Political Critique

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INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY IN WARSAW

POLITICAL CRITIQUE CULTURAL CENTRES: WARSAW

ŁÓDŹ

TRICITY

CIESZYN

POLITICAL CRITIQUE CLUBS

« OPINION DAILY »

UKRAINIAN « ПОЛІТИЧНА КРИТИКА »

POLITICAL CRITIQUE PUBLISHING HOUSE

REDaction 2006–2009

BRAVE NEW WORLD CULTURAL CENTRE 2009–2012

RUSSIAN « ПОЛИТИЧЕСКАЯ КРИТИКА » « POLITICAL CRITIQUE » MAGAZINE

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Table of contents

What is Political Critique? p.7 Political Critique Clubs p.15 Political Critique Magazine p.25 Political Critique Publishing House p.29 Institute for Advanced Study p.35 Opinion Daily p.43 A Short History of Political Critique p.47 6WDQLV達DZ %U]R]RZVNL続3DWURQ RI WKH $VVRFLDWLRQ p.55 6WDQLV達DZ %U]R]RZVNL $VVRFLDWLRQ続%DVLF ,QIR p.59


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Debate with Michaล Boni, Polish Minister of Administration and Digitization, Warsaw 2012


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WHAT IS POLITICAL CRITIQUE?

Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza

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rytyka Polityczna (Political Critique) is the largest Eastern European liberal network of institutions and activists. It was established in 2002 with an Open Letter to the European Public, demanding more open European policy from the Polish elite. Later registered as the Stanisław Brzozowski Association, Krytyka Polityczna now includes the online daily  Dziennik Opinii , a quarterly magazine, a publishing house, cultural centres in Warsaw, Šódź, Gdańsk and Cieszyn, activist clubs in a dozen cities in Poland (and also in Kiev and Berlin), as well as a research centre: the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw. It employs over sixty people and works with a few hundred volunteers. Krytyka Polityczna organises around 1,500 events and campaigns yearly.

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now. This is why Krytyka Polityczna organises seminars and summer schools for loWe feel we are the contemporary heirs to the cal community leaders and urban activists. specifically Eastern and Central European Krytyka publishes over forty books a year (Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, Russian) tradi(authors like: Judith Butler, Peter Sloterdijk, tions of the “engaged intelligentsia” repre- Tony Judt, Vaclav Havel, Zygmunt Bauman, senting an ethos of public activity that creSlavoj Žižek, Timothy Snyder and Gianni ates “social glue” among the people. This Vattimo), discussing and promoting their history dates from the late 19th century work in all the major media. The work of (charged with the task of modernising and the first Institute for Advanced Study in developing society) to the dissident movePoland, established by Krytyka Polityczna, ment of ,70s and ,80s and the ideals of emis based on empirical research combining powering society against authoritarian rule different disciplines, like urban studies, socion behalf of democracy, equality and perology and economics. sonal freedom. What is common for all GO EAST! (GERMANY-POLANDthese traditions across history is the way UKRAINE-RUSSIA) this has taken place and the fact that these One of our strategic goals is to build partactions have focused on empowering people through the building up of independent nership between activists, scholars and artists. A wide range of leading and institutions. Their orientation has been towards progressive social change as well as a well-known scholars and artists such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Artur Żmijewski, Jan Klata, strongly ethical approach. Michał Zadara, Joanna Rajkowska or Yael ACTIVISTS + SCHOLARS + ARTISTS Bartana (author of the film trilogy: Mary Perhaps the most relevant social phenomKoszmary / …and Europe will be Stunned) enon we feel obliged to comment on at the have joined the movement. Krytyka organmoment is the crisis of social imagination. ises shared projects and initiatives, connectDespite the widespread criticism of the soing visual artists with social activists cial, political and economical status quo, it is (e . g . Venice Biennale 2011 and Berlin harder to imagine an alternative world oth- Biennale 2011), social scientists with trade er than the end of the world. What is need- unionists, economic experts with envied is the confrontation of various theoretical ronmental activists or architects with loperspectives with current social movements, cal community leaders. This is achieved to find conceptual work with real phenom- through publishing in online media, ena appearing in our social life here and through our quarterly magazine, social OUR TRADITION: FROM ENGAGED INTELLIGENTSIA TO DISSIDENTS

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networks, common research in the Institute for Advanced Study and joint efforts in the network of local clubs and cultural centres. MASS MEDIA FOR READERS, NOT CLICKERS!

To overcome the perennial problem of commercial success through tabloidization versus niche marginalisation we have created a Opinion Daily (www.dziennikopinii.pl),

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which combines serious analyses of contemporary politics, society and culture with photo-blogs, reviews, interviews and TV materials. This medium, which publishes texsts by Polish and foreign authors, is financed by the “third sector” resources of the Association, thus staying independent and avoiding the need to lower standards and principles in favour of demands from the advertising markets or politics.


