WOMENâ€™S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
women’s rights are human
Women’s Rights are Human Rights project, symposium and publication created thanks to the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Representation in Poland.
feminism is for everyone
contents Introduction Marta Zofia Myszewska
Essays Elizabeth Resnick 18 Sara Rodowicz-Ślusarczyk 24 Colette Soler 34 Anna Gromada 60 Ania Światłowska 72 Barbara Nowacka 78 Ewa Kuryluk 90 Mariusz Knorowski 96 Verena Gerlach 102 Workshops Elizabeth Resnick 110 Verena Gerlach 116 Aušra Lisauskienė 122 Maja Wolna 132 Ceren Çalişkan 140 Sylvie Pagé 149 Janna Beck 156 Grafprom studio 164
Marta Zofia Myszewska
Our small war
The world is changing. People’s access to knowledge,
Women began to think about themselves as early as in
technology and culture is easier than ever before. The
the middle of the 19 th century. The women’s movement was
economy is progressing and the world is getting wealthier.
primarily liberal in nature, aiming to bring about changes in
In the 21 century, the world is pushing forward, opening
legal systems and women’s suffrage. Women’s activity was
one new door after another and uncovering new mysteries.
visible mainly in English-speaking countries, but it quickly
Women are changing as well. All around the world, women
spread to Western Europe, making its way to Poland as well.
are demanding equal treatment in the workplace, at home
It was the first women’s social movement reported in history,
and in the public space. Through their determination,
referred to as first-wave feminism.
they are changing their situation and making themselves ever more visible and audible. Voicing their opposition to
At the turn of the 20 th century, women fought primarily
polygamy, rape, mutilation, lack of access to education and
for the right to vote. The activists involved were called
many more issues, including religious, cultural and political
suffragettes (from the Latin word “suffragium”, meaning
ones, they are fighting for equality and respect.
“vote”). The first national organisations were founded, aiming to spread their ideas among the public. They used various
What is happening before my eyes in the 21 century is real.
methods of action: demonstrations, educational activities,
On the one hand, there have been outstanding achievements
as well as acts of civil disobedience.
in technology and engineering; on the other, in some countries, half of the society is still oppressed. Women
Major changes in women’s situation were brought about
around the world have to fight for their rights, remembering,
by World War I. As a result of the general mobilisation of
above all, about their right to have their own opinions and
men, many women went to work, which helped overcome
to decide about their bodies. This issue is not disappearing
many gender stereotypes and caused major changes in
or limited to the least developed and developing countries:
the employment structure. In the early 20 th century, most
it is just as visible in the developed world.
European countries granted full suffrage to women. Since this was the main focus of the feminist movement, this development is considered to have marked the end of
Marta Zofia Myszewska
first-wave feminism. The movement wound down
medical care, education, as well as support in the case of
significantly before taking to the streets again in the 1970s
violence. The media allowed women around the world to unite
and learn about other customs, which for many years had been “walking myths” or stereotypes created by the world of men.
Second-wave feminism continued the fight for equal rights
The participants were no longer merely groups of women, but
for women in the political aspect, but its main topics were
entire nations of fully self-aware women fighting for equality
equality on the job market, abortion issues and female
in every area of life. The women’s rebellion is visible to this day:
sexuality and self-awareness. Participants in the women’s
nowhere is the situation the way it should be. There are still
movement questioned various taboos, initiating a discussion
many men in the world who cannot imagine a woman holding
about the mutilation of women, the right to decide about
a high position or achieving international success. Yet, we
one’s own body and family, as well as the possibility of
are born and we die the same way. We are able to achieve the
self-education. Soon after, in the early 21st century, young
same with the same energy and involvement. The male world
women in the East, Africa and the Americas began loudly
should not feel threatened. We do not want to fight against
and spontaneously fighting to topple the old regulations,
men; we want to fight for ourselves.
the old private status and the separation of rights and obligations in marriage, aiming to gain equal access to
The events of many years ago have their reflection in the 21st century. In 2017, women in many countries have once again taken to the streets en masse to loudly manifest their dissatisfaction with the lack of access to abortion and unequal, chauvinist treatment, delivering emotional speeches in opposition of governments, conservative factions, radical regulations and new laws dictated by politicians, traditionalists and the church. There was a time we had to ask men to speak our beliefs; now, we are numerous enough and have enough power to finally speak in one voice on behalf of all the women who cannot stand up for themselves or are afraid to do so. Protests, acts of civil disobedience, leaving our daily duties in order to paralyse the regular order, demonstrations, marches… It is hard to believe we still have to fight for the same things our grandmothers fought for.
It is for the women who boldly fight for emancipation, education and self-awareness that I wanted to be part of this project. Women’s Rights are Human Rights is an important topic for society as a whole — for both women and men. Together, we should demand our rights; decide about our family and health. We should respect and tolerate religious and cultural traditions as long as they are not abused and do not violate anyone’s dignity. We should remember about this for the sake of both our close ones and those far away. Everyone should have the same rights to live. Thanks to the courtesy of Elizabeth Resnick; the help of Ewa Satalecka; the support of the Poster Museum at Wilanów, the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; and the honorary patronage of Barbara Nowacka, a Women’s Rights are Human Rights Women’s Week was held in April 2017. As part of the event, young designers had the opportunity to tackle the issue during a design workshop, fight stereotypes, present their opinion on the issue, listen to enlightening stories at a conference and confront their thoughts with posters by female and male designers from around the world at an exhibition of posters from Elizabeth Resnick’s private collection of Women’s Rights are Human Rights held at the Poster Museum at Wilanów.
Ewa Wein My Body My Rights
Symposium program 27.04.2017
Women’s Room Foundation Alliances: looking back and building for the future
Verena Gerlach Paradox Alg(i)er(s)
Ewa Kuryluk When I was 18, Artemisia Gentileschi did not
exist. On how the world has changed in my
The Woman On The Street
“Stuck between vagina and uterus” Feminist art in Poland
lifetime, and on the reaction to progress.
Ausra Lisauskiene Maja Wolna
A story about how such letters of the human
Freedom, Intuition, Power of Creativity,
body — sensitive historic artifacts — were
Woman rights — a fight that never ends
Expression — recovery of health a link in
transformed into the virtual format of the
building healthy relationship with ourselves and
Milada Ślizińska Barbara Kruger
Janna Beck Sylvie Page
I cannot believe we are still protesting! How can
Elizabeth Resnick Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International
we improve the women’s right using Humor in
Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and
objects and minibooks
Elizabeth Res nick
Elizabeth Resnick Elizabeth Resnick is a Professor Emerita, former
and The Environment 1965–2005 with Chaz
chair of Graphic Design and current part-time
Maviyane-Davies and Frank Baseman (2005);
faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and
Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International
Design, Boston. She earned her b.f. a . and m.f. a .
degrees in Graphic Design from Rhode Island
Cortés (2010); Graphic Advocacy: International
School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.
Posters for the Digital Age: 2001-2012 (2012).
Awareness Posters 1985-2010 with Javier
The newest exhibition, Women’s Rights Are Elizabeth Resnick Design, an independent Bos-
Human Rights: International Posters on Gender–
ton design studio was in operation from 1973 till
based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination
1996. Clients included: Ciba Corning Diagnostics
(2016) investigates gender–based inequalities
Corporation, Store 24, Animal Rescue League
deeply entrenched in every global society.
of Boston, aiga Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, and other area schools plus many local
Her publications include catalogues for the
non-profit cultural organizations.
most of the exhibitions mentioned above plus Developing Citizen Designers, Bloomsbury
Professor Resnick is a passionate design cura-
Academic (2016), Design for Communication:
tor who has organized seven comprehensive
Conceptual Graphic Design Basics, John Wiley
design exhibitions: Within/Without: The Art of
& Sons Publishers (2003) and Graphic De-
Russell Mills with Teresa Flavin (1991); Dutch
sign: A Problem-Solving Approach to Visual
Graphic Design: 1918–1945 with Alston Purvis
Communication, Prentice-Hall Publications
(1994); The Art of the Poster: Makoto Saito with
(1984). She is currently working on The So-
Jan Kubasiewicz (1999); The Graphic Imperative:
cial Design Reader for Bloomsbury Academic.
International Posters of Peace, Social Justice
She has led poster workshops and lectured
throughout the United States, Mexico, Ireland, England, China, South Korea, Iceland and Bolivia. Her posters have been accepted at the Warsaw Poster Biennial and the
Mexican Poster Biennial, and other invitational exhibitions.
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights Women’s Rights Are Human Rights is a very fitting title
is often rooted in ideologies of male sexual entitlement,
for an exhibition of Women’s rights and advocacy posters,
and these systems grant women very few legitimate
as it is a term used in the women’s rights movement and
options to refuse sexual advances. This entitlement
was the title of an important speech given by Hillary
can take different forms, depending on the culture.
Rodham Clinton at the United Nations Fourth World
Human rights and women’s rights are violated every single
Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. In her speech,
day as the rape and brutality on women are used as an
Hillary Clinton suggests that
instrument of armed conflict. Women and children make up a large majority of the world’s refugees. And when
If the term “women’s rights” were to be interchangeable
women are excluded from the political process, they
with the term‚ “human rights” the world community would
become even more vulnerable to abuse. This exhibition
be a better place because human rights effect the women
features posters created by both men and women to
who raise the world’s children, care for the elderly, run
celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that all citizens
companies, work in hospitals, fight for better education
should play in protecting and promoting human rights
and better health care.
while challenging gender inequality and stereotypes, advancing sexual and reproductive rights, and protecting
Yet, gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every
women and girls against brutality. These posters promote
society. Women lack access to decent work and face
women’s empowerment and participation in society while
occupational segregation and gender wage disparities.
challenging religious and cultural norms and patriarchal
Women are often denied access to basic education and
attitudes that subordinate, stigmatize or restrict women
health care, and suffer from violence and discrimination,
from achieving their fullest potential. In their collective
and are under-represented in political and economic
visual voice, these posters are designed to jolt the viewer’s
decision-making processes. In many cultures women
sense of collective responsibility to challenge prevailing
have very little control over their own bodies, with female
attitudes towards gender inequality and discrimination,
sexuality being largely controlled and defined by men in
while provoking both a healthy discomfort and empathetic
patriarchal societies. Sexual violence committed by men
response in the viewers.
Sara Rodowicz-Ślusarczyk Sara Rodowicz-Ślusarczyk is a psychoanalyst working in Warsaw. She is one of the founding members of the Polish Forum of the Lacanian Field and a member of the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian FieldFrance. She conducts psychoanalytic lectures and seminars as well as debates that engage psychoanalysis in a dialogue with various other fields of human activity. Sara Rodowicz-Ślusarczyk is also an honors graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, she is the author of photographic and performative theatre projects. She lectures at the New Media Art Department of the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology.
Introduction to Colette Soler Colette Soler was a guest speaker at the Polish-Japanese
correlational with the way in which desire can never be
Academy of Information Technology. Her lecture on March
entirely satisfied — it can’t be justified precisely through
4th, 2017, entitled Was Freud Wrong About Women? was
reference to a need or a goal that would make it fulfilled.
organised by the Polish Forum of the Lacanian Field. By way
It is what always remains beyond the scope of what is
of introduction to the text of our prominent guest, Colette
demanded. And, even if desire seeks a jouissance, a specific
Soler, I would like to address the question: what authorises
way of enjoying, it springs from a cause which will never
us to speak about psychoanalysis at an artistic university?
exhaust itself fully, whatever that desire may seem to attain
In other words, what justifies bringing together these two very
as its goal. Desire has no definable object, except the object
different disciplines of human activity? In my brief attempt at
that is missing. This may seem like a complex description,
answering this very broad question, I would like to point out
but it can account for a simple fact of experience, and one
the importance of desire. Both art and psychoanalysis not
easily visible in art, as well. For example, which artist is
only deal with the notion of desire, but they also operate with
ever entirely satisfied with their work? And, isn’t it the sense
and upon its very presence. It is this desire whose bringing
of restlessness, and the more or less disturbing presence
out is at stake in the analytic cure. This desire, whose radical
of a want, the active presence of an absence that can
difference from need was underscored by Jacques Lacan with
account for what we call human creativity?
particular emphasis, cannot be captured directly or exhausted in any defined form of a wish — even as it expresses itself
Lacan, whose teaching called for a careful re-reading of
through various avatars. If desire is different from need, if it
Freud, focused much of his effort on bringing the question
isn’t a wish, it is also that motor of permanent search, one that
of desire back to the very heart of psychoanalytic pursuit,
can never be satisfied completely. What sets desire in motion
and in this, he differed from other psychoanalysts of his era.
is always an absence, whether we call it poetically a longing,
Lacan elaborated the radical break between desire and what
or more psychoanalytically, a lack.
he called the world of goods, in one of his seminars, titled the Ethics of Psychoanalysis which he gave in 1959 and 1960.
