultura (‘New Culture’) Translated by Sandra Kolacz
The death of Stalin in 1953 and Khrushchev’s open condemnation 43 of his inflated image of success marked the beginning of the ‘Thaw’ of political oppression and the ‘apparent softening of the heretofore orthodox-Marxist’ 44 trend, summoning the illusionary hope of liberal expression. Historically, religion served to homogenise the Polish people, engendering a shared sense of spirit outlasting multiple conflicts and occupations. Against the atheistic script of Socialism and contextualised still by the lack of civic structures, the citizens of Nowa Huta applied for the planning of a church in a distinctly ‘Godless place’. 45 Sensing the irony of a church in their ‘model’ district, the Socialist government revoked their 1956 approval for the construction of a religious architecture (on the condition that it did not occupy a conventional form 46), resulting in prolonged hostility and ‘violent riots’.47 The figure of the church became the icon of expression, a ‘place where people [w]ould feel pride in their history and their identity’ 48 in the broad dialogue between the ‘prescribed and the proscribed, between “their” spaces and “ours”, 49 and evolved into worldwide revolution against the Socialist rejection of culture. Supported by the international community and Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II), Nowahutians incrementally erected the ‘Arka Pana’ church in 1977 on the outskirts of the city. Echoing the distinctly detached public structures of the workers’ canteen and steelworks itself, these community spaces, severed from the central square and the romantic facades of ‘success’, reinforced the notion that there was no space for community within Nowa Huta beyond the rhythm of the workplace. fig. 13: The view of the Arka Pana church, photographed Dec. 19th 2016
Certainly, the Thaw did not improve customs for architects. ‘Like Khrushchev’s 1954 speech itself, the forms of modern design licensed after Stalin sought to enhance the authority of the Socialist state and further diminished the creativity of architects, particularly in the sphere of housing.’ 50 It was in
At the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU February 24 – 25 1956, Khrushchev delivered a report in which he denounced Stalin’s crimes and the ‘cult of personality’ surrounding Stalin. Source: Nikita Khrushchev Reference Archive, Speech to 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. <https://www.marxists.org/archive/khrushchev/1956/02/24.htm> [accessed: 02/11/2016] 44 Bernard Ziffer, A Poem for Adults, The Polish Review, Vol.1, No.1 (Winter 1956), p. 56-63 45 Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa, Nowa Huta 1949+ (2013), p. 33 46 Gosia, Crazy Guides : Communist Deluxe Tour (19/12/2016) 47 Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p. 675 48 Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p. 669 49 Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society 1949 – 56 (2013), p.174 50 Milka Bliznakov, Soviet Housing During the Experimental Years, 1918 to 1933, in William Craft Brumfield and Blair A. Ruble, eds., Russian Housing in the Modern Age: Design and Social History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1993) p. 85 – 149.
housing, more than other fields, that success would be evaluated by the society the regime declared to support. Prefabricated concrete panel structures were the complimentary architecture for mounting industry in the new chapter of universality that characterised Socialism across the Eastern Bloc. Referred to as ‘bedroom communities with few conveniences and even less character,’ 51 these modular dwellings epitomised the standardisation of individuality in a production line process, crowding Garden City voids to facilitate further workforce and factory production targets. In the contest for personability and the freedom to revise one’s surroundings and habitat, prefabricated apartments, due to the structural interdependence, the ‘load-bearing element’ 52 of each panel and ‘considerable difficulties for the implementation of functional changes’, 53 embodied immobility and the distinct lack of opportunity to alter one’s surroundings. Certainly, as Helena and Szymon Syrkus demonstrated in ‘Osiedle Koło II’ (1947 – 1951), ‘you could use factory-made components to create architecture that was distinctive and original,’ 54 though this was the exception and not the rule. Once the first prefabricated structure in Poland, 55 the ‘French Block’ (1956 – 1959) in experimental Nowa Huta was complete, prefabrication grew synonymous with a lack of ‘identity and urban legibility,’ 56 thus the collective ambition for a church represented a break from material uniformity, religious deprivation and cultural anguish in the Nowahutian image of success. fig. 14: Helena and Szymon Syrkus, Osiedle Koło II
Mariusz Czepczynski, Cultural Landscapes of Post-Socialist Cities: Representations of Powers and Needs (2008), p.98 E. Melgaard, G. Hadjimichael, M. Almeida, L.G.W. Verhoef, COST C16 Improving the Quality of Existing Urban Building Envelopes: Needs (2007) p. 109 53 E. Melgaard, G. Hadjimichael, M. Almeida, L.G.W. Verhoef, COST C16 Improving the Quality of Existing Urban Building Envelopes: Needs (2007) p. 109 54 Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings (2015), p.115 55 Krakowski Szlak Modernizmu brochure, Trasa: Nowa Huta, p. 8 <http://szlakmodernizmu.pl/photo/do-pobrania/nowahuta.pdf> [accessed: 04/12/2016] 56 Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings (2015), p.115 52
“It has been said that Poland is dead, exhausted, enslaved, but here is the proof of her life and triumph.” 57 – Henryk Sienkiewicz, Nobel Prize acceptance speech during Polish occupation.