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Sławomir Sierakowski, Aleksander Kwaśniewski (former President of Poland 1995–2005) and Professor Michael Walzer, Warsaw 2012


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Debate on the occasion of Political Critique’s 10th anniversary, Cracow 2012


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POLITICAL CRITIQUE CENTRES AND CLUBS

The New York Times, 13 March, 2010

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Gazeta Wyborcza, 19 January, 2008

Agnieszka Wiśniewska, coordinator of Political Critique Clubs program

network of cultural centres (Warszawa, Šódź, Gdańsk, Cieszyn, Berlin, Kiev) and clubs in Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Germany is the foundation for enhancing the integration and social commitment of hundreds of people working with Krytyka Polityczna. They organise public campaigns, local interventions in urban space, run cultural centres for underprivileged groups and also debate new ideas and current problems that appear in the public sphere.

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TRÓJMIASTO KOSZALIN

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OTHERS COUNTRIES

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thousands of people; holding many open lectures and workshops on philosophy, literature, mass culture and history. There, the socalled Critical University became one of the most important independent free educational institutions in Warsaw, attended regularly by hundreds of students. What is more, the Cultural Centre organised over 1,000 cultural events, including 120 concerts and performances, 260 movie shows as well as lectures and debates, confronting the audience with well-known politicians such as former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former Prime Ministers Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, intellectuals including Zygmunt Bauman, Slavoj Žižek, Michael Walzer, Marshall Berman, Claus Offe, Harald Welzer as well as artists such as Agnieszka Holland, Artur Żmijewski, and Joanna Rajkowska. In 2012 many of these activities took place in the most recent location of Krytyka Polityczna in Warsaw at Foksal 16. Very soon after the launch of REDakcja, thanks to the activities of friends, well-wishers and associates of Krytyka Polityczna, we started creating Political Critique Clubs in other Polish cities. This allowed us to organise debates, movie shows, social campaigns, local interventions in urban space and other events outside of the capital. By the end of 2008 we managed to establish such clubs in cities like Białystok, Bytom, Gdańsk, Kraków, Łódź, Kalisz, Toruń and Wrocław, with clubs also in Szydłowiec, Opole and Lublin.

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KIEV

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POLITICAL CRITIQUE CLUBS

The first of the cultural centres was REDakcja, established in September 2006 in Warsaw. It served as an open exchange for ideas, debate, training, workshops, art expositions, as well as for presenting social and political projects. The general idea was to break the boundaries between the fields of science, arts and politics. REDakcja was a place in which artists were encouraged to think and act in political terms; officials were pushed to treat culture as a language crucial for shaping the whole of society. REDakcja held around 300 open meetings with politicians, writers (including Olga Tokarczuk and Marian Pankowski), former dissidents (Karol Modzelewski, Władysław Frasyniuk), intellectuals (Peter Singer and Slavoj Žižek) and artists (Yoko Ono and Rene Pollesch). It organised exhibitions of internationally famous contemporary artists like Joanna Rajkowska and Wilhelm Sasnal. In over three years REDakcja has become one of the most important cultural centres of the Polish capital. In November 2009, Krytyka Polityczna moved its headquarters to a place called Centrum Kultury Nowy Wspaniały Świat (Brave New World Cultural Centre), situated in central Warsaw, close to Warsaw University. It combined one of the most popular clubs and cafés in the city with the venue of a cultural centre, inviting over 50 other NGOs to cooperate, working mainly in the fields of human rights, minorities’ rights and women’s rights. In Brave New World we offered free access to culture to many


In subsequent years we have established three new cultural centres outside Warsaw: in Gdańsk, Cieszyn and Łódź. All three have their own venues, where they regularly organise meetings, debates, movie shows and artistic performances; they invite intellectuals, journalists, experts and, sometimes, celebrities to speak with local audiences, trying to answer their important questions as well as discussing the general problems of culture and society. These cultural centres have very soon become very important places in the socio-cultural landscapes of their cities: in Łódź, the cultural centre regularly organises social consultations concerning urban space, involving citizens, local activists and city officials in debates about the future of urban development; similarly, in Gdańsk, where the Political Critique Club is an important centre for debate also on questions of local history and minorities. What is more, it also helps different NGOs and activists in the field of drug policy. The cultural centre in Cieszyn, which is located in the former Polish-Czech border control building on the river Olza, undertakes regular social work with children and young people from underprivileged environments and also inspires joint civic action in the field of educational policy, besides running events typical for the Łódź and Gdańsk centres. Since 2010, Krytyka Polityczna has been present in Ukraine, working through a club in Kiev, as well as a group of activists in Lviv. The club in Kiev, run in

cooperation with the Centre for Visual Arts, organises debates, lectures (for example with Zygmunt Bauman and Boris Buden) and exhibitions focused mainly on the political dimension of art and the cultural dimensions of the post-communist transformation, engaging citizens in the struggle against the privatisation of urban space in Ukraine. A wide group of activists runs the Ukrainian edition of Krytyka Polityczna magazine, with four issues published since 2011. In 2011–2012, our institution first contacted Russian activists who set up KP clubs in Moscow and Petersburg. Thanks to the support of the OSF we managed to produce a series of debates with such guests as Michael Kazin and Boris Buden. A Russian version of our journal was created, as well as a web service in our Opinion Daily. We translated and published important books by Russian intellectuals: Empire of the Periphery: Russia and the World System by Borys Kagarlicki and Food and drinks. Mikoyan and Soviet cuisine by Irina Gluschenko. Both of them also visited the Political Critique clubs in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Lódź and Białystok. In the years 2011–2012, Krytyka Polityczna ran a series of debates on the political dimension of art, as well as other events in Berlin, in close cooperation with Berliner Kunstwerke and the great art festival, Berliner Biennale, whose director was Artur Żmijewski, the artistic director of Krytyka Polityczna magazine. 18