Desire is also something ultimately impossible to name,
We can already get a sense, then, that an ethics oriented
and even — to justify. Its unjustifiable character is
by desire, the true Psychoanalytic ethics which isn’t guided
by promoting any kind of goods, has repercussions for the
said. For him, it was rather the reverse — it was art that
practice of psychoanalysis that we can rightly call political.
instructed him in his search on subjectivity. I would say
It should be added here that any ideals, new or old, such
that Lacan taught himself through the works of art he looked
as those of mental health or success, easily become such
into, treating them as unique paths towards a knowledge
“goods”, as well.
of what it is, or what it can be, to be a human being.
It is within this context that I find it is crucial to notice what
So, is there any similarity shared by psychoanalysis and art
role Lacan attributed to his interrogation of the creative
in their relationship to knowledge? I will quote the words
act and the work of art. He approached what could be
of an English writer, E. M. Forster, How can I know what I think
situated beyond the world of the goods, by re-examining
until I see what I say?. I picked out this phrase on purpose,
and ultimately re-thinking the notion of sublimation.
having especially in mind the graphic designer. The element
His original perspective, different to the one presented
of surprise, then, would be the base of this knowledge, but
by Freud, is affirmed in the Seminar on Ethics, when he
also verification through experience — an essential condition
states that idealisation is not what is at stake in sublimation.
for any surprise to appear. The etymology of “surprise” leads
The artist doesn’t render respectable and ideal the drives
us to the Medieval Latin superprehendere, meaning the verb
that are normally considered forbidden. That is not the point.
“seize”. To be seized, therefore, to be taken by surprise. As we
Nor can the artist fully identify an ideal-ego to the object of
speak, to be taken by surprise by that which speaks through
his work — clinically, this is often rather a source of inhibition.
us — in the slips of the tongue, dreams and symptoms — an
According to Lacan, what is especially valuable in sublimation
experience of being “spoken by” something, is at the heart
is the imaginary function. This crucial function is understood
of psychoanalysis, in its radical difference from any other
as the capacity to invent a representation for the object
talking cures that have developed since Freud’s discovery. It is
which, out of its very nature of being noticed only once lost,
through the effect of surprise by that which is unprecedented,
doesn’t actually have a representation.
that unconscious knowledge is attained in its singularity.
Frequently, when introducing new, complex ideas, Lacan
The sensibility of Forster, who was not a psychoanalyst,
took recourse to examples from the world of art. Highly
but a writer, makes us perceive how artists and designers
critical of any psychological readings of the supposed
can experience the way language shapes and even structures
latent motivations behind creative work, he never sought
reality. In their work, designers as well as artists search
to prove an artist’s hidden intentions. It was not ever up to
for means of shaping the content of their message, means
psychoanalysis to reveal the intentions of an artist, Lacan
of shaping what is transmitted. The subversive cleverness
resides in their imaginary ability to question those ideas and ideals functioning within social discourse that are taken for granted. (An allusion of this kind — toying with the discourse connected to “masked” femininity, or even the idea of temporal inadequacy, the supposedly dated character of Freud’s findings, can be discerned in the poster created by students of the Polish-Japanese Academy, which announced Colette Soler’s lecture). Even when their medium is the word, or their artistic savoir-faire encloses, as we say, a thousand words within one image, artists give a shape to something which words cannot capture. In that, that they create a way of “knowing” this lack. Although artists and designers can decipher, and sometimes even denounce certain ways of perceiving reality, more fundamentally, they also find particular ways of ciphering and creating new realities. Psychoanalysis, on the other hand, helps people de-cipher their own ways of perceiving reality, in as much as these realities can be a source of suffering. The psychoanalyst doesn’t decipher art or artistic creation, but only that which dictates the paths of suffering. She triggers an interrogation of what speaks through the particular reality that a subject complains of. It is within that scope, then, that analysis questions reality, and can also promise to transform it. But the possibility of this questioning is verified only individually. The offer of analysis is never that of a world view, in accordance with Freud’s objection, and never promising the solution of a good
that could be marketed on any mass scale.
Colette Soler lecture at pjait
It is also clear that the problems at stake in society at large do have an impact on the lives and realities of these individual subjects. And one of the issues which have their pertinence today is the question of the position of women in society. Colette Soler’s lecture is an excellent occasion for the voice of psychoanalysis to resound at the margins of this debate — at the margins, as the voice, or perhaps rather the point of view of psychoanalysis is different to others. It is a fact that Freud’s discovery of the unconscious and his invention of psychoanalysis was strictly determined by the status that science had already achieved at the turn of the 19 th and 20 th centuries. And, according to Lacan’s statement from 1974, psychoanalysis has the status of a symptom, because it is that which reveals the discontents within civilisation. With analysis, the subject of the unconscious returns onto the stage — that same subject which is necessarily foreclosed and cut off from the discourse of science, with its ever expanding universalisation. As speaking beings, we experience the effects of this expansion to this day. It was precisely in this civilisational context that Freud encountered his first patients, who were women. The symptoms they presented and experienced in their bodies couldn’t be accounted for or treated by universal medical knowledge. Freud saw beyond simulation, and followed a truth of these speaking bodies thus, he discovered psychoanalysis. The question, which Colette Soler opens up for us is thus all the more compelling — was Freud wrong about women?
Colette Soler Colette Soler practices psychoanalysis and
lacanien, Paris 2000, translated into Spanish;
teaches it in Paris and in the diverse Forums of
L’aventure littéraire, ou la psychose inspirée.
the Lacanian field across the world. A qualified
Rousseau, Joyce, Pessoa, Champ lacanien,
professor in philosophy, she holds a degree in
Paris, 2001, translated into Spanish and Greek;
psychopathology and a doctorate in psychology.
L’inconscient à ciel ouvert de la psychose, pum,
It was her encounter with the teaching and the
Toulouse, 2002, translated into Brazilian, Span-
person of Jacques Lacan that encouraged her
ish and Italian; Ce que Lacan disait des femmes,
to choose psychoanalysis.
Champ lacanien, Paris, 2003, translated into Spanish, Italian, English, Portuguese, Greek,
A former member of the École freudienne de
Turkish (publication pending), and Chinese
Paris, officially dissolved by Jacques Lacan in
(publication pending); Lacan, l’inconscient
1980, she took an active part in the creation
réinventé, puf, Paris, 2009, translated into
of the new École de la Cause freudienne, of
Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English; Les
which she was the first president. Following
affects lacaniens, puf, 2011, translated into
the scission of the
in 1998, Colette Soler
Spanish, English and Italian (publication pend-
was at the origin of the Forums’ movement,
ing); Incidencias politicas del psychoalaisis, s&p,
and later that of the School of Psychoanalysis
Barcelone 2011; Lacan lecteur de Joyce, puf,
of the Forums of the Lacanian Field, where she
Paris 2015, translated into English.
is currently working. She is the author of numerous publications: La psychanalyse pas la pensée unique, histoire d’une cris singulière, co-authorship, Champ
Was Freud wrong about women?
Was Freud wrong about women? I will try to say something about this very broad
at all the same experience. Points of view are sexuated
and difficult theme, that is, women.
To get a good starting point I will highlight two sentences.
In psychoanalysis, we speak of women on the basis
I have chosen the title Was Freud wrong about women?
of a certain practice of psychoanalysis and the facts
due to Freud having been extremely criticized for his theses
that make themselves evident in that practice.
or what many believed to be his theses regarding women. You will see why that was, if you don’t know it already. I shall put
The point of view of psychoanalysis is as partial as any point
forward a phrase which Freud uttered at the end of his life.
of view. For instance, when Freud asks What does a women
After about 40 years of analytic research, he said: What does
want?, he isn’t speaking of women in the world. He isn’t
a woman want? We still don’t know. In other words Freud
speaking of women in civilisation, he is speaking of women
himself made a judgement of what he had elaborated on,
in terms of sexual desire, which obviously is a limited point
just to admit that he didn’t resolve the question.
As to Lacan, who provided an answer in 1972 criticizing
For a brief moment, I will take a broader perspective and
Freud on the issue of women, he claimed that what had
abandon the psychoanalytic standpoint to take a glance
been said up to that moment on women in psychoanalysis,
at what happens in civilisation.
was a “scandal” of the psychoanalytic discourse. We live in a time which, at least in the West, is marked Thus, we have reached a starting point of what I have to say.
by the presence of movements called women’s liberation
I could have taken as title Women as seen by psychoanalysis.
movements, movements which derived directly from human
Why? Because one always speaks from a certain point of
rights. In the West, this women’s liberation movement
view and the point of view is not always an obvious one.
started quite long ago and, it’s marching forward, however
We speak from a position which we take in the world, on
unfinished it might be. I’m not discussing its effects here,
the basis of our own experience, our sex, and it is not
neither its geographical distribution since it is not present
Was Freud wrong about women?
everywhere. For that very reason do I stress the fact that
natural, for example, to have her undergo genital mutilation.
it is present in the West.
We’re dealing with situations like these all over Europe.
Just a word on what is located outside of the culture
So the subjugation, if you will, which is a fact, goes hand
of Human Rights. It is an indisputable fact that in Europe,
in hand with the discursive hypothesis on female nature.
ancient Greece, China, Egypt, virtually everywhere, women
You know it — women are of feeble constitution, fragile,
were in a position of being “subjugated”. And not only that;
unable to act, with little capacity for scientific objectivity,
they were also deprived, of the possibility of accessing
not very artistically gifted, in other words, made for
any sort of culture, science, arts, political careers, work,
reproduction and the maternal role, confined to family
salary, voting rights. Even in France, women’s voting rights
space. And for a long time in civilisations, that we know of,
are quite recent, dating back to the time after the Second
people would ignore the fact that what is taken for granted
World War. It is an absolutely general fact. On the other
as the order of things is what we call the order of discourse,
hand, in somewhat parallel fashion women’s bodies —
that is to say, the order of culture, the order of beliefs, the
and I’m not talking about subjects here — their bodies were
order of mores. Quite a number of centuries had to pass
always controlled, one could almost say tethered — think
for people to start realizing that discourses change, that
about the feet of Chinese women, about the practice of
they are historically entangled. Basically, the moment dates
harems, of genital mutilation which still exists in vast parts
back to the 18 th century, the century of Enlightenment.
of the world, etc. In all the places where these facts came
Obviously when what previously appeared to be natural
about, they were thought of as being part of the order of
turns out to be a historical contingency, it makes what
things, with the general idea that this order was guided
was bearable — unbearable.
by the will of God. And not everywhere this has ended yet. However, when we think about these facts as revealing an
First of all, what has psychoanalysis, which is a product
order of things, they become possibly acceptable to these
of culture itself, brought in on the matter of women which
subjects, i. e. acceptable to women themselves. We well
would constitute its specific contribution?
know the following scenario of a young woman coming from a place where women are subjugated in one way
Secondly, how can one in light of this contribution
or another. The daughters emigrate, change their culture
understand and interpret the long historical subjugation
on the occasion and this provokes confrontations between
of women which was so overwhelming? There is an issue
the daughter and her mother who thinks it’s absolutely
here. What was it that had to be controlled with the subordination of women?
Was Freud wrong about women?
A third point would be to ask what can one say of today’s
self-imposing thoughts, parasitical thoughts with
women, women who live in places where women’s rights
consequences on behaviour, forced avoidances. Basically,
have been adopted, that is, where they have won new
the symptoms are manifestations which pose obstacles in
freedoms in social and private life and where they have
the domain of work and in the domain of sexual relations, the
obtained control over their bodies in particular, especially
relations of love and desire. Symptoms are wherever there is
regarding reproduction and sexuality. I believe that this
desire. What we call a “symptom” is an untimely, involuntary
still gives rise to a lot of discussions in the West and
manifestation sometimes experienced by the subject, which
particularly in Poland.
prevents them from living a full life and which in all cases hampers the accomplishment of one’s desires, especially,
From today’s standpoint, a time when psychoanalysis
but not only, sexual ones. I want to underline that on the
will soon have reached the age of 150, I see three
basis of this, Freud couldn’t but encounter the question
questions: I shall begin by shedding light on the
of the difference between men and women, as ultimately
psychoanalysis on women.
psychoanalysis looks for the desire which conditions the symptoms with the question about the libidinal difference
In the beginning was Freud, Psychoanalysis is a practice
between men and women. That is the perspective adopted
which was invented by Freud at the end of 19 century. It is
by Freud from the very beginning and it doesn’t pose
a practice which has but one instrument — speaking. It was
questions about women’s rights — we ask about the
invented by Freud on the basis of what at the time used to be
intimacy of desire. In the end, Freud encountered quite
called “nervous illnesses”. The first patients, the first female
a few surprises in a practice which requires the subject
patients of Freud were called “nervously ill”.
to say their thoughts or rather to say what comes to their
mind without censorship. Because in life all speaking is We don’t speak of “nervous illnesses” anymore, everywhere
censored, be it by friendship, decency or coherence.
in psychoanalysis we rather speak of “symptoms”. Symptoms are dysfunctionalities and a dysfunctionality
One of the surprises of this practice is how quickly
always refers to a functioning which is deemed normal.
the subject speaks of love and sexual couple problems,
Thus, a dysfunctionality can occur on the level of the body
starting with the parental couple.
which Freud discovered particularly in hysterical women — paralyses or cases of non-organic blindness which yielded
The second point concerns sexuality proper, when
to speech. Or it is a dysfunctioning which can occur on the
one says “sexual couple” which implies two notions
level of oriented thinking, in what is called obsessions,
distinguished a lot in psychoanalysis; it implies love,
Was Freud wrong about women?
which happens between two subjects, but there is also
and regardless of their anatomy, in other words every
a relationship of desire happening between bodies. These
speaking being’s relation to sex, to their own sex and that of
two relations can be connected, but they are different.
their sexuated partner, for both sexes, is established through
In his exploration of desire, Freud witnesses the
the phallus. And this remains true in all couples regardless
appearance in speaking of nothing else but what he
of whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.
called “partial drives”, not genitality, however, and this he calls “infantile sexuality”. Thus, speaking bears witness to
According to Freud’s works, it would thus seem that in
the modes of auto-erotic bodily enjoyment derived from
speaking, in what passes through speaking, sex is reduced,
one’s own body, without a partner and without genitality.
apart from the partial drives which I spoke of, to the phallus
In other words, enjoyment is oral, anal, scopic and that
alone, the symbol of the male organ. Obviously, that was not
which is connected to the invocatory drive of the voice.
something that pleased feminists.