(1977 – 1989)
. Resurrection : The Landscape of Capitalism in a Model Socialist City. _____________________________________________ The Catholic Church, with the aid of the Solidarność 58 * movement, exchanged the community of the exploited workplace for one of the church as the principle civic space. ‘The bonds between Catholicism and Polish culture were simply too strong to break,’ 59 and the use of architecture as ideological ammunition was the catalyst to the collapse of Socialism in Poland in 1989. fig. 15: Steelworkers’ riots by the Arka Pana church in Nowa Huta
Henryk Sienkiewicz, Nobel Peace Prize for Literature: Banquet Speech (1905); source: < http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1905/sienkiewicz-speech.html> [accessed: 21/01/2017] Polish trade union. The majority of steelworks workers (90%) were members of the Solidarity Movement. 59 Douglas Jacobsen, The World’s Christians: Who They Are, Where They Are, and How They Got There (2011) p.90 57
The reintroduction of a Capitalist economy corrupted the promise of housing in Nowa Huta: privatisation allowed ‘members of housing cooperatives to buy their flats for a fraction of their market value’ 60 and drastically increase rents, with those in opposition labelled ‘sympathisers of the old regime’ 61 as the past was thrust into the present (and future) angst of Nowa Huta for moral exploitation to further limit opportunity. Neighbourhood units, intended to stimulate a sense of social belonging, in their confined arrangement strengthened their territorial separations; inter unit ‘protests’ 62 emerged from issues regarding the co-management and treatment of public spaces. Świt, the result of civic unity and Adam Ważyk’s bold expression, was converted into a TESCO supermarket. The privatised steelworks, acquired by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of steel subsequently discarded 90% of the factory workforce and facilities under the guise of capital profitability, including factory-funded programmes and community events, immediately rendering Nowa Huta a city of mass unemployment, reduced programme, and occupied by an aging population unable to reinvent themselves to endure a services market. The limited financial possibilities and heavy unemployment ‘a phenomenon virtually unknown in Socialist Poland’ 63 contributed to the disregard of Nowa Huta as a place of ‘crime and savagery’ 64 void of tradition and constrained by its Socialist past not only through association but as a system where the object of opportunity and success were strictly managed by a now absent factory. The identity of the planned city and ability to offer a sense of regional belonging continued to limit the scope for material opportunity and success through community.
“[W]e should consider a society governed wholly by its past, or its present, or its future to suffer under a despotism of superstition which forbids freedom. The politics of our society are a conversation in which past, present and future each has a voice; and though one or other of them may on occasion properly prevail, none permanently dominates, and on this account we are free.” 65 – Michael Oakeshott, speaking on the diffusion of authority between past, present and future.
Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p. 61 Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p. 62 Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p.682 63 Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town (2014), p. 64 Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007), p. 671 65 Leszek Koczanowicz, Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland (2008), Preface.