Debate with Tadeusz Mazowiecki (former Prime Minister of Poland 1989–1990), Warsaw 2011

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Krytyka Polityczna projects a new sense of possibility. The people we met in Warsaw, their headquarters, and in several other cities, were mostly in their twenties; their founder, Slawomir Sierakowski (“Slavoâ€?), is in his early thirties [‌]. Their liveliness DQG IUHH Ă RDWLQJ HQHUJ\ remind me of the New Left’s JORU\ GD\V LQ LWV 3RUW +XURQ phase, before the war, when life felt like a new dawn. Marshall Berman, 18 June, 2012, http://www.dissentmagazine.org

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Editorial team meeting of Political Critique with Professor Marshall Berman, Warsaw 2012


BYoung audience during meeting with Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland, promotion of the book Cooperation. Children' s Reader, Cieszyn 2013

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Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland, Joanna Wowrzeczka, coordinator of Political Critique’s Cultural Centre “At the Border,” meeting with children, Cieszyn 2013

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Poverty. Children' s Reader, KP Publishing House, Warsaw 2010 Cooperation. Children' s Reader, KP Publishing House, Warsaw 2012


To say that Political Critique is popular is to VD\ QRWKLQJ 7KH QHZ OHIW KDV D VHGXFWLYH SRZHU DQG WKDW LV ZK\ LW LV HYHQ PRUH dangerous. The young left, gathered around 6LHUDNRZVNL VHGXFHV HYHU ZLGHU DQG ZLGHU circles of people: politicians, pundits, artists and researchers. Translating the trendiest :HVWHUQ DXWKRUV DQG UHYLYLQJ WKH SUH ZDU OHIWLVW WUDGLWLRQ ZKLFK KDG ODLQ IUR]HQ IRU ÀIW\ \HDUV RI FRPPXQLVP 3ROLWLFDO &ULWLTXH ÀOOV WKH JDS QRERG\ KDV EHHQ DEOH WR ÀOO VR IDU ,Q WKH ZKROH FRXQWU\ VXFFHVVLYH 3ROLWLFDO &ULWLTXH FOXEV DUH VSULQJLQJ XS OLNH PXVKURRPV +XQGUHGV RI \RXQJ SHRSOH FRPH WR WKHLU PHHWLQJV ZKHUH WKH\ ÀQG WKH VSDFH WR UHDOL]H WKH QHHG IRU DFWLRQ LQ WKH QDPH RI D FRPPRQ FDXVH 7KH \RXQJ OHIW XQOLNH WKH dispersed circles of the young right, also leads D ULFK VRFLDO OLIH ZKLFK IXUWKHU XQLWHV WKH JURZLQJ FRPPXQLW\

POLITICAL CRITIQUE MAGAZINE

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he quarterly magazine ÂŤ Krytyka Polityczna Âť, established in 2002, is published in Polish and has also had a separate edition in Ukrainian since 2011. Besides its content and the topics discussed, it plays a milieu-building role and organises people around a common project, attracting contributors from different fields and then, creating an inspiring intellectual atmosphere, ignites a growing movement of activists and sympathisers, which develops into further institutions. This is how it began in Poland as well as in Ukraine and Russia.

Catholic weekly Gość Niedzielny, 27 April 2008

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The magazine focuses on the most important phenomena and trends in today’s politics, culture and society. One of its main premises was to break the artificial boundaries between politics, arts and science. It publishes the most relevant authors in the fields of sociology (Zygmunt Bauman, Nancy Fraser, Immanuel Wallerstein, Ulrich Beck, Richard Sennett, Claus Offe), philosophy (Jürgen Habermas, Giorgio Agamben, Peter Sloterdijk, Ernesto Laclau, Pierre Manent, Carl Schmitt, Jacob Taubes), art and culture theory (Terry Eagleton, Jacques Rancière, Hayden White), literature (Michel Houellebecq, Wiktor Pielewin), as well as social activists and politicians (Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Radek Sikorski). It always tries to combine and confront different perspectives. Krytyka Polityczna has produced over 30 Polish and 4 Ukrainian issues, as well as special editions in Russian, English and German concerning with an enormously wide range of topics: from the legacy of the intelligentsia in the modern era, to the hidden exclusiveness of the liberal public sphere, the relevance of the left-right divide today, the legacy of the 1968 revolution, the equally constructed character of history and futurology, love as a political force, different forms of political violence, the potential of imaginative utopia as a political force, hidden forms of social segregation, the myth of Russia as well as the Chinese model and its discontents. Also included were special “visual” issues, embodying the idea of a direct intersection between the arts, social science and political critique.