What a surprise, indeed! People often have the idea that Freud saw sexuality everywhere. Except that in what he
As a result, clinically, this determines two forms of anxiety
called “sexuality”, at the outset the body to body relationship
depending on whether one is a man or a woman; from
is absent. So a question was raised for Freud of how the
a clinical stance it is unquestionable — in a man there is
little polymorphic pervert, the child who derives satisfaction
the fear of losing what he has, basically, of emasculation,
from its own body, manages to transition from this to adult
whereas in the case of a woman there is the envy of what
sexuality where there is a partner, another body, be it
she does not have. Freud has this absolutely wonderful way
homosexual or — Freud found even more difficult to explain —
of putting it where he says, speaking of the penis, “she saw
heterosexual. That is the problem which Freud had to face.
it, she wants it”.
These are immense questions which I’m only summarizing you in a somewhat elementary fashion. I cannot do otherwise
There is thus an idea in Freud, who takes up the words
with the allocated time. I’m summarizing briefly Freud’s
of Napoleon, “Anatomy is destiny”, not a social destiny,
theses in their popularized form which outraged feminists
but a destiny on the level of subjectivity. And Freud came
who from the very beginning were not very friendly towards
up with the idea that these two anxieties are irreducible —
Freud. They were friendly towards Lacan a bit later, as I tried
the fear of castration in men and penis envy in women, even
to show in my book called What Lacan said about women?.
with the analytic treatment. This is a general summary of the freudian concept.
Freud puts forward an altogether uncompromising thesis — everybody’s relation, be they a man or a woman
Was Freud wrong about women?
Lacan enters psychoanalysis later than Freud and he already
Substitutes of the phallic having were first discovered by
has the thesis of the primacy of the penis, construed by the
Freud, who insisted greatly on the fact that for a woman
latter. He advanced at the same time as Freud’s continuator
there is a having which is specific to her, which means
and his critic. His first step as the continuator was rethinking
that it’s not within the reach of men — it is the child. We
the notion of the phallus.
say, “She has a child”. In psychoanalysis there is a whole series of clinical works on the phallus-child, when a woman
He showed that the organ, which might not be there, as is
becomes a mother. Becoming a mother is situated on the axis
the case with women, functions as a signifier. The phallus
of the desire to have and it is not necessarily the same desire
is not an organ but a signifierized organ. Lacan spent a lot
as the one of a sexuated women as such.
of time developing what a signifier is. The closest word in common speech — not identical but the closest — is the
The series of phallic havings is very vast. In the first place
word “symbol”. The phallus in the unconscious operates as
there is money. Wealth phallicises. More generally, it is also
a symbol. This completely displaces the question of having
the case with power in different domains, be it the power in
or not having the penis — I will not explain it here, I will just
the political, professional, creative domain — all these belong
simply presuppose it. It is thus a signifier, which is a sort of
to the series of having which we call the “phallic having” and
symbol, since it is characterized by the fact that one can
which is unified by a single symbol, the phallus.
find substitutes for it, which is not the case for the organ. We might note in nowadays’ society that access to the phallic We can see this on the level of what is called the “phallic
having thus defined is perfectly within the reach of women
having”. Man has the penis, but he might not have the
when the society allows it. Lacan mentions the naturality
phallus. On the level of having this phallus has many
with which women can do exactly the same things as men
substitutes. All the objects which one might appropriate
in the field of having, that is, in the field of social competition,
are phallic substitutes. These are the object of having.
cultural artefacts, sublimations of culture to which women
As a result of this the not having of the penis as is the
have gained legitimate access.
case in women’s anatomy does not prevent from having it in symbolic form, in signifying form. It is how people can
At a certain point in the past and with the continuous
speak, not everywhere of course but in the psychoanalytic
passage of time I used to entertain myself by drawing
movement, not necessarily lacanian, of phallic women or
up a catalogue of professions from which women used to
phallic mothers, which obviously doesn’t mean that they
be legally banned and as to which it would be announced
have a penis.
that woman had finally managed to become a representative,
Was Freud wrong about women?
thus, opening the way for others — banking, being head of state, construction site manager, police, army. There are women torturers as well. I am not sure, however, whether we have already seen a female army general. It seems to be missing in the collection. We can clearly see what it was that female subjugation deprived women of — all the phallic enjoyments of having, which were reserved for men, except one, maternity. And in that field they were all reduced to being mothers. On this point Freud appears as a reactionary in the political sense of the term. I think that it is just an appearance, but it makes itself seen, nonetheless, since he goes on to say that the desire of women prevents them from being creators of works of civilisation. We find this explicitly said in Freud. Women would not have access to sublimations of cultural production, their specific desire not pushing them there. Obviously, we might say that it is a factual mistake. Women have become cultural agents just like men. But what was Freud in fact talking about? He wasn’t talking about the desire of women as subjects, but of that part of desire which in everyone, man or woman, is nothing but sexual desire. It is where he marked out a difference. He called it a dark continent.
The end to the scandal? What do we notice on Lacan’s side? I am starting off again from the phallus-symbol, the signifier. I have illustrated the
Yann Legendre Score: Women Are Not A Game
Was Freud wrong about women?
function of this signifier on the level of the aspiration to have,
but that’s another issue. Hence its quest for compensating
which has been brought to extremes by capitalism. But there
objects. It is what in psychoanalysis, long before Lacan,
is another dimension of the phallus, which according to Lacan
was called “object relations” or what desire aims for.
is more primary and which concerns being. If the phallus is a signifier of lack in the speaking In order for there to be any aspiration, any desire whatsoever,
subject, one can immediately understand that anatomy
there has to be a lack. One desires only on the basis
in this respect is not destiny, that all subjects, regardless
of lack and not on the basis of completeness. One can
of their anatomy, be they a man or a woman, as subjects
have satisfaction, sleep, but one cannot desire based on
have a relationship with the phallic lack and, consequently,
completeness. To desire there has to be something lacking
with desire. And since it is so, they can compensate their
and that very thing pushes you forward. It is what Lacan
lack through having. On this point women and men are equal,
ended up calling the “cause of desire”. Essentially, the very
except for the baby. So if we were now to bring the question
aspiration to have is a sign of there lacking something.
solely to the level of the sexuated relationship, we would
Accordingly, Lacan emphasised that the phallus is primarily
have to ask: What does desire aim for in the relation with the
the signifier of what is lacking owing to the fact that the
other sex? Lacan, having rethought the phallus as a signifier,
speaking subject knows lack and that this lack grounds
completely displaces Freud’s formulas. He agrees with Freud
desire, all desires. All desires aim for a complementary
in saying that on the level of sexuality both sexes refer to a
element, compensating this lack. If there were no lack,
single signifier, the phallus — this is Freud, only reformulated.
there would be no desire. It is thus how Lacan insisted a
But they don’t refer to it in the same way and this constitutes
lot on the difference between organic needs and desires.
a critique of Freud or this is simply Lacan, if you will.
A common trait between the two is that both are headed towards an object. But organic needs, having been satisfied,
According to Lacan, there is a disparity of desires in relation
are appeased, whereas the desire is more of a phoenix,
to the phallus. How could we formulate this difference?
even if satisfied it is not extinguished, precisely because
Well, through a difference between having and being. A man
it is grounded in lack. I will not develop it further here.
wants to have it, it’s a desire for sexual potency, whereas the woman wants to be it. Over the years, there have been
What Lacan calls the barred subject, with an S which is
a great number of elaborations by Lacan on his topic closely
written with a bar, $, is a first approximation of this, the
tied to the analytical clinic. And essentially it is true that
being which is defined by its lack. Let us add that this lack,
in its relation to the woman, the male desire is a desire
according to Lacan, results from an effect of language,
for sexual potency in the sense of having it as an organ
Was Freud wrong about women?
of enjoyment, which engages the major masculine fear,
the castration lack. The lack grounds desire and essentially
of which Lacan provides a very simple formula in the seminar
the woman-as-phallus comes in to fill up this lack for him to
on Anxiety — the formula of basic anxiety in men is that of
the point where sometimes it fetishises her a little.
not being able to perform, sexually but not only. With this in mind you can clarify a whole series of small As for the woman in her relationship with a man, I mean,
phenomena, a series of behaviours which one might
in her relationship with a man and not in herself, well, she
take note of outside of psychoanalysis. These are all the
wants to be it. What does this mean, if not desire of a man
behaviours where we see that a man displays his woman.
and the fact of being desired, which for a woman makes
In a nutshell, the first major stage of Lacan’s elaborations
her equivalent of what is lacking in a man. The desire
is that the phallic mediation lies at the heart of the sexual
of a man phallicises her and thus establishes her as
couple and precisely of that which desire regulates.
what is lacking, as the cause of his desire. In this sense being desired phallicises, there is no doubt about it. For
Later, I shall introduce the word “jouissance”, enjoyment,
example, when we listen to a woman who is in a situation
inevitable when one speaks of sexuality. Love is not the
where she is not desired, where she is not desired any
same thing as desire and desire is not the same thing
more, what does she very often say? She says that
as enjoyment. When one speaks of sexuality one cannot
she feels annihilated, she feels like she isn’t anything
but speak of enjoyment. Emphasis put on desire, its
anymore. One can notice, even on the surface of the terms
irreducibility, its foundation in lack, is but one aspect
themselves, this register of the phallic having. With this
of the difference between sexes. The big question, from
Lacan introduces a whole different perspective on women.
before psychoanalysis, is that of the respective enjoyment
Sexually it is not the envy that characterises them in their
of the two sexes. I’ve said from before psychoanalysis
relationship with a man, but something altogether different
because you might be acquainted with the myth of Tiresias
— it is rather the aspiration to receive what I may call the
which Lacan brings up also in the seminar on Anxiety.
investiture of being singled out by a desire. So it is an
In Greek mythology Tiresias was transformed into a woman
aspiration to receive what is lacking.
for a certain amount of time to later become a man again. When asked whose is the bigger enjoyment — that of a man
Similarly, for a man to have the organ, and thus the enjoyment
or that of a woman, Tiresias responds that a woman’s
proper to the organ which he is the only one to have, does
enjoyment is by far the greater one! Here we are at
not amount to saying that he has the phallus since, on the
the level of the living body, precisely of what is called
contrary, as a subject he falls under the sway of a lack called
the orgasm in the sexual act, with the question of whether
Was Freud wrong about women?
at this level there is a difference, which would not stem
on what happens in bed. One cannot say that analysands
from culture, from discourse.
are excessively talkative on this subject.
It has to be said that Freud elaborated only a little bit on this
Essentially, in psychoanalysis since Freud we decipher the
difference. He was essentially interested in sexual failures,
unconscious. To decipher means to proceed word by word
in symptoms of failures — basically impotence on the one
and what we discover is that the unconscious does not say
hand with its different forms and frigidity on the other. But
all. The unconscious says about the desire and the phallic
Freud questioned little the enjoyment of the sexual act as
enjoyment, which led Freud to assert that there is only one
if it was something obvious.
libido for both sexes, what seems to be somewhat odd, as there are two sexes. On the level of enjoyment, there are
In the 1970s, Lacan came to the question of there being
words for solely the phallic enjoyment, the one illustrated
different types of enjoyment or not. There exists
by the penis, for the one connected with the drives. What
a famous and easy formula, even if you have never heard
we know of it, is its briefness, its fall announced in the act
of psychoanalysis, and which proclaims that the success
with, for instance, the anxiety of the interruptus, described
of the act, not the failure, not the symptom but the
by Freud. The other enjoyment, the non-phallic one, is the
success of the act, brings about the failure of the
one of which the unconscious, structured like a language,
does not speak. And it’s at this level that Lacan situates the difference specific to women. A woman has a relation
In short, this formula says that there are two types of
to the phallus, Freud was right, but she is not fully all in
enjoyment, which are heterogenous and which don’t meet:
the relation to the phallus, she has a different, non-phallic
what he called “phallic enjoyment”; this is not the phallus as
enjoyment, of which she doesn’t speak, even if, as Lacan
the signifier of desire, its prototype, it is the male enjoyment;
says, she were begged on the knees. Thus you can see
and the “other enjoyment” which is not the phallic enjoyment
how the construction presents itself. A sole signifier of
and which would be specific to a woman. You might be asking
desire — the phallus as the signifier of lack. A sole signifier
yourselves how psychoanalysis can bear witness to it since
of jouissance — the Phallus written with a capital letter.
as a practice, as I like to say, it doesn’t hold the candle at
But two enjoyments, a supplementary one with regard to
the feet of the bed and everything that psychoanalysts are
the phallic enjoyment on the side of the woman. It is what
able to say comes from what they hear from their patients.