(1989 – 2004+)
. Ascension? The ‘Fourth Republic’ and Funding Success. _____________________________________________ The evidence presented within exposes the city complex as a martyr to shifting socio-political sentiments, tarnished by the monumentality of failed Socialist agendas and a resistant population demanding bespoke ‘success’ in post-war Poland. Nowa Huta could not succeed in an environment of pseudo-acceptance and pendulum politics. In the competition for identity, state Socialism was ‘all about ‘catching up’… [Nowa Huta was] ‘not yet a Socialist city, but [perpetually] a Socialist city in becoming’. 66 After 1989 and certainly within the context of the proposed Fourth Republic, this ambiguous narrative transformed into one of moving beyond it, into an economic terrain for which the district had not been designed. The entry of Poland into the European Union in 2004 renewed expectations on the general quality of life and escape from the ghost of Socialism, funded by monetary assistance for national projects. In Nowa Huta, this was exercised by crystallising the entire urban fabric as a ‘conservation area’ incapable of transformation and paradoxically existing as simultaneous relic and curse of a Socialist experiment. The district endures continued marginalisation, stigmatisation and epitomises the absence of opportunity on all scales; ‘the lack of places to eat, drink, and hang out is a problem… [residents] generally prefer to head to the centre of Kraków rather than choose from a handful of local bars, most of them on the shady side,’ 67 in contradiction with Kraków’s measured prosperity and constant Eastward expansion.
fig. 16: The continuing emptiness of Nowa Huta, photographed Dec. 17th 2016
Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p.679 67 Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town (2014), p.44
As the principle component in Soviet accumulation, industry held unique power over residents that depended on the distribution of product and community in exchange for freedom and opportunity. Indeed, the foreign colonisation of resources had already occurred through the privatisation of the steelworks in the economic transition, and the proposal for a ‘Nowa Huta of the Future’ technology park in 2017, 10km East from the district placed Nowa Huta at the centre between Kraków and new industry. It simulates the former colonisation and exploitation of the factory workforce within a ‘second wave’ 68 * of labour. In the context of success, the new Youth Brigade, personally unaffected by the events of Nowa Huta, might provide the opportunity for urban revival and flexibility of expression for a contemporary vision, beyond stagnated civic landscapes and mechanisms. In the landscape of Capitalism of a former Socialist city, the hypothesis for success remains the same:
SUCCESS = OPPORTUNITY + EXPRESSION (fulfillment ∴ happiness) _____________________________________________
fig. 17: Regional map showing the Nowa Huta of the Future development
The first wave of labour was in the factory workers; the second wave exists in the technology park employees.
. The Tarnished Frame of Nowa Huta : A Spectrum of ‘Successes’. _____________________________________________ 1. Nowa Huta could not succeed on a political scale because Socialism was orchestrated to fail by the population – the ‘model’ Socialist town, was a conveniently ironic target. 2. Nowa Huta could not succeed on an economic scale because the steelworks were operating at a financial loss and could not compete with the Capitalist market for materials, causing shortages. 3. Nowa Huta could not succeed on a cultural scale because of its establishment as a city void of religious architecture amid a society that had historically depended on faith for unity. 4. Nowa Huta could not succeed on an architectural scale because of the inflexibility of the housing stock, exacerbated by its listing as a conservation area. 5. Nowa Huta could not succeed on a regional scale as an autonomous city because of its proximity to Krakow and outwardly contrasting image. 6. Nowa Huta could not succeed on a community scale because this had been engineered out in favour of an all-encompassing rhythm of the city based exclusively on the dominance of the steelworks.
“Nowa Huta and its paradoxes testify against programming the future in the name of any intellectual idea, despite the fact that these ideas might be considered today, here and now, correct.” 69 – Anonymous commentator, speaking after the political change in 1989.
The city was always a happiness project. fig 18: Architects overlooking the terrain of Nowa Huta under construction
Lukasz Stanek, Akos Moravanszky, Christian Schmid, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2016) p.682
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC Fabricating Success in the Planned City of Nowa Huta. Bibliography
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC Fabricating Success in the Planned City of Nowa Huta BIBLIOGRAPHY : _____________________________________________ Interviews : Ewa Kolacz, mother. ‘Tell me about your life in Socialist Poland.’ (08/11/2016) Zbigniew Kolacz, father. ‘Tell me about your life in Socialist Poland.’ (10/11/2016) Former steelworks worker, Nowa Huta. ‘What do you think about Nowa Huta?’ (18/12/2016) Łukasz Stanek, author, researcher and teacher. ‘Myths about Nowa Huta.’ (01/02/2017) Lectures : National Sound Archive, British Library, National Life Stories: Architects’ Lives (19/10/2016) Attended a session on ‘how to interview’ – knowledge applied to the interviews conducted.