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PUBLISHING HOUSE

Jahrbuch Polen 2011 Kultur, Wiesbaden 2011

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Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska and Vendula Czabak, PR managers at the Publishing House

he Publishing House of Krytyka Polityczna was established in September 2007, in order to bring into the Polish public sphere the most important works on philosophy, political, social and cultural theory, as well as publishing original diagnoses of society and culture by Polish authors. We publish translations, original books as well as renewed editions of classical works in literature and theory. As of first half 2013 we have published nearly 250 titles and over 9 series of books (Readers, Ideas, Canon, Commentary, Literature, History, Economics, Non-tourist Guides, Jacek Kuroń Political Writings, Vaclav Havel Writings).

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We were among the first in Poland to introduce new political and social theories (in books by Zygmunt Bauman, Gayatri Spivak, Terry Eagleton, Chantal Mouffe, Bruno Latour, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Ranciere, Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler, Alain Badiou), new historical perspectives (in works by Timothy Snyder, Tony Judt, Boris Kagarlitsky, Daniel Sidorick, Krzysztof Tomasik and Yaroslav Hrytsak) and critical analyses of different social phenomena (like Taxes, Public Health, Cultural Policy). We also reedit classical works of literature and political writings, including works by Polish dissidents like: Jacek Kuroń and Jan Józef Lipski; essays on Stanisław Brzozowski, the Polish philosopher and culture critic, as well as classics in philosophy by Adorno and Horkheimer. Moreover, we respond to the most recent phenomena in politics and society by books covering the Economic Crisis in USA and Europe, Occupy! and Indignados movements or the (cultural) phenomenon of Polish Mourning after the 2010 Smoleńsk plane crash and many others. Publication of our books is always accompanied by an intensive programme of social action and cultural events (in our network of clubs and cultural centres and IAS in Warsaw), internet campaigns (on the website of Dziennik Opinii and various social networks), traditional media (especially major press, cultural magazines and opinion building radio stations) and outdoor advertising. Several hundred copies of each publication are sent to opinion-building circles in Poland: intellectuals, scholars, journalists, politicians and social activists. Many of our books are not only reviewed, but also discussed in the major media; some of them have become a source of inspiration for social movements and different forms of civic activity. Our books are produced in co-operation with artists (Wilhelm Sasnal, Artur Żmijewski, Twożywo group and others) and the images and other media forms are just as relevant to us as the words themselves.

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Artur Żmiejewski, artist and curator, Political Critique arts editor, Berlin 2012

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Agnieszka Holland, film director, debate on the occasion of Political Critique's 10th anniversary, Warsaw 2012

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INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY

Professor Zygmunt Bauman, during his inaugural lecture in the IAS, Warsaw 2012

he Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw, established in 2012, is dedicated to conducting academic and didactic research on the most crucial, current problems of contemporary culture and society. The founders of the institute are motivated by a desire to create a friendly environment, conducive to searching for answers regarding the current crisis in liberal democracy resulting from a crisis in societal connections and social imagination. Taking into account that no reflection can replace action and direct engagement motivated by society’s needs, we also understand the necessity for creating a space for contemplation free from any direct obligations or practical dimensions.

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Professor Michael Walzer, philosopher, Warsaw 2012

The Institute means to align itself with the traditions of similar research outposts (other Institutes for Advanced Study) that are not affiliated with any political parties, or party organisations and which take advantage of financial support only on condition of preserving autonomy in the sphere of actual research and research interests. It anticipates longterm research objectives, breaking the pre-ordained boundaries of traditional disciplines and collaborates with other research institutes and organisations as equal partners. The Institute also cooperates closely and shares its resources with the Opinion Daily, the publishing house as well as the network of clubs. The Institute is composed of a board comprised of designated members of the Academic or Cultural spheres and of permanent fellows (in the fields of philosophy, economy and social sciences), who, together with a group of coordinators, plan research action and supervise the development of the institution. Also included are visiting fellows who work on their own research projects, which constitute independent research, seminars (around a dozen every semester), lectures, debates with invited guests, publication of parts of their research results, as well as the conclusions to be found in a book compilation. The Institute also offers scholarships for inviting international researchers to Poland, as well as sending Poles abroad for research purposes.

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Discussion with Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Sławomir Sierakowski and Marci Shore, historian, Warsaw 2009

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Professor Jerzy Osiatyński during a discussion with Professor Robert Skidelsky at the IAS, Warsaw 2013

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Professor Irena Grudzińska-Grossa and Professor Andrzej Leder, debate at the IAS, Warsaw 2013

Ivan Krastev, political scientist, during his lecture in the IAS, Warsaw 2012

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Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, Minister of Internal Affairs, Professor Timothy Snyder, and Sławomir Sierakowski, meeting at the IAS, Warsaw 2013


OPINION DAILY WWW. DZIENNIKOPINII. PL

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ziennik Opinii » (Opinion Daily) is the latest initiative of Krytyka Polityczna’s milieu and the Stanisław Brzozowski Association. It is published online and focused on presenting opinions rather than news or entertainment. It is a daily online paper oriented towards high-quality content, rather than click rate.