Tiresias seemed to know. These of Lacan from the 1970s
Psychoanalysis cannot attest to anything which doesn’t
bedazzled the feminists. Lacan’s texts were spread at
pass through what is said in a psychoanalysis, sometimes
American universities in the cultural studies departments.
Was Freud wrong about women?
They also enjoyed success in France. The Women’s Liberation Movement became in some way a lacanian movement. I would like to point out that the feminist movement, the feminist movements as they are many, have been divided on a particular point of these matters. All of them underscored the cultural determinations of the feminine. You might know the quote of Simone de Beauvoir One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. This means that what is called femininity — one says for example: “She is very feminine” or “not feminine at all” — is an “artefact” of the discourse. On this point all feminist movements agree. But elsewhere, they become divided. There is a current which demands what I call the “unisex beyond the clothing”. Theword “unisex” was introduced for jeans when they came from the United States to Europe; in advertising it was the first piece of clothing to be called “unisex”. So a part of the feminist currents, which shout out that men and women are the same, demand what I call the “unisex beyond the clothing”. And then there is another part of the feminist movements which postulate a beyond of the cultural determinant, there being a limit to the unisex; where would it stop if not at the feet of the bed, at least on the level of the drives. The process of culturation would have a limit in nature. But here, attention! There is nothing more alien to psychoanalysis than the idea of nature. And Lacan does not say “The woman”, Dalida Karic-Hadziahmetovic Woman is not an object
which would mean all the women according to anatomy, but “a woman”. A woman has a different enjoyment. Which
Was Freud wrong about women?
means that what the discourse calls “woman” is defined
of infertile couples. Currently, the new dramas are the
with regard to the sexual relationship with a man. Lacan
conflicts between professional achievement and the success
uses this expression: she who offers herself to be called
in emotional life, as they say. In a time where everyone
woman. In other words, when he says that there is another
believes in “managing” their life as one “manages” a company,
enjoyment and that women are not-all, this doesn’t prevent
or at least believes to be able to manage it, we see more and
certain women from being all in the phallic enjoyment.
more profiles of women who make a plan for their life. First
Finally, Lacan says that the subjects have a choice of
of all, studies, a job, a salary, the phallicism of having, then
placing themselves on the side of the phallic all or on the
a family. A father for the children has to be found; not just
side of the not-all phallic, regardless of their anatomy.
a man, but a father for the children. And the new dramas
Lacan is led to the idea of a sexual option, antithetical
are expressed in terms of the “biological clock”. We see that
to anatomical destiny. It is a very complex issue, in any case
there are more and more cases of women like this — at the
there is an alternative between the phallic and the not-all
age of 35 they have made their lives, they have had a career,
phallic, to which he adds that it’s an unconscious choice.
all is well, everything’s in order, there is a house, there’s money and now they’re moving on to the next point on
The new galleys: I will say a word on the women of today.
the agenda. Only it’s more difficult to find a father for their
What have they gained all in all?
children, a man who could be a father, who would be suitable for the role, who’d like to be one, and all this with a tight
First of all, new anxieties. They have not only the
deadline since the biological clock rings the alarm around
feminine anxieties, but moreover the same anxieties as
the age of 40. Of course there are pregnancies after the age
men. The anxiety of failing, of not being able to achieve
of 40, but statistics tell us that it is less and less frequent
professionally, in case of success, of not being able to
and that artificial insemination is not reimbursed after the
seduce a man, of not being able to be the select object
age of 40, at least not in France. It’s very interesting to see
of desire. So there are new anxieties. They also have access
the new satisfactions, without a doubt, new freedoms, but
to new symptoms — the debasement of love life, that
also new galleys. The hellish life that some women force
is to say, the disjunction between the loved partner and the
themselves to live is striking. Similarly, I was surprised
desired partner, is the debasement that Freud discovered
by Simone de Beauvoir who at the end of her life said,
in men, but with the liberalisation of mores we notice that
I was tricked, that is to say, I have missed that which was
it also functions in women. What’s more, there are all
worth the effort. She, who chose an intellectual life without
the new dramas on the level of maternity. The dramas
family or children, when she says I was tricked, she means
of maternity have always existed. These are the dramas
nobody else but herself, it was her choice.
So what was Lacan’s view? There was no question of him objecting to women’s rights, they’re untouchable, he supported women’s rights to access whatever is possible. He always did a lot, there are testimonies to this, to support what the female analysands wanted regarding work, the life of the couple and maternity. He had nothing against it, but he did have, I believe, a tendency to think that a woman has a lot to lose, that women have a lot to lose, if they enter phallic competition. There are several remarks on this subject. It was probably his opinion, but we are not obliged to share it, we have a choice. That would be all.
Transcription: Anna Wojakowska-Skiba
French-English Translation: Anatol Magdziarz
Free Pussy Riot
Anna Gromada Anna Gromada — Polish sociologist, economist, researcher of the Polish Academy of Sciences, co-founder of the Kalecki Foundation. Anna obtained an
from Sciences Po Paris,
Politics from Cambridge University, ba in International Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. She has collaborated, among others, with Polish and French public administration, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (oecd) and Thomson Reuters.
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles?
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles? A case study of the childless art world
making this environment radically less family–centric than other groups in the Polish society. For another thing, women constitute 77% of Polish art
The “leaky pipeline”, or diminishing proportion of women
students but only 22% of art professors — despite being
along the career path, has been observed in various domains
the majority of art students since the 1940s. This is the
of public life, including academia. When trying to explain
biggest gender gap between subsequent career stages
barriers to women’s advancement, many academics and
among all academic disciplines apart from theology where
laypeople alike resort to different versions of the allegedly
the over–representation of men reflects their privileged
universal argument: it is all because of the family.
position in the Catholic Church2. A major which is equally frequently studied by women as art is medicine but there
Usually, an impact of family roles is hard to disentangle
we see more continuity between academia as a place of
from a myriad of other influences that make for the
study and academia as a place of teaching: 74% of students
fabric of social life. Yet, to weight up this claim against
and 57% of teachers are female. In comparison with medical
other criteria that could potentially explain inequality —
schools, gaps in art go well beyond the “expected loss” of
such as differences in treatment, networking, aspirations,
women — a phenomenon that calls for explanation of what
priorities or self–confidence — one might focus on a milieu
makes this academic pipeline particularly leaky. Moreover,
which is simultaneously characterised by departure from
if the two phenomena — considerable childlessness and
familiarism and by extreme outflow of women from higher
leaky pipeline — can coexist — gender inequality is a
echelons of the academic ladder: Poland’s art world.
phenomenon that penetrates substantially deeper than the classic: it must be because of the family.
For one thing, Poland’s world of visual arts seems very far from traditional family roles or — in some cases — any family roles. As shown in the “Art Factory” report , 79% 1
of the surveyed art–projects’ employees were childless,
1. Kozłowski M., Sowa J., Szreder K., Fabryka Sztuki: Podział pracy oraz dystrybucja kapitałów społecznych w polu sztuk wizualnych we współczesnej Polsce. Free University of Warsaw, Bęc Zmiana Foundation, 2014. 2. Central Statistical Office, Higher Education Institutions and their Finances, Warsaw, 2014.
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles?
reproductive capacities of a woman’s body but not that
Family has a long tradition of being quoted as the universal
of a man. These narratives are closely linked to one of
explanation of a wide range of phenomena linked to a
the strongest assumptions in the discourse on gender:
gendered division of power. Against the backdrop of this
women want and will perform family roles and bear the
legacy, it is important to distinguish between serious
majority of career–related sacrifices. Yet, what about
research and narratives that mechanically translate
people who decide to remain deliberately childless?
assumed family roles into power differences. Serious
They can still be subject to “preventive discrimination”,
research has long shown influence on women’s careers:
or a situation when a person in a position of power
for example, Mason and Goulden who followed careers
deems reasonable to calculate imagined family roles
of over 160 thousand American PhD holders concluded that
into expected “return on investment” from an employee
marriage and parenthood are the top reason for eliminating
or a student, regardless of the person’s actual plans.
women from academia. At the same time, men who become fathers early in their career are 38% more likely to be hired than women in the same situation. In Xie’s and Shauman’s
study of eight thousand academic careers, female
The research Little Chance to Advance? involved almost
scientists with children had lower career prospects and
a thousand representatives of Poland’s world of visual
less mobility than male scientists with children: in contrast
arts. Data have been gathered from freedom of information
to women’s careers, men’s careers have benefited from
requests, surveys, and in-depth interviews at all Polish public
starting a family 3 .
institutions offering visual art training. Almost 970 students or more than 10% of Poland’s art student population filled in our
By contrast, narratives on family tend to make strong links
survey, while 32 professors, assistants, alumni and students
between “biology” and justifications for keeping women
participated in in–depth interviews. The work sought to accept
away from power in a society. For example, in Sex in
or reject ten hypotheses linked to the leaky pipeline with one
Education, or a Fair Chance for the Girls, published in 1873,
of them referring to family. Questions about family occurred
professor Edward Clarke argued that education can harm
in three contexts: overall life aspirations with family being one of the future options; job priorities — whether having time for family is among the features considered when choosing a job; and questions about sacrifices that respondents would be
3. Y. Xie, K.A. Shauman, Women in Science: Career Processes and Outcomes, Cambridge,
able to make for the sake of family.
MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles?
Firstly, neither men nor women saw “taking care of the family”
not be willing to give up their artistic aspirations even for
as an attractive prospect. It was placed ninth among twelve
the sake of the family.
options with only “retraining”, “employment in a profession unrelated to art” and “other” ranked lower. In comparison
Overall, homemaking has turned out to be an attractive
to men, women were slightly less eager to take care of
future prospect neither for female nor male students
the family after their studies (2.3 and 2.0 points respectively)
of visual art academies. Yet, when it comes to options
with attractiveness of “taking care of the family” decreasing
of advancement, opinions of recruiters might be more
in time to an average of 1.8 in the final year among both
important than those of the recruited. In turn, recruiters
women (from 2.3 in the first year) and men (from 2.5 in the
tend to be people who have obtained certain status that
first year). Importantly, women saw this prospect as more
correlates with age and usually have been shaped by
probable than attractive — in other words women more often
different times and ideas.
declared that even though they do not want to take care of the family after their studies, this would probably happen.
In our qualitative sample, professors often repeated received ideas about women’s futures. One acclaimed male
Secondly, when we have asked respondents to pick
professor believed in the natural turn to family that occurs
three work priorities, both men and women went for self–
around the middle of the 5–year studies: After their second,
development, independence and money. Only 28% of women
third year, women become less active as artists and start
and 23% of men mentioned “having time for the family”
transitioning into the realm of motherhood, womanhood,
as a desired work feature.
the family. If I see a female student in her fourth year and she comes to classes with a small dog or a pet, I know she
Thirdly, to learn how students envisage combining
will be pregnant very soon. Interestingly, in our sample that
professional careers with family life, we asked about
embraced people born between 1967 and 1996, overwhelming
sacrifices that they would be ready to make. Respondents
97%, or 895 out of 922 students who answered the question
were unwilling to give up their artistic aspirations and
about their family situation, said they were childless.
salaried employment for the sake of the family. Women and men agreed that the division of house chores should
Another male professor in the position of power admitted
be equal, yet both declared greater readiness for sacrifices
that his male friends were wary of employing women
for the sake of art. When respondents were finally asked to
because of the fear of “consecutive pregnancies”.
choose between art and family: 58% of female respondents
This statement is even more paradoxical than that about
and 52% of male respondents declared that they would
little dogs foreshadowing pregnancies: since 1990, Poland
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles?
has total fertility rates below replacement levels which
dedication to art but possibly also to an attempt to protect
has turned the country into “one child society” with the
themselves from preventive discrimination — that occurs
art scene more likely resembling “zero child society”. Yet,
when others make unjustified assumptions about your future
discoursive ideas might have more impact than the reality.
life that you might not even seek.