Łukasz Stanek, Architecture in the World Socialist System (01/02/2017) Hamed Khosravi, A Theory of Socialist Architecture (29/03/2017) Documentaries : Propaganda documentary, Kierunek – Nowa Huta! (trans. Eng. Destination – Nowa Huta!) Andrzej Munk, Artur Miedzyrzecki, published by Wytwornia Filmow Dokumentalnych (1951) Runtime: 12 mins. Documentary, Nowa Huta – Labyrint Pamieci (with English subtitles) (trans. Eng. The Memory Labyrinth); Marcin Kapron, produced and published by The Historical Museum of the City of Krakow (2009). Runtime: 37 mins. The Walk Disney Company, Walt Disney’s Original E.P.C.O.T. Film (1966) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLCHg9mUBag> [accessed: 30/01/2017] Runtime: 24 mins. Tours : Grazy Guides, Communist Deluxe Tour, Nowa Huta (19/12/2016) Images : Fig. 1. <http://www.imagineeringdisney.com/blog/2012/6/26/epcot-city-model-part-1.html> Fig. 2. Map drawn and labeled by Sandra Kolacz Fig. 3. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon> Fig. 4. <http://www.krakow.pl/odwiedz_krakow/1302,artykul,trasa_nowohucka.html> Fig. 5. <http://magistratnowohucki.blox.pl/tagi_b/3114/Huta.html>
Fig. 6. <http://www.prl.cba.pl/plakaty4.html> Fig. 7. <http://bloknowohucki.blogspot.co.uk/> Fig. 8. Map drawn and labeled by Sandra Kolacz Fig. 9. Photographed by Sandra Kolacz, Dec. 17th 2016 Fig. 10. <http://ciekawykrakow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/robotnicza-nowa-huta-kara-dla.html> Fig. 11. <http://krakow.wyborcza.pl/krakow/1,44425,16779403,Lenin__Koniew__Sowieci_z_cokolow_w_Kra kowie_zdejmowani.html?disableRedirects=true> Fig. 12. <https://lewicowo.pl/poemat-dla-doroslych/> Fig. 13. Photographed by Sandra Kolacz, Dec. 19th 2016 Fig. 14. <http://kultura.dziennik.pl/artykuly/501090,wystawa-zaraz-po-wojnie-od-pazdziernika-wzachecie.html> Fig. 15. < https://gabrielejogelaite.wordpress.com/tag/soviet-architecture/> Fig. 16. Photographed by Sandra Kolacz, Dec. 17th 2016 Fig. 17. Map drawn and labeled by Sandra Kolacz Fig. 18. <http://www.bryla.pl/bryla/1,85301,8942979,Nowa_Huta_1949_.html> Literature : Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa, Nowa Huta 1949+ (English Version) Leszek Koczanowicz, Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland (2008) Michel Foucault, Disciple and Punish, Panopticism. In Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, edited by Alan Sheridan, 195-228. New York, Vintage Books (1977) Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016) Katarzyna Zechenter, Evolving Narratives in Post-War Polish Literature: The Case of Nowa Huta (1950 – 2005), The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 2007) Łukasz Stanek, Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Social Research and Architecture (2013) Katherine Verdev, What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? (1996) Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town (2014) Juliusz Gorzynski, The Problem of Participation In New Town Development: Nowa Huta, Poland. Ekistics (1973) Łukasz Matoga, Exploring the History and Heritage of Communism in Nowa Huta District in Krakow, Poland: Potential or a Problem in Managing Tourism in a City? (2015) Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 (2013)
Milka Bliznakov, Soviet Housing During the Experimental Years, 1918 to 1933, in William Craft Brumfield and Blair A. Ruble, eds., Russian Housing in the Modern Age: Design and Social History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1993) Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings (2015) Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013), p.24 Richard Stites, Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution (1991) Mariusz Czepczynski, Cultural Landscapes of Post-Socialist Cities: Representations of Powers and Needs (2008), p.98 Douglas Jacobsen, The World’s Christians: Who They Are, Where They Are, and How They Got There (2011) Online : STEFANRTW, A Day Trip to Nowa Huta – The Socialist Paradise in Krakow, <http://www.stefanrtw.com/day-trip-to-nowa-huta/> [accessed: 29th November 2016] <http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JHMT/article-full-text/DB60FBB55039> [accessed: 05th December 2016] ‘Jan Zamoyski’, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Zamoyski> [accessed 02nd December 2016] ‘Zamosc’, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamość> [accessed 02nd December 2016] M. Strzala, Nowa Huta of Krakow, <http://www.krakow-info.com/nowahuta.htm> [accessed: 3rd December 2016]