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In response to the prevailing trend of the commercialization of media and subordinating them to the principles of mass market culture, we see a chance for serious, high-quality journalism for the third sector, that is outside of the direct demands of the (advertising) market. It can be sustained by financial or other support from the Association and all its institutions, from its network of clubs and activists, the magazine editorial team and the publishing house, as well as the resources of the Institute for Advanced Study. The Opinion Daily provides readers with opinions on current political events in Poland and in the world, publishes longer interviews and conversations on various topics, as well as reviews, translations and parts of recently published books, film reviews and articles on various cultural events. One of the general principles is rebalancing international, regional and local topics. The Opinion Daily publishes influential authors from Poland: essayists, columnists, journalists, also film, theatre and literature critics, as well as foreign contributors, including Immanuel Wallerstein, Robert Reich, Paul De Grauwe or Dani Rodrik. In the future we plan to develop both English as well as Russian and Ukrainian language versions of the Daily, in order to expand its impact on international readers, especially from Eastern Europe. In parallel to the quarterly magazine, the role of the Opinion Daily is not only to convey opinion and present ideas, but also to attract contributors; professional as well as amateur journalists and local community leaders and gather them around this project. To put it short, Opinion Daily serves as a milieu-building centre.

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A SHORT HISTORY OF POLITICAL CRITIQUE

2002 Trailblazing beginnings

Krytyka Polityczna magazine [see p. 25] explodes onto the Polish market, scalding a tired, routine-entrenched political environment, with the provocative and smouldering title: “Intelligentsia: helpless or dead?” Zbigniew Bujak, a Solidarity movement legend, funds the first two editions of the journal. Later, Adam Michnik, a famous Polish writer, thinker, news editor, and activist, slyly commenting and applauding the necessity of the question posed, said: “This is Zbyszek’s best financial decision, ever.” The mass media give the first issue enthusiastic, positive reviews. In support, 46

47

Gazeta Wyborcza reprints interviews conducted by Krytyka Polityczna journalists. The first thousand printed copies are not enough; a second thousand is ordered. The next edition continues to provoke, with the title: “The Left, The Right— Language Confusion, Language Barriers,” and it includes a final text co-written by famous dissidents and leaders of the anti-authoritarian opposition of the communist era, Jacek Kuroń and Karol Modzelewski: “Tomorrow’s Left: Sense and Sensibility.”

2003 Watch it, Europe—KP is here!

“An Open Letter to the European Public” is the title of a letter, written by Sławomir Sierakowski and sociologist Kinga Dunin, expressing support for the European Constitution project. The letter also protests against the Polish European policy of the time, which followed the motto, “Nice [the French city] or Death!” Signed


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by 250 Polish intellectuals, and is printed in European and Polish newspapers, such as Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita. The letter finds an activist audience at home and abroad, pushing Krytyka Polityczna into the wider, European political debate. Later, a talk is held regarding the letter, where the signatories of the letter and KP leaders meet with Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, and minister of European Affairs Danuta Huebner. KP leader Sławomir Sierakowski speaks rousingly in the name of those who signed the letter.

2004

+RPHFRPLQJ D Ă RFN RI DUWLVWV PLJUDWH WR .3 Artists from many places and various disciplines begin collaborating with Krytyka Polityczna. The relationships prove to be fruitful, and foster the social issues KP draws attention to in its work. In time, the KP environment will include a larger

variety of artists: visual artists, theatre practitioners, writers, musicians, and film producers. Some of Poland’s leading contemporary artistic minds are at the head of the movement: Olga Tokarczuk, Artur ŝmijewski, Cezary Michalski, Jan Klata, Wilhelm Sasnal, Mariusz Sieniewicz, Jonna Rajkowska, Michał Zadara, Tomasz Piątek, Kaja Malanowska, Paweł Demirski, Monika Strzępka, and Yael Bartana. ŝmijewski takes over the role of artistic editor for Krytyka. He is soon joined by Yael Bartana. The artistic group Twoşywo creates a new visual form and a unique aesthetic to subsequent editions of the journal and later to the books published by KP and the places where KP events take place. Polish intellectuals and cultural activists Kazimiera Szczuka, Agnieszka Graff, Andrzej Przywara, Beata Stasińska, Maciej Nowak, Joanna Mytkowska and many others, become our guides to Polish culture as well as good friends of the organisation.

2005 %H IUXLWIXO DQG PXOWLSO\

Krytyka Polityczna announces the establishment of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association [see p. 55]. This organisation will become the foundation upon which all other KP-related institutions, young and old, are based and united. From this point on, the activities of the Association are monitored by Dorota GĹ‚aĹźewska. 48

Later, Maciej Gdula, Julian Kutyła, to exhibitions and film festivals; all free and Maciej Kropiwnicki, Igor Stokfiszewski, open to the public. Michał Sutowski and others join the team as authors, translators and event organisers.