If recruiters a priori assume that women will start a family, their convictions are more likely to influence recruitment
This brings us to a broader question: what is the origin
choices than actual life plans of women in question. It is
and the result of presenting parenthood as a looming
also against such received ideas that some of women
professional threat rather than as one of the ways of human
fight — especially these who are strongly career-focused.
fulfilment that people should be able to pursue without fear
In our sample, an interesting case was an accomplished
and prejudice? One of the origins might be a willingness to
female professor who not only decided to remain childless
put women “to their place” — underpinned by the conviction
for the sake of art but also was very outspoken about this
that when faced with the “either/or” choice, they would
life choice with her colleagues — as if she tried to forestall
point to family. Yet, in the past few decades, the adaptive
behaviour of women has substantially changed. Until very recently, it was assumed that if a work-life reconciliation project failed, a woman would be the one to abandon her
career for the sake of family. However, in Europe, the last
Presented results point to a series of paradoxes: on
40 years have shown that, increasingly, this is not the
the one hand, both women and men of art are relatively
case: for instance, in today’s Germany, 40% of university-
uninterested in family life and willing to make greater
educated women remain childless. It is possible that,
sacrifices for the sake of art than for the sake of family.
in Poland, seeds of this cultural change are germinating
On the other hand, female students are judged on the
first in the most liberal circles, such as the art world.
imagined family roles that many of them do not even aspire to perform. Concurrently, it is possible that what
Yet, more important are potential consequences of forcing
is presented as a “peril of motherhood” rather than one
people to choose between false alternatives. Worryingly, it
of the options for achieving human fulfilment would not
might be possible that some of respondents would like to
push some of these women into “either/or” dilemma,
have a family, had they felt that they are not compelled to
had it not been presented as a factor that diminishes their
choose between binary oppositions. These fears remain
role as artists. Outspoken refusal of family roles by some
despite the fact that visual art students appear to be
of the participants of the study might be linked to their
significantly more progressive in terms of attitudes towards
Can gender inequality be attributed to family roles?
gender equality than Polish society in general and the
family?” — 52% of men and 58% of women choose art.
equivalent age group in particular. Only 7% of female art
This “afamiliarism” is especially striking when juxtaposed
students and 16% of male art students agreed with the
with values declared by the Polish society (cbos, 2013) where
statement that “women should be prepared to cut down
family comes regularly at the top (82%), followed by health
on paid work for the sake of a family”, while 89% of
(74%) and upright life (26%), while “access to culture” comes
women and 78% of men agreed with the statement that
consistently at the bottom (1%). We have always known
“men should take as much responsibility as women for
that “artists are different”. Yet, our research shows that this
home and children”. It is possible that the prospect of
difference embraces unusual lack of interest in family with
professional judgement is more potent than that about
little chance for advance for women at the academic ladder.
the division of labour at home.
Conclusion Gender inequality is a deeply rooted phenomenon that goes far beyond the realm of the family and can take deep root also in predominantly childless environments. The research has shown a presence of an extremely “leaky pipeline” among people who declare an utmost dedication to art combined with relatively weak interest in family. As far as the Art Factory focused on working artists, Little chance to advance? has shown that even at earlier stages of life — most participants were in their 20s — art students do not place family among their key aspirations. Three fourths do not envisage time for family among their three job priorities and — when asked a border question “art or
4. B y contrast, in Poland’s age group 19-24, 47% of men and 46% of women agreed with this statement (ess 2010 database.)
Anita Kunz Treat Women As Equals
Ania Światłowska Visual artist and graphic designer. Doctor of Fine Arts at Complutense University of Madrid, Resident Artist at School of Visual Arts in New York City. Co-founder of Grafaktura graphic design studio and
silkscreen workshop in
Warsaw. A great admirer of typography, geometry and colour grey. Her doctoral dissertation Feminist art in Poland. Emerging artists 2010–2015 was awarded a honorable prize by the ucm Fine Arts Department.
Feminism in Polish art
Feminism in Polish art In the history of Polish art we have an outstanding
practices of Polish artists, regardless of the generation.
feminist representation — Ewa Partum, Zofia Kulik, Alicja
“The problem” is also pretty visible among the youngest artist,
Żebrowska, Anna Baumgart, Elżbieta Jabłońska, to name
whom I interviewed as a part of the research. Many of them,
a few artists. We also do have a problem with feminism,
despite creating art with clear feminist or post–feminist
and Polish feminist art has it, too. The complicated
tones and being aware of the gender inequality, did not
relationship between art and feminism in Poland became
refer to feminism directly in their work and even denied it,
one of the main topics of my research, with special focus
explaining — just like their older colleagues — that they did
on emerging artist.
not want to be labelled. They were keen on taking a confusing approach, in which, on the one hand, they recognized
Feminist art arose in the late sixties during the “feminist
the importance of feminism, and on the other, rejected
wave” which influenced the United States and Western
it. They said things like: “I am a feminist, but not like that”,
Europe. In Poland, however, due to the geopolitical isolation
“I don’t need feminism, because I don’t feel discriminated”
and the peculiar social reality, feminist theories hardly
or “If women artist are discriminated it’s because they
existed until 1989. With this scenario, it seems incredible
want to be discriminated”. In some cases, it was clearly
that lready as far back as the seventies, artists who
a self–defence mechanism — well known from previous
took actions with feminist overtones were active. Along
generations of Polish feminist artists — against contempt
with the capitalist transition and the opening of borders,
and denial by the artistic community. In other cases, this was
feminist issues were gradually being introduced in the main
due to the belief that the problem of inequality is out–dated
artistic trends and are present to this day, having taken an
or exaggerated. Also, the aversion to define the work as
impressive variety of forms and meanings. The one thing
“feminist art” was often caused by various problems and
that remains unchanged through the years is the infamous
misunderstandings when defining feminism and feminist art.
“problem with feminism”. One of the main reasons for this situation seems to be, The ambiguous attitude towards feminism and the aversion
beyond cultural and social factors, the system of art
to the term “feminist art” is the feature of the feminist
education in Poland. The fine arts academies are very
masculinized — although women make up statistically the majority of students, they hardly ever become university professors. The program does not include feminist art or any critical theories that can develop social awareness and intellectual independence of young artists. The negative image of feminist art and the fear of being excluded from “serious” artistic circles is still alive among both teachers and students. Interestingly, all the interviewed artists graduated under the supervision of a male tutor, and when asked about their artistic influences, most of them indicated male artists. This similarity in the declarations of the emerging artists with their older colleagues shows that, sadly, not much has changed, that the problem remains the same, and there actually aren’t any great ideas for a big change in the nearest future. It seems safe to say that today, despite the unquestionable progress in gender equality in the last decades, in Polish world of art we still mannerly play by the old, male rules.
Robynne Raye I Am Woman Hear Me Roar
Barbara Nowacka Barbara Nowacka (born 1975 in Warsaw) is a
Protest” action, a massive nationwide demon-
feminist, politician and left-wing activist. She
stration which ultimately succeeded in forcing
and is an
specialist by educa-
the political right to back down. For her role in
tion. She is Chancellor of the Polish-Japanese
“Czarny Protest”, Nowacka was ranked one of
Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw.
the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2016 by Foreign Policy magazine.
Nowacka is co-chair of the “Twój Ruch” Party, a member of the Women’s Congress National Council, and chair of the progressive association “Initiative Poland”. She is also a co-founder and deputy chair of the Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka Foundation, an organization which aims to promote equality, social justice and social inclusion. Nowacka headed the election committee for the “United Left” coalition during the 2015 Polish parliamentary election. In 2016 she organized and chaired the “Save women” initiative, a civil bill which aimed to liberalise abortion laws in Poland. In October 2016, in response to an attempt by the political right to implement a total ban on abortion, Nowacka became a leading figure in the “Czarny
Women’s rights: the fight that never ends
Women’s rights: the fight that never ends Gender-based discrimination continues to be a prevalent
the objective is one and the same: it is a fight for dignity
feature in our politics, culture, media, education, and
healthcare system. The most popular weapons of choice — religion, tradition and society — are still being utilised
Polish women appear to have been victorious in many of
in the battle against the full emancipation of women.
these battles — the right to vote, for example, was granted to the women of Poland in 1918. This was no easy victory;
Despite the hard-won achievements of women’s movements
but the importance of the role of women during Poland’s
over the past hundred years, such as voting rights and access
turbulent struggle for independence during the nineteenth
to education, women today continue to be constrained by a
and early twentieth centuries meant that demands for
patriarchy which maintains a powerful grip on both the public
suffrage and property rights could no longer be ignored.
and private spheres. More recently, the focus of the assault on women’s equality The fight for equal rights and equal opportunities has
in Poland has shifted to the question of reproductive
spilled over into the twenty-first century. The fight against
rights. Or rather, shifted back to the question, for the battle
gender-based discrimination is a global one; while the
over women’s reproductive rights has now been raging for
form of discrimination may vary from country to country,
over a century.
the motivation remains the same. Alas, the fundamental idea that women’s rights are human rights is still called
Sandwiched between Protestant Germany and Orthodox
Russia, Poland, during its long struggle for independence, was constructing a national identity based on Roman
The specifics of these struggles vary from one part of the
Catholic values. The strong links forged between the Church
world to another — in some countries, the enemy is forced
and Polish independence movements (and their political
marriage, genital mutilation and “rape culture”; in others, it is
leaders) resulted in increasingly restrictive views regarding
domestic violence and the gender pay gap. But, at their core,
the role of women in society and, in particular, their right to make decisions about their own bodies.
Women’s rights: the fight that never ends
In Poland, as in many countries where abortion had been
as France in the 1960s. Abortion was legal and the sole
outlawed, an underground abortion industry sprang up,
decision of the woman at this time.
whereby desperate women were forced to seek out doctors who were willing to carry out the procedure (for an exorbitant
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signalled the symbolic
fee), or visit a backstreet abortionist. The latter writers
endźof the Communist era in Eastern Europe, the year
often elderly women — so-called “babki” — who worked
of freeźdemocratic elections in Poland.
in unsanitary conditions and employed dangerous and unorthodox methods to terminate the pregnancy. As a result,
Poland had regained its sovereignty, but the transformation
many women died or became gravely ill. Progressive activists,
from a socialist to a liberal economy had a catastrophic
artists, writers and poets — including Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński
impact upon the lives of Polish women. In the economic
and Irena Krzywicka — began to educate society and put
sphere, women were the first to lose their jobs, the result
pressure on the authorities. In 1932, the government passed
of a neoliberal paradigm which demanded the closure
a law permitting abortion in cases where the pregnancy
or privatisation of non-state-owned industries. In Lódź,
resulted from rape or incest, or where continuation of the
Poland’s second largest city, the cotton and textile
pregnancy would endanger the woman’s life or health.
industries (which employed vast numbers of hardworking women) began to decline and wrought an economic hardship
After World War II, the Stalinist government stripped Polish
which continues to this day.
women of their right to an abortion. Like other totalitarian regimes, Stalinism sought to remove women’s ability to make
The gender pay gap widened further still. Newly implemented
autonomous decisions about their bodies and believed
reforms to the healthcare system saw the liquidation of
the State could and should command women to give birth,
health centres specialising in women’s health.
regardless of any negative consequences to the health of the women concerned. As a result, the underground abortion
The question of reproductive rights soon resurfaced on
industry grew rapidly, as did the death rates for women
the battlefield. The democratic opposition which took
following illegal abortions.
power after the collapse of Communism had strong ties to the Catholic Church. Faced with a swathe of dramatic
With the end of Stalinism came greater autonomy over
neoliberal reforms, these politicians sought to sacrifice
women’s reproductive health. A 1956 white paper produced
the freedom of Polish women at the altar of political
by the Polish government on abortion rights became the
expediency, to profit by gaining the support of the Church.
template for several countries in Western Europe, such
Women’s rights: the fight that never ends
Meanwhile, the reigning Polish pope, John Paul II, embarked
legally engage in sexual activity (the age of consent in
on a crusade to protect the unborn. Conservative politicians
Poland is 15), but cannot obtain contraceptives without
and those on the extreme right viewed the curtailment
of women’s freedoms as a small price to pay for the endorsement of the Catholic Church, an institution which
The so-called “conscience clause” may be cited not only
commanded considerable respect due to its opposition
by doctors unwilling to perform a legal abortion (including
an emergency abortion), but also by pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptives.
In return for its political support, the Church was given primacy in the Polish education system. To this day, religion
In the meantime, the underground abortion industry
(i. e. Catholic teachings) remains a complementary subject
flourishes once more, and is joined by an increase in abortion
in the curriculum in all Polish public institutions, from
tourism, whereby desperate women will travel to countries
kindergarten to secondary school. This dominance has also
with more liberal abortion laws, such as Slovakia, Germany,
brought the Church financial benefits. In 1992, the Polish government passed a draconian law which completely outlawed abortion and threatened doctors and patients alike with incarceration. Following a flurry of civil actions and high-profile resistance, the government was forced to reach a compromise and, in 1993, the law was amended to permit abortions in cases where the pregnancy posed a risk to the life of the mother, where conception was the result of a crime, or where the foetus was irreversibly damaged. Abortion under any other circumstances was considered a criminal action. The problem is compounded by the absence of sexual education in the school curriculum and the fact that contraceptives are both expensive and difficult to obtain from public healthcare facilities. Young women under 18 may
Women’s rights: the fight that never ends
Sweden, the UK and Ukraine. Independent research
We even received a touching photo and support from
estimates that as many as 80 000 abortions are performed
the ruins of Aleppo. Those who were unable to attend
annually (either illegally or abroad) at the request of
a protest posted photos of themselves dressed in
black to social media and added the protest’s hashtag (#czarnyprotest). Mothers, daughters, grandmothers,
This sorry state of affairs has seemingly done nothing to
husbands, fathers, sons and members of the lgbt community
placate ultra-conservative politicians, who, in 2016, renewed
stood shoulder to shoulder in heavy rain to protest this latest
their attempts to introduce a bill outlawing abortion
assault on the women of Poland. The weather provided the
completely, with punitive measures of up to five years
protest with its very own potent symbol: the black umbrella.
in prison for any woman in violation of the law. The decision by a parliamentary majority to progress this bill met with
The women who gathered across Poland began to speak
massive protests by women across Poland in October 2016.
out about the oppression they experience in everyday life. About the discrimination in education, the labour market,
This nightmare of right-wing radicals exerting total control
the pension system. About the scourge of domestic violence.
over women’s reproductive cycles, from first menstruation
About the difficulties they face in accessing medical care
to menopause, was just beginning.
and social services.