2006

.3 HG LW UHDG LW DGG WR LW Ă€[ LW FKDQJH LW SDVV LW RQ We form the first Cultural Clubhouse in Warsaw [see p. 16]. Meanwhile, the editorial activities of KP open with a double event: the premier of Agnieszka Arnold’s film about Karol Modzelewski, titled, “Freedom without Censorship,â€? followed by a debate celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Workers’ Defence Committee. We also host famous radical figures from political, literary and artistic spheres, such as philosophers Slavoj Ĺ˝iĹžek and Peter Singer. Other artists open exhibitions with us, or we promote them, by honouring their artistic achievements: the great literature historian Maria Janion celebrates 50 years of her work and Wilhelm Sasnal screens his movies with us. We organise exhibitions of leading Polish contemporary artists, such as Robert Rumas, Joanna Rajkowska, and PaweĹ‚ Althamer. The Clubhouse on Chmielna Street is named “Place of the Year, 2008â€? by journalists of Gazeta Wyborcza. In the span of three years, the clubhouse hosts 300 events from discussions, lectures, workshops, seminars 49

2007 .3 SXEOLVKLQJ LQ GD¡ KRXVH

in collaboration with the KrakĂłw-based corporation Ha!art, we establish the Political Critique Series. Our first publication: Revolution at the Gates, by Slavoj Ĺ˝iĹžek hits the literary scene. The book sparks fierce debate in the Polish media. A few months later, KP announces the opening of its own, independent, publishing house [see p. 29]. The first series to be printed by the new publishing house is a series of user guides to leftist politics. Today, KP’s publishing house publishes around 9 series and 40 books a year. We translate and publish stars from the world of humanities, such as Jacques Rancière, Bruno Latour, Judith Butler, Gilles Kepel, Alain Badiou, Manuel Castells, Harald Welzer, Gayatri Spivak, Chantal Mouffe, Gianni Vattimo, Boris Buden, Timothy Snyder, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Terry Eagleton and Zygmunt Bauman. We also publish modern Polish prose, plays, short stories, and political commentaries, as well classical writings


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by Polish dissidents, intellectuals and philosophers. The first volume in our Literary Series—Angels’ Final Sabbath, by Marian Pankowski—is awarded the prestigious Gdynia Literary Prize in 2008; one of our author’s, Paweł Demirski, was awarded the Paszport Polityki prize in 2010 for the most influential weekly opinion column.

2009

%UDYH QHZ ZRUOG (No, Really, Come visit us in Warsaw) We open our new Cultural Headquarters in Warsaw, brazenly named, “Brave New World.â€? We also open clubhouses and cultural centres in GdaĹ„sk–Gdynia–Sopot and Cieszyn [see p. 18]. The StanisĹ‚aw Brzozowski Association wins the rights to a 3-year rental agreement with the City of Warsaw. They sign the contract, and formalise the rental of the new Cultural HQ at 63 Nowy Ĺšwiat. MichaĹ‚ Borucki and Izabela JasiĹ„ska are responsible for the grand opening. They are joined by Joanna Tokarz, Katarzyna GĂłrna, Magda Majewska, and Bartek Modzelewski. &XOWXUDO FOXEKRXVHV IURP WKH SHRSOH The Cultural HQ: Brave New World! by the people, for the people soon becomes the greatest centre for, and of, Local communities sympathising with independent cultural activities in the capiour political goals, begin to organise tal of Poland, with concerts, debates, exhibiprograms of cultural events and social actions, conferences, and other social and cultivities. They organise, coordinate, expand, tural activities taking place daily. inspire and collectively form a web of KP In three years, we organise over 1,000 Clubs all over Poland [see p. 16]. events, and we collaborate with over 100 difThanks to these local activists and ferent institutions and organisations. On a Agnieszka WiĹ›niewska, the coordinator similar note, in Cieszyn, on Zamkowa Street of our Clubs, KP becomes active in and in GdaĹ„sk, on Nowe Ogrody Street, loBiaĹ‚ystok, Bydgoszcz, Bytom, Cieszyn, cal KP troupes form cultural clubs and safe Gniezno, Jelenia GĂłra, Kalisz, Katowice, havens, led by Joanna Wowrzeczka, and KrakĂłw, Lublin, Ĺ ĂłdĹş, Opole, Szczecin, Katarzyna Fidos, and today also Agnieszka PoznaĹ„, ToruĹ„, WĹ‚ocĹ‚awek, SzydĹ‚owiec, Muras, Maria Klaman, Marcin ChaĹ‚upka GdaĹ„sk-Gdynia-Sopot, and WrocĹ‚aw. and other local teams.

2008

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The 2009 academic year adds seminars and debates hosted by the newly unveiled Critical University, all free and open to the public. The dissemination and enthusiasm for our events, clubhouses, cultural centres, and the Critical University proves what we said all along: that our questions, aims, discussions, goals, conversations and ideas inspire diverse groups of people from all over Poland. This is a national conversation, soon to become an international one.

2010

8NUDLQH DQG EH\RQG Vasyl Czerepanyn and Oleksyj Radynski begin publishing the Ukrainian edition of the KP journal, Đ&#x;ОНŃ–Ń‚ична криŃ‚ика, and supplement it with a set programme of cultural and political events in Kiev. This heralds the beginning of KP’s work in Ukraine. In order to cement this relationship and foster mutual understanding, KP publishes Political Critique’s Guide to the Ukraine, a book-length interview with professor Yaroslav Hrytsak. This is set to be a taste of KP’s later work in Russia and Germany.

2011

8NUDLQH 5XVVLD *HUPDQ\ÂŤ âyGÄą We open our next cultural house, this time in Ĺ ĂłdĹş. The leaders are Hanna Gill-PiÄ…tek and Martyna Dominiak. In its first year, this 51

cultural house receives a local award, Point for Šódź, for its engagement with the Šódź local community. In celebration of the Citizen’s Cultural Congress and the European Cultural Congress, we print the daily Culture Courier. We also organise a cultural project, House of Change, in the villa of the Dzieduszycki family in Wrocław. We organize study visits in Russia and visit of our Russian collaborators in Poland. ZDV RXU <HDU RI %U]R]RZVNL patron of our Association, and the ODUJHU .3 FRPPXQLW\

2012

:H OHW RXUVHOYHV HDW FDNH We celebrate our birthday and announce the formation of two new institutions within KP. These initiatives, the Institute for Advanced Study [see p. 35] and Opinion Daily [see p. 43], are established in Autumn 2012. The IAS was inaugurated with a lecture by Zygmunt Bauman as a place for academic research and didactic activity. Soon it attracts hundreds of students who want to study. Opinion Daily is launched as a platform for high-quality journalism and from the very beginning inspires heated debates on culture, society and politics. We publish the first issue of Krytyka Polityczna in Russian.


And Europe Will Be Stunned is a deeply VWLUULQJ DQG FRQWHQWLRXV Ă€OP WULORJ\ E\ WKH 'XWFK ,VUDHOL DUWLVW <DHO %DUWDQD VRRQ WR RSHQ LQ %ULWDLQ RQ LWV (XURSHDQ WRXU (DFK Ă€OP LV HQRXJK WR GLVWXUE WRJHWKHU WKH\ DUH peculiarly subversive [‌]. Everything appears both real and unreal. Study the credits and \RX ZLOO Ă€QG WKDW WKLV LV SURIRXQGO\ WUXH WKDW WKH DFWRUV SHUIRUPLQJ WKH UROHV DUH DOVR SOD\LQJ WKHPVHOYHV 6ODZRPLU 6LHUDNRZVNL UHDOO\ LV D 3ROLVK SROLWLFDO WKLQNHU WKH ZULWHU $ORQD )UDQNHO UHDOO\ GLG Ă HH 3RODQG LQ WKH V DQG UHWXUQ WR :DUVDZ WR SOD\ herself in the Polish trilogy, and those PXOWLFXOWXUDO FURZGV UHDOO\ KDYH FRPH WR KHDU WKH VSHHFKHV DW 6LHUDNRZVNL¡V ´IXQHUDOÂľ because they are involved in JRMiP, the -HZLVK 5HQDLVVDQFH 0RYHPHQW LQ 3RODQG >ÂŤ@ 7KDW LGHD LV UDLVHG KRZHYHU EULHĂ \ KRZHYHU DEVXUGO\ WR PDNH RQH WKLQN KDUG HYHQ DV %DUWDQD¡V Ă€OPV SRUWUD\ WKH DJRQLVLQJ FRPSOH[LW\ RI 3ROLVK -HZLVK KLVWRU\ The Observer, 13 May 2012

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Yael Bartana, artist, Political Critique arts editor, Berlin Biennale 2012


STANISŁAW BRZOZOWSKI (1878–1911) —PATRON OF THE ASSOCIATION

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67$1,6â$: %5=2=2:6., ² ³3$7521 2) 7+( $662&,$7,21