Hundreds of thousands of women (and countless men)
That day we won the battle.
joined us to voice their opposition on the streets of Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, and in many other towns and cities
The October protests had a significant impact on the media,
throughout Poland. While cities saw the largest protests
on politics and society. And on women more generally.
(attracting crowds of 50–200 thousand people), smaller
Political parties and society began to realise that “women’s
towns and villages with no history of political action also
issues” were not a red herring, but a serious, complex and
got involved. For example, in Hel — a village in northern
significant issue. And reproductive rights were merely the
Poland — fourteen people proudly marched in support
tip of the iceberg.
of the rights of Polish women. The feminist movement has attracted new support and new Protests also sprang up internationally, both in Europe
allies from varying walks of life. Journalists, actors, artists,
(London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin and Strasbourg)
personalities, academics and opinion leaders have come
and further afield (New York, Delhi, Toronto and Sydney).
aboard in support of the cause of women. The media is also
beginning to open its eyes to the fact that women’s rights are about so much more than reproductive rights. Women have become emboldened to speak out and the number of local women’s rights activists has increased; this in turn has strengthened the resolve of women’s organisations throughout Poland. Through solidarity, women are now increasingly more likely — and less afraid — to speak out about the injustices they face, e. g. domestic violence. Reproductive rights lie at the very heart of women’s fight for equality. If the decision to make fundamental decisions about our own bodies is not our own, if our maternity belongs not to us, but to politicians and lawmakers, then society is sending its womenfolk a clear and dangerous message: you cannot be trusted to make important decisions. This “we know better” attitude only reinforces the notion that women are not equal to men, not as capable. This insidious paternalism creates a space for discrimination and genderbased violence. And takes away not only our human rights, but our dignity. For hundreds of years, women have dreamt of a world free of oppression, be it from governments, religious leaders, employers or spouses. Now, in the twenty-first century, we have done enough dreaming: it is time we were afforded the same rights and power as the other half of the species. Anything else would be an untenable injustice. Joe Scorsone & Alice Drueding Sexual Slavery
Ewa Kuryluk Ewa Kuryluk (born 5 May 1946) is a pioneer of textile installation, painter, photographer, art historian, novelist and poet, and the author of numerous books, written in Polish and English, many of which have been translated into other languages. She had over fifty-five solo exhibitions, participated in many group shows and created outdoor installations throughout the world. In 2016 her Painting Retrospective was shown by the National Museum in Kraków. Her work can be seen in the National Museums in Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and Poznań, as well as in public and private collections in Europe, usa , Latin America and Japan.
for Linda Nochlin and Ann Snitow
Ewa Kuryluk at her studio, 2010, photography by David Henry
Rafaella! Rafaella! In 1959, with my father appointed a diplomat in Austria,
Palazzo Ducale was mostly empty. The traffic was running
I moved with my parents to Vienna, and to the world on
along the Adriatic coast, few tourists ventured into the narrow
the other side of the iron curtain. I saw my first old masters
road winding up the hill to Urbino, most students preferred
in original in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and I hitchhiked
going to street cafes. Thus the museum guardians, glad
across Europe in the summer holidays. But it’s the last
to have a regular visitor, walked me around and pointed out
vacation before returning to Poland in the fall of 1964 that
windows with views reminiscent of Renaissance landscapes.
really made a change. I was awarded a summer fellowship
That summer, full of expectation and feeling already adult,
at the University of Urbino by the Italian Institute in Vienna
I was drawn to portraits of young women. I saw myself
and went to Italy after my high school exams for the first
in the countless Holy Virgins, in princesses, courtesans,
time on my own. On previous trips I discovered medieval art,
angels, and in all sorts of female allegories. As I admired the
then I discovered the Renaissance.
delicacy of features, the luminosity of eyes, the fine curving of lips, the elegance of pose and outfit, and the silent eloquence
The University had put me up in a small dark room
of hands, I tried to imagine women who had stood model for
overlooking the yard of a school for boys. Across the street
the artists: their mistresses, brides and wives, sisters and
was the birth house of Raphael. When the boys saw me
maids, and the old nannies posing for the Lady of Sorrow.
paint on the balcony, they laughed and shouted: “Raffaella,
Would I ever be able to learn how to draw and paint like that?
Raffaella!” Raphael’s father, Giovanni Santi, was a court
What will they teach me in Warsaw? Am I talented enough?
painter of the duke of Urbino. His Palazzo Ducale, an icon
And why isn’t there any art work made by women?
of pure Renaissance style, was a museum I could visit for free with my student pass. So I went almost every day,
Indeed. In the pre-feminist year 1964 no paintings by
and came to love two paintings in particular: Piero della
Sofonisba Anguissola or Artemisia Gentileschi — both
Francesca’s Madonna di Senigallia, a harsh beauty with baby
of them as famous in their day as they are famous today —
Jesus wearing the coral, symbolic of passion, and Raphael’s
were to be found on museum walls or in guidebooks. This
portrait of an enigmatic young girl called “The mute”.
worried me quite a bit, but I reassured myself with my father’s explanation that it’s not a question of sex. No, not at all! In the past women simply had no access to education and
could not exercise a profession. Hence, even when they were gifted and passionate and hardworking, they could become, at best, helpers of male artists in the family, usually their fathers. In October, I enrolled at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, and was shocked by what I saw and heard. Who wants to educate girls? They are gifted for making babies, not art, used to say one of our professors, as he invited girls to sit on his lap. Oh yes! I would have fallen in despair, had my parents not believed in me so much. My father told me to fight for the rights I had been already granted, if only “on paper”. And my mother, even though an artist manqué herself, considered me already then “a real painter”. In May 2016, a book of conversations about my life and work was published in Warsaw to coincide with my Painting Retrospective at the National Museum in Cracow. The book’s title, “Manhattan and Little Venice”, refers to New York and London where I lived and worked in the last century, and one chapter is titled “Rafaella, Rafaella!” Having read it, a friend asked me, perhaps tongue in cheek, if I feel proud to be “the Rafaella of the late 20th century”. Not at all, I replied seriously, I was lucky to be born to feminist parents in postwar Europe, and I profited from feminist mentality all over the world. I am a beneficiary of women’s emancipation, but I don’t take anything for granted. We must keep fighting for human rights, and for our right to be “a Raffaella.”
A modified fragment of Ewa Kuryluk’s book Manhattan i Mała Wenecja, Manhattan and the Little Venice, Zeszyty Literackie, Warsaw 2016
Teresa Sdralevich Salaire Egal Equal Pay
Mariusz Knorowski Curator of the Poster Museum at Wilanów
On June 4th 1968, this institution, boasting one
The Museum’s archives hold over 62 thousand
of the largest poster collections in the world,
artistic, advertising and propaganda prints from
commenced operations in the Wilanów palace
all over the world, encompassing almost every
complex, the suburban residence of King Jan
culture. The oldest date back to the birth of the
Sobieski. For its pioneering activities, in 1983
poster as an artistic medium.
the Poster Museum was the recipient of the prestigious Ernst Litfass (inventor of the original
The world’s first Poster Museum is today one
free-standing cylindrical advertising column)
of the most dynamic branches of the National
medal of honour, awarded by Fachverband
Museum in Warsaw. Since its inception, the
Außenwerbung e.V. (faw) in Düsseldorf.
staff of the Wilanów Museum have organized, either independently or in cooperation with
The Museum is housed in the palace’s adapted
numerous renowned institutions from many
former riding arena, which dates from the
countries, nearly 400 exhibitions devoted to
second half of the 19th century, and whose
poster art. Monographic shows, in the conven-
distinctive façade, attributed to Franciszek
tion of temporary exhibitions organized in the
Maria Lanci, is one of the most representative
Museum’s galleries, present the rich history
examples of Polish modernism. The Poster Mu-
of the poster, its innumerable variations and
seum’s modern architectural complex, designed
functions, and popularize the achievements of
by Jacek Cydzik and Halina Kossuth, is also the
the most outstanding creators of “street art”.
first building erected in Poland after 1945 to take into account the specific needs and functions of a modern museum.
The Poster Museum at Wilanów
The subject of equality for women The subject of equality for women in the public discourse
as in other, related events around the world, especially
has a long tradition in democratic societies. As early as the
in the 1980s, associated with the so-called third wave
mid-nineteenth century, the first arguments were being
or post-feminism. From the point of view of the Poster
put forward concerning the need to regulate certain issues
Museum’s collection, which includes such works, we can
in this connection. In the early-twentieth century, activities
talk about a clearly formed style of artistic expression,
to promote equal rights for women in public life had already
whose task is to intervene against real threats and acts
been undertaken by the suffrage movement, which is
of violence, sometimes bordering on barbarism. Not all
commonly associated with the process towards women’s
the messages of this kind appear in competitions as merely
emancipation. It would be difficult however, to point to any
the aesthetic expression of an artistic or activist attitude,
separate iconography during that rising tide of protest
though this in no way reduces their value. Many of them
that could be considered as constituting a weapon in
operate directly in the existing reality, where aesthetic
the struggle. The known cases were mainly distributed
values are of secondary importance. Their task is in fact
declarations and varied forms of manifestation. Only in the
to exert social pressure aimed at changing the status
last quarter of the twentieth century, with the advent of the
of women in modern society. Functioning as posters,
feminist movement (i.e. the second wave of that movement),
in accordance with the nature of this medium, they alert
can we talk about a conscious strategy in the field of visual
the viewer and appeal for specific tasks to be undertaken.
arts. Such manifestations, conducted on a global scale,
They point to the threats, in order to make us aware of
sometimes in the form of aggressive and coordinated
the inappropriateness of erstwhile hierarchies, and the
actions, or simply solidarity support, in response to drastic
inequality and injustice in mutual relations and treatment.
violations of women’s dignity and manifestations of extreme
They appear on the modern forum in order to oppose
discrimination or finally, brutal rapes of an ethnic nature,
examples of the exclusion or even pathological behaviour
were eventually provided their own language of expression.
to which women fall victim. A positive aspect is the fact that women are ever more frequently speaking out en
This situation is reflected in the kind of works submitted
masse on those issues most vital to them and finding
to the International Poster Biennale in Warsaw, as well
I hope that this exhibition, as illustration of the subject, will not only bring an important contribution to the debate, but will also help to assess the scale of the phenomenon in the field of art and will demonstrate means of expression and the power of their persuasion through suggestive images free of camouflaged allusions. Regardless of our assessment, the works constitute a documentary description of the “battlefield” and an integral part of our social iconography. Most of them are unconfined by any period of limitation, and although some are now history, others continue to participate in a number of battles, on the fringes of various cultures and civilizations.
Marta Zofia Myszewska Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
Verena Gerlach Verena Gerlach was born in Berlin and studied Visual Communication at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. Shortly after finishing artÂ school in 1998, she founded her own studio (fraugerlach) for graphic design, type design and typography. As well as all kinds of typographic print works and type design, Verena also art directed several video clips and worked on the typographic production for international contemporary artists. Verena lectured in type design and typography at Design Akademie Berlin from 2003 till 2009 and has given lectures and workshops about type and graphic design all over the globe. She also works as a freelance book designer for the German publisher Hatje Cantz.
In 2009 Verena Gerlach made two visits two Algiers, the capital of Algeria. She was invited by the Goethe Institute and was scheduled to teach two workshops for the design students of the École de Beaux-Arts. While staying in Algiers, Verena learned a lot about life under a dictatorship. The paradox: Algiers is a very beautiful city, the people are lovely, the culture stunning, the weather pleasant, Verena Gerlach Doku Casbah Cens
and it could be the perfect place… but: there 4 four instances where Verena was threatened with arrest for taking ordinary photographs (like letters, details, architecture). She was also censored in her first workshop. The second workshop was blocked by the government. As a response to her
Verena Gerlach Doku Fisch
experience in Algiers, Verena designed a series of screen printed posters (A1) for different subjects that especially
because most of the information will be covered by the
caught her interest.Since the posters were to be exhibited
silhouette of something which replaces the suppression
in both Germany and Algiers, Verena had to decide to either
and censorship. To offer more information about Algeria,
visually lie and make only ‘nice’, touristic posters, which
Verena designed fourteen A0 size posters about its history
would please the Algerian authorities, or to show the
and political background. The texts were taken from Dr. Alix
Landgren’s reception speech at the Berlin exhibition.
The solution: she created two set of posters. One for
To support the force of these texts, she worked in a collage
Algiers and one for Berlin. But the censored (and therefore
technique, using her own typefaces and the photographs
true) posters are the ones for the “free West”. They are a
she had taken on her visits. These posters are printed in
bit like the city itself: You can’t see the real beauty or joy,
black and white, to contrast the colourful screen prints.
Workshops program 24.04 – 2 7.04.2017
Elizabeth Resnick (usa) Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: Designing posters as agency for social change
Verena Gerlach (ger)
Ceren Çalişkan (tr)
The Little Things — Visualizing Every Day Sexism
The woman on the street
Aušra Lisauskiene (ltu)
Sylvie Page (ger)
Feminine or Masculine type design
Trivial Pursuit Humor in the women’s universe
Maja Wolna (pl) The source of feminine power and its
Janna Beck (gb)
impact (influence) on the development
of a dialogue between men and women (all over the world) — poster and its power
Grafprom studio (uk )
objects and minibooks
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: Designing posters as agency for social change
Elizabeth Resnick of contemporary sexual politics as mandated by
Elizabeth Resnick is a Professor Emerita, former
the state and the dominant religion. I was told
chair of Graphic Design and current part-time
that most of the students were first and second
faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and Design,
year Media majors. By the time of this work-
Boston. She earned her b.f.a. and m.f.a. degrees
shop, many of the students had developed an
in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of
adequate visual language/computer–enabled
Design, Providence, Rhode Island.
skills set, and were able, with feedback and encouragement from both their peers and their
Elizabeth Resnick Design, an independent Bos-
“Design can and must become a way in which
The workshop assignment given to the stu-
instructor, to develop compelling visual re-
ton design studio was in operation from 1973 till
young people can participate in changing so-
dents was to develop and design an aware-
sponses to the issue at hand. I was very pleased
1996. Clients included: Ciba Corning Diagnostics
ciety… The main trouble with design schools
ness or advocacy poster, or series of related
with their results overall.
Corporation, Store 24, Animal Rescue League of
seems to be that they teach too much design
posters for any current political, economic, or
Boston, AIGA Boston, Massachusetts College of Art,
and not enough about the ecological, social,
cultural issue present within Poland today, or a
and other area schools plus many local non-profit
economic, and political environment in which
political, economic, or cultural issue affecting
design takes place.”
the world today like women’s rights includ-
This quote from designer Victor Papanek’s 1971
ing gender-based inequality, violence against
Professor Resnick is a passionate design curator
women and/or discrimination against women.
who has organized seven comprehensive design
book, Design for the Real World, still resonates
today. Design students and young design pro-
The English-language workshop was scheduled
fessionals should focus their creative talents
at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information
on social issues during their formative years
Technology in Warsaw for 3 full days: Monday,
to ensure that these ideals will carry into their
April 24 till Wednesday, April 26, 2017. 18 out
professional life. Graphic designers, because
of 19 registered students took on the chal-
of their visual art training, possess the stra-
lenge of visually articulating and/or advocating
tegic tools to create memorable messages.
for some aspect of women’s rights, mirroring
They should be encouraged to use these skills
their own personal concerns as young women
for community and activist purposes, and so
and men in contemporary Polish society.
that they might significantly contribute to
Given that English was every student’s second
public service and non-profit organizations
(or third) language, I admired each of the in-
by conceiving and promoting their awareness
dividual student’s ability to verbally articulate
campaigns for the good of the society at large.
their personal view point within the discussion
Toys for Boys
Equal Responsibilities Before & After
A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?
A Women’s Rights To Choose
Verena Gerlach to get out of these patterns without hurting
Verena Gerlach was born in Berlin and studied
anyone (women are trained to always care about
Visual Communication at Kunsthochschule Berlin
the emotions of others first)?
Weissensee. Shortly after finishing art school in 1998, she founded her own studio (fraugerlach) for
The Little Things — Visualizing Every Day Sexism
Being from former West germany, I experienced
graphic design, type design and typography. As
issues related to “working mothers’ (I am not one
well as all kinds of typographic print works and
myself) differently than the Polish participants.
type design, Verena also art directed several video
In Germany, society makes it very difficult to
clips and worked on the typographic production
have a career while having a family. Due to its
for international contemporary artists. Verena
Communist past, the situation in Poland is quite
has lectured in type design and typography at
the opposite: it is expected that women work
Design Akademie Berlin from 2003 till 2009 and
hard to care for their family (husband included)
has given lectures and workshops about type and
In the Western world, society has agreed that
immune against all kinds of gender inequality.
after work. It was very interesting to see, how
graphic design all over the globe. She also works as
by law, all humans, no matter what gender
They are still in the protected environment of
the (mostly female) group started to (between
a freelance book designer for several well known
and race, have to be treated equally. But how
educational (creative) institutions where, for ex-
the lines) blame the women themselves for their
German art book publishers.
come we frequently have to fight for this basic
ample, the ratio of women to men is higher than in
repressed position. Having this pattern/behav-
human right all the same? Obviously, there is
other fields. But what happens if you take a little
iour pointed out, they mostly felt embarrassed
still a big difference between official papers
closer look? How many of the females will remain
and started to develop their very personal, al-
and real life.
in their creative jobs, and take leading positions?
most intimate, opinions and thoughts. This turn-
Where is the freedom when you leave your com-
ing point was the actual starting point for the
Even though people know that in most of
fort zone? Why do women still (for a reason)
development of really creative and deliberate
Western countries the salary of women is
avoid using short-cuts through parks at night?
ideas. The results are strong and straight to the
20–30% less than of men, a lot of them deny
What about dress codes and judgements? What
point posters. Not loud, but clearly explaining
the fact of inequality. The same counts for
the inequality that still exists within the smaller
career opportunities or just the fact that
scale of life.
women will still be judged negatively if they are
At the beginning of this design workshop, the
not “fulfilling” their (socially) expected duties,
group was discussing their own experiences
I am very proud of the participants having been
while men enjoy some freedom in this concern.
very enthusiastically. They spoke about their
this open and brave about their thoughts, emo-
The younger generations (always) seem to feel
upbringing, the power of family structures. How
tions, and creativity.
OKRES STATUS OUO “TATUŚ” MEANS “DADDY”
Nie przesadzaj / Not overdo it
Watch your language
My personal space
50 shades of feminism
Feminine or Masculine type design
Ausra Lisauskiene is a calligrapher and a profes-
a search for her own personal writing style, using
sional graphic designer. She graduated from the
non-traditional tools and techniques, calligraphy
Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and presently is work-
elements in graphic design and vice versa. She
ing as the Head of Graphic Design Department at
also takes part in calligraphy exhibitions, graphic
the same school. She is a member of the Lithuanian
and type design events in Lithuania and abroad
Graphic Designe Association lgda , a member of
scholarships and awards:
the Lithuanian Society of Designers, a member of ATypI, and its country delegate of Lithuania.
•• Norwegian scholarship in 1996;
Her field of interest is the visual examination of
•• The Lithuanian State Scholarship in 2004, 2010,
the phenomenon of typography and a practice in
graphic design, visual arts and new media. She
•• French scholarship in 2012;
designs identities and communication systems for
•• Certificate of Excellence of The European Design
The experimental workshop will conceptu-
cultural events, exhibitions, illustrates and designs
ally explore the meaning of the Feminine and
books, creates typefaces, is an expert in the field
•• Graphis Silver Award 2015;
Masculine type design and typography in
of type design and typography. She is involved in
•• Red Dot Communication Design Award 2016.
a contemporary cultural/social practices. The students will focus on creating a set of letters communicating as a textual and visual narrative through the medium chosen by themselves: the print media, animation, video, interactive design, etc. A strong concept has to be made into a compelling communication piece through the experimental typography. In addition to communication concerns, the students will be focusing on the contemporary society, to radar or mirror social, cultural or every-day live practice/habits between genders.
Finding an idea for a creative workshop in a for-
While surfing the Internet, I found some fonts
mat of the whole event Women’s Rights are Hu-
and some of the letters were provoking and
man Rights which was held at Polish-Japanese
teasing. In fact — there is nothing new in the
Academy of Information Technology in April
world of fonts and letters — since the Middle
wasn’t easy for me. And it was also difficult to
Ages the human body has been placed in the
find a fresh idea for the seminar presentation,
initial letters of the ancient manuscripts, playing
because so much has been already said on
cards, satiric illustration letters, etc. I became
interested in exploring how such letters of the human body — sensitive historic artifacts —
Personally, I work mostly on Type design,
were transformed into the visual format of the
Typography and Book design and the social
21st century. After some research, I managed
aspect is not so often visible in my artworks
to find several experimental projects and type
at all. Everything should be simple and clear.
design examples that continued the tradition;
However, the phenomenon of typography oc-
the experiments were mostly performed on
In the creative workshop, students were asked
masculine gender, without feminine gender,
curs not within the elements of the structure
women’s hair and bodies. And the question was
to conceptually explore the meaning of the
without gender reassignment and so on.
and composition of an object but within the
— why is only the feminine body used for this?
Feminine and Masculine type design and typog-
interrelations between elements and separate
raphy in contemporary cultural/social practices.
Students were able to use as a source for a set
parts, as well as the visual concepts and their
After I had discovered this social aspect for my
They focused on creating a set of 26 letters —
of letters any/all parts of Human body, as well
semantic meaning. So I decided to focus my
presentation, I was able to go forward with the
communicating as a textual and visual narrative
as everything what goes with the body — for
attention on this, in my presentation as well
idea for the creative workshop. Are the human
through the medium of posters. A strong concept
example: lips and lipstick, body — clothing.
as during the workshop.
(woman) body–letters created in order to visu-
had to be made into a compelling communica-
ally satisfy human (and, especially, male) eyes?
tion piece through experimental typography. In
The result of the workshop was quite good,
After long hours of thinking and sitting in front
If so — may they be attributed to any gender?
addition to communication concerns, students
as in a short time all the students did what
of the computer, I started to search the Internet
Are there male and female letters? What do
were focusing on contemporary society, to radar
was expected of them: sets of 26 letters and
to refresh my memory and mind. The main ques-
the female letters mean? After dealing with
every–day practice/habits between genders
posters. Two days were devoted to creating
tion for me was — is there something interesting
the Human body as a whole, I decided that the
and to try to show by creating a set of letters
letters and the rest of the time was spent
about women’s rights and type design in the
main idea for the workshop will be a question —
and a poster based on an idea without: with-
creating conceptual posters.
context of typography, and how can they be
is there something Feminine or Masculine in
out gender gap, without gender identity, without
connected through Graphic design?
typography and Font design at all?
gender bias, without female gender, without op-
Students were able to learn more about ex-
posite gender, without same gender, without
perimental typography and the duality in Type
Maciej Mainda Twink
design: first — the image of the text, and sec-
to talk assertively about the human — woman/
ond — text/meaning of the text. The deeper
man body as an equal subject/object in type
perception of Font design, as well as the ability
design and Typography. Why are only young and
to individualize it and creatively integrate it
attractive women’s body parts used for creating
into different forms of media helps to come
such letters? Why not use a man’s or an older
up with the innovative typographical solutions.
woman’s body parts? Are some parts of our
The feedback of the font and poster media, the
body better than others? Are the body–letters
content of the message and its form, the his-
created in order to visually satisfy human (and,
tory and the present are extremely significant.
especially, male) eyes? If so — may they be
As typography, the font (created in the context
attributed to any gender?
of human cultural development) eventually obtains new visual meanings, adapts to the new context, need, as well as the new media factors through its form. The biggest issue at the Feminine or Masculine
Type Design experimental workshop was to start
Can you buy the guts
Weronika Racz & Igor Rams
Weronika Racz & Igor Rams
Weronika Ĺ awska
From M to W
My brain is the same
Maja Wolna Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, and obtained her ma Diploma in Fine Arts at the Graphic Department of the Academy of Fine Arts
The source of feminine power and its impact (influence) on the development of a dialogue between men and women (all over the world) — poster and its power transmission
Together, we will ponder what meaning is hidden
in Poznań. Currently, she works at the Animation
in the mysterious term “source of power”. Is it
Department of the University of Art in Poznań and
merely an abstract idea, or perhaps the greatest
at Graphic Department of the Warsaw School of
force which may naturally and gradually heal the
Computer Science. She also works at the Warsaw
world in which we live? We will attempt to reach
School of Photography and Graphic Design.
the essence of the relation between women and men. We will try to find the answer to the
Maja Wolna has participated in many interna-
question which issues in everybody’s life and
tional art contests, group and individual exhibi-
in the lives of various societies deserve to be
tions all over the world. She is a winner of the Gold
the first to undergo radical changes. We will
Medal in International Poster Biennial in Warsaw,
address the issue which areas of life require
2010. Wolna cooperates with the Polish daily
healing. We will ponder what rights are vested
magazine Gazeta Wyborcza. Her involvement in
in everybody, regardless of their sex, gender,
the problems of violence, freedom and human
background, origin and religion. How to demand
rights is reflected in many of her works, including
them, how to raise awareness, how to heal?
posters, graphics, paintings, illustrations, collages.