S t a n i s Ĺ‚ a w B r z o z o w s k i ( 1 8 7 8 – 1 9 1 1 ), was one of the most pre-eminent Polish philosophers and literary critics of his generation, a respected author of novels and playwright and a charismatic advocate of the Polish intelligentsia at the beginning of the twentieth century. He died at the age of only 33 but by this time he had managed to write several books and hundreds of essays. His work and biography became subjects of a century-long heated discussion among Polish intellectuals. It is almost impossible to find an important Polish intellectual who has not devoted a special work to Brzozowski. Leszek KoĹ‚akowski, CzesĹ‚aw MiĹ‚osz, BronisĹ‚aw Baczko, Maria Janion, Andrzej Walicki, Andrzej Mencwel and Adam Michnik are only some of the most important people who were fascinated and wrote about him. Brzozowski himself was inspired by contemporary European thought. In his diagnoses he combined many seemingly contradictory streams, for instance Nietzsche’s philosophy of deeds with the “youngâ€? Marxist analysis of social relations; or Sorel’s concept of myth with the philosophy of John H. Newman’s Catholic modernism and British romanticism. As an ardent historical materialist, Brzozowski opposed its deterministic version as well as any concepts reifying human beings. Right from his youth he was fascinated by great Russian literature and ideas. Brzozowski discussed, among others, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, whose Demons he confronted with his own novel, Flames. In this book he passionately demonstrated the horizon of ideas at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century, giving voice to critics of wild capitalism, traditionalism, feudal conservatism and clericalism. All of this was no mere testimony to the disputes of the foregone era. Considerations and discussions of the book’s protagonists, which include discussions over what it means to be Polish, the notion of the nation, as well as the ties between economy, culture, ideology and politics, still remain inspiring today. Brzozowski was above all an acute cultural critic. He declared the necessity for the artist to engage in diagnosing the social reality of his times and in shaping social structure. After almost a hundred years his ideas are still relevant. He provides many tools critical of the liberal vision of the “end of history,â€? where the hegemony of the free market is supposedly an unconditioned necessity, where liberal democracy assumes a ban 56

on thinking about social change, and where freedom is identified with unlimited consumption. Economic relations and working conditions are, according to Brzozowski, human products, and not consequences of any objective mechanisms; art and literature are testimonies to their times rather than to the independent mind of the artist. It is the duty of the intellectual to speak in favour of creating a better society and to struggle for human subjectivity.

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Partners and donors: ADAM MICKIEWICZ INSTITUTE EUROPEAN COMMISSION EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FRIEDRICH EBERT FOUNDATION FOUNDATION FOR POLISH-GERMAN COOPERATION GOETHE INSTITUTE HEINRICH BÖLL FOUNDATION INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN SCIENCES IN VIENNA INTERNATIONAL RENAISSANCE FOUNDATION IN UKRAINE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND NATIONAL HERITAGE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL POLICY MINISTRY OF NATIONAL EDUCATION NATIONAL BANK OF POLAND NATIONAL CENTRE FOR CULTURE IN POLAND OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS ORANGE FOUNDATION POLISH BOOK INSTITUTE POLISH FILM INSTITUTE POLISH NATIONAL AUDIOVISUAL INSTITUTE RED HOUSE CENTER FOR CULTURE AND DEBATE ROSA LUXEMBURG FOUNDATION SIEMENS FOUNDATION STEFAN BATORY FOUNDATION SWISS GRANTS TIME TO TALK — EUROPEAN NETWORK OF HOUSES FOR DEBATE THEATRE INSTITUTE IN WARSAW TRUST FOR CIVIL SOCIETY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

STANISLAW BRZOZOWSKI ASSOCIATION ul. Foksal 16 II p., 00-372 Warszawa tel: +4822 505 6690, fax: +48 22 505 6684 redakcja@krytykapolityczna.pl www.krytykapolityczna.pl Registration information: The Association was registered in the National Judicial Register (KRS) on September 26th, 2005 with the number: KRS 0000242083. REGON: 140369159, NIP: 701-000-25-99

CITIES OF BIAŁYSTOK, CIESZYN, GDAŃSK, GDYNIA, GNIEZNO, LUBLIN, ŁÓDŹ, SOPOT, TORUŃ, WARSAW

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Board of the Association: Sławomir Sierakowski — president Michał Borucki Dorota Głażewska Maciej Kropiwnicki


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Art exhibition organized by Political Critique Club in Kiev, 2012


64 Demonstration for tolerance (Equality Parade), Warsaw 2008

65 Workshop for children, Cieszyn 2012

“Bow down to the common people, because they are extraordinary people.”, Tutaj Tuwim, event organized by Political Critique's Cultural Centre in Łódź, 2013


Though it is politics and ideology that are his liveliest interests, KH KDV PDQDJHG WR JDWKHU DURXQG KLPVHOI TXLWH D ODUJH JURXS RI LPSRUWDQW DUWLVWV PDLQO\ IURP YLVXDO DUWV IJPLMHZVNL 5DMNRZVND 6DVQDO 7ZRÄł\ZR +LV YLVLRQ RI WKH QHZ OHIW VHHPV WR KDYH DQ LQFUHDVLQJ LPSDFW RQ WKH FLUFOHV RI \RXQJ DUWLVWV Justification of Polityka weekly (â„– 29 /2008) for putting SĹ‚awomir Sierakowski on the seventh place on the List of the most influential people in polish culture.

, GR QRW GHQ\ WKDW SROLWLFDOO\ , DP OHIW RULHQWHG 7KH FLUFOH RI 3ROLWLFDO &ULWLTXH LV YHU\ FORVH WR PH IRU LW XQGHUVWDQGV SROLWLFV KROLVWLFDOO\ HQJDJLQJ D ZLGH UDQJH RI DUWLVWV DQG LQWHOOHFWXDOV Slavoj ŽiŞek and Sławomir Sierakowski

Wilhelm Sasnal, painter

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