For centuries, women were seen chiefly as
healthy relations between women and men. The
beings meant to serve others. The patriarchy
world needs balance, which we can get closer
disturbed the natural order and almost reduced
to by discovering, manifesting and respecting
The poster will help us express our intentions
women’s innate ability to use their own power
our needs and the natural right to live and to
as explicitly and clearly as possible. We will
and share it with the world. Suppression of the
create in accordance with our natural rhythms.
dedicate most of the time to the search regard-
Can a poster develop the awareness leading
ing the idea itself. During the workshop, which
towards the restoration of the rights arising
natural female desires and skills has been pro-
Currently, she is experimenting with projects using new forms of artistic expression.
gressively impeding women’s ability to connect
The workshop proposed is addressed to ev-
will last only a few days, we will explore the field
from our natural conditioning? I am certain that
with their own energy force, which is the basis
eryone, both female and male, for whom the
of graphic design. However, we will involve our
we will reach the answer during the workshop.
of both vital and creative energies. Authentic
right to discover their own potential and the
minds, hearts and our own emotions and po-
Let us therefore commit ourselves and reach
connection with the female power within us
return to their own hidden sources of power
tentials, allowing for the creation of remarkable
into our sources of power. A poster, especially
is not only a source of emotional and physical
constitute a more or less recognised factor im-
statements. We will begin the practice part by
an engagé one, requires a discipline of form.
health, but also the beginning of healthy rela-
pacting the quality of our lives and our relations
sketching on a piece of paper, and then we will
During our meetings, we will attempt to em-
tions with ourselves and with our own poten-
in the world.
move on to the implementation, using the means
ploy our own potentials, using the means for
which will best allow us to express our message.
conveying our creative expression.
tials. It is also the essential aspect of building
First of all, I must say I was impressed with
power means in different cultures, religions.
it with the world. Suppression of the natural
the process of working with the international
But regardless of the fact that we come from
female desires and skills has been progressively
group of students. We hadn’t met before, so
different cultural background, we agreed that
impeding women’s ability to connect with their
everything was quite new for all of us. I was
feminine power starts from accepting ourselves,
own energy force, which is the basis of both
especially amazed at their point of view. It was
which of course is not that easy because
vital and creative energies.
a real pleasure to work with the open-minded
most of us carry a lot of emotional wounds.
people, ready to deal with the topic, which
But for sure we should start with ourselves
In many of our talks students mentioned that
wasn’t an easy one. So, I must say I really ap-
and should start to learn how to heal our pain.
many girls have been taught to be quiet and
preciate having met a group of young, wise
By accepting yourself, loving yourself, loving
polite, while boys have been taught they are not
people with whom I could easily discuss the
your own body, recognising the emotions that
allowed to express their emotions by crying. The
current issues. We talked about what’s going
we have, we can regain ourselves and thereby
conclusion was obvious. They both learnt how to
on in the world we live in, about feelings, about
influence the change of the world.
hide their emotions, their tears and fears. It has
what they think, how to start the communica-
Anna_Rajewska_I love myself.pdf 1 2017-04-26 10:53:33
been mentioned that society uses comparisons
I love myself
tion between women and men all over the world,
A number of difficulties arising from cultural,
saying who’s better, stronger, who should wear
what to do for a better understanding.
religious, and social backgrounds had caused
pink or blue colour. Especially the colour classi-
The final result of their work during the work-
that women to be unable to make their own
fication raised an especially a heated discussion.
shops was an evidence of their own courage.
I asked students to produce “positive” answers/
decisions (self–determination). This, in turn,
projects. I asked them to wonder what we can
caused most of them to live in mental separa-
We also discussed that showing yourself, your
women’s fragility. She said she dared (herself) to
do to somehow change the situation for bet-
tion from themselves, from their bodies (treated
abilities, your point of view requires a real cour-
show it against the general opinion that women
ter. We spent a lot of time (must be hard to
instrumentally), in isolation from their desires,
age. It happens that when you do something
should be strong. I really appreciated her brav-
imagine, because we had only three days, but
feelings, emotions and source of inner power.
different or in a different way than other people
ery and I absolutely supported her with it. That
they really did their best!) to think and dis-
The fact is that for centuries, women were seen
and it goes beyond what is commonly known and
was an act of her strength.
cuss what is hidden behind the secret term:
chiefly as beings meant to serve others. They
then you share it with the world, you are likely to
the source of feminine power. That question
struggled with everyday life, bearing many
be exposed to criticism, ridicule or comparison.
Usually our natural reactions, innate abilities
was actually the starting point of our work.
roles as mothers, daughters, wives, mistresses,
It can be easily predicted that someone more
and finally our emotions in most cases are go-
So, the students somehow looked back on
servants, full time workers, artists. Usually, de-
sensitive will clam up and not share her or his
ing to be disgraced and blocked at the early
their own experiences, their childhood, their
spite so many challenges, they remained in the
treasures. She or he will surely hide their talent,
stage of our lives. Therefore, showing yourself
daily life, to their relationships with the other
shadow of men. The patriarchy disturbed the
ability and madness — everything that makes
but also overcoming your limitations requires
people, with the opposite sex/gender, with
natural order and almost reduced women’s in-
her or him authentic.
their parents. We discussed what feminine
nate ability to use their own power and to share
One of the students made a poster showing
Courage requires meeting with our own emo-
are stoned by words and laws. A lot of women
around the world. The workshops were such
tions, the most difficult ones in particular. If we
are thrown out of the bounds of public life or
a minor action and I highly respect all the
want to be heroic we must recognise all these
kept on an invisible leash of domestic duty and
works which the students have produced.
difficult emotions, as well as appreciate our
Their projects were the result of their own thoughts/considerations/opinions. So, if you
weaknesses, unpleasant things and limitations. Only when we recognise them, respect them
Female Genital Mutilation is the extreme prac-
look at the works, you can see that their authors
and express our gratitude for their involvement
tice recognised as a violation of the human
have much to say and they call for change.
in our lives, can we start building our new, au-
rights of girls and women, it reflects inequal-
We surely need more aware women and men.
thentic identity, our new life based on respect,
ity between the sexes but in other cultures,
So I trust that we’ll be able to continue such
gratitude and love for ourselves and the world.
and countries, also here in Poland, women
projects/workshops which involve the voice and
are treated as second-class citizens and their
creativity of the young generations.
If we want to change this planet and im-
rights are restricted too, so (on some level)
prove our living conditions, we should start
there is no much difference between the two.
by repairing ourselves. Everyone is aware
Everywhere people fight in the name of broadly
of that but we often don’t do it for various
defined freedom and everywhere these natu-
reasons. It’s not about being like someone
ral laws are being broken. So the question is
else or someone we recognise as an authority.
whether and how this freedom, and dignity can
The point is to allow yourself to be authentic,
be regained? Especially when some unspeci-
to allow yourself to make choices at every
fied external conditions make it difficult for us
stage of our lives. Of course, there are some
to use that freedom, which is the privilege of
situations and circumstances that prevent us
each of us (the privilege given at the moment of
MARTYNA_BYRKA_strengh lies in the female nature.pdf
Strenght lies in the female nature.
from making a choice but then we can rely on
being born). One of the keys to achieve security
our inner wisdom and intuition.
and the sense that our presence here, on this
planet, is not a coincidence, is a turn towards Women and men worldwide are opposed to
ourselves and an attempt to heal our own pain
someone/something defending natural rights
and our own wounds.
and humanity. Everywhere there is violence and discrimination against women. Some people
Even minor actions by women (and men) to-
sentence women to death by stoning and in
wards self-discovering contribute to the im-
the other countries (also in Poland) women
provement of the situation of other women
Martyna Byrka Strength lies in the female nature
Marta Jagodziska - Naucz mnie mamo (teach me mom).pdf 1 26.04.2017 10:45:32
Anna_Rajewska_I LOVE MEn.pdf 1 2017-04-26 10:54:03
I LOVE MEN
Anna_Rajewska_awesoME.pdf 1 2017-04-26 10:54:24
women’s rights are human rights
women’s rights are human rights
Teach me, Mom
I love MEn
Ceren Çalişkan Ceren is a Turkish designer/academician based in Istanbul. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in graphic design at Marmara University in Istanbul, she began her mfa degree in Environmental Graphic Design at The Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham-uk as a full-time student. After working for many agencies like
ddb as an art director, she enrolled in a ph d programme in Art and Design. Now, she works as a full-time lecturer in Department of Visual
The woman on the street
Communication Design at Istanbul Arel University and gives lectures and workshops all over the world, such as esad (Escola de Arte e Design) in Porto-Portugal. Also, she works as an independent designer and artist. She participated in many national and international exhibitions including
This workshop integrated Typography and
the Istanbul Design Biennale.
Environmental Graphic Design. Environmental Graphic Design (egd) embraces many design disciplines including graphic, architectural, interior, and landscape, all concerned with the visual aspects of wayfinding and signage, communicating identity and information, mural, installation and shaping the idea of creating experiences that connect people to places. Students should think themselves as a flâneuse while applying their project in the city. The essential thing is using Typography and Women’s Rights. This work could take on the form of a Mural, Video Mapping, Installation, Signage, Wayfinding or only Typography on Wall.
Since the 19 th century, the role of women in
Flâneur, means “stroller”, “idler” or “loafer”.
the city has been a highly debated issue in the
Flâneur is the act of strolling, with all of its
world. The relationship of women to cities has
accompanying associations. The flâneur was,
long preoccupied reformers and philanthro-
first of all, a literary type from the 18 th cen-
pists. In the recent years the preoccupation
tury France, essential to any picture of the
has been inverted: the profile of the woman
streets of Paris, found by the philosophers
who was dependent on society rules has been
Rousseau and Goethe. It was described by
replaced by a feminist concern for women’s
Charles Baudelaire as “gentleman stroller of
safety and comfort in city streets. But whether
city streets” in his book Modern World Painters.
women are seen as a problem of cities, or cit-
The flâneur has a key role in understanding,
Ceren Caliskan walking in
ies as a problem for women, the relationship
participating and depicting the city. The flâneur
manifesting Women’s Equality.
remains fraught with difficulty.
participates in city life, but remains an objective spectator — in theory.
With the intensification of the public/private
Pola Mokotowskie in Warsaw
well-to-do men can mingle, gaze, and maintain
flâneuse was invisible. The disguise made the
their respectability. After Walter Benjamin’s
life of the flâneur available to her; as she knew
divide in the industrial period, the presence
Baudelaire was the first to deeply examine
exploration of urban life in his book The Arcades
very well, she could not adopt the nonexistent
of women on the streets and in public places
modernity, the city, and the dandy/flâneur; his
Project: the flâneur “goes botanizing on the
role of a flâneuse. Women could not stroll
of entertainment caused enormous anxiety,
definition of modernity is well known as “that
asphalt”. Flâneur was an indifferent individual,
alone in the city.
and was the occasion for any number of moral-
which is ephemeral, fugitive, contingent”. To
wandering among crowds and taking a look
izing and regulatory discourses. To research
be more specific, for Baudelaire, modernity
at shop windows in urban. He goes to gather
Garb’s observation about women’s more lim-
woman position and gender differences in
is directly and necessarily linked to the city
plant samples in the asphalt. Flâneur blends
ited access to “urban spectacle” highlights
perception of the city, the flâneur and flâneuse
and its mass of humanity, as well as to a male
into crowd and surrenders to the metaphoric
the problems of finding a subject matter and
are used. The flâneur as a man of pleasure, as a
conception of looking at and watching others
space surrounded by flows of customers. He is
an acknowledged space for the female painter
man who takes visual possession over freedom
in a detached and superior manner.
a detective, as well as an alien among the crowd
of modern life. This is the central problem in
in the city. After this concept, the idea of the
dealing with gender and modernism: how to
of the city, who has emerged in postmodern feminist discourse as the embodiment of the
Following in Baudelaire’s tradition of modernity,
flâneur reveals it to be a gendered concept. The
understand the female within the context of
“male gaze”. He represents men’s visual and
from the late 1860s through the 1880s, the
flâneur has a female version, the flâneuse. And
the dominantly male conception of modernity.
voyeuristic mastery over women. According
flâneur can be closely equated with the male
it suddenly seemed inextricably linked to the
to this view, the flâneur’s wander at will through
Impressionist’s vision and experience of Paris:
“woman issue”. Among the critics, the existence
Griselda Pollock aptly states that “sexuality,
the city is essentially a masculine freedom.
he enters cafés and theaters, and he walks
of the flâneuse is debatable. Janet Wolff argues
modernism or modernity cannot function as
the streets and other public places where only
that there could never be a female flâneur: the
given categories to which we add women. That
only identifies a partial and masculine view-
As the results from this inquiry show, cor-
point with the norm and confirms women as
relations between the spatial configurative
other and subsidiary”. This statement creates
structures and how men and women use urban
a foundation for establishing a separate matrix
space were discovered. On the one hand, in a
within which to understand the flâneuse as
spatially integrated street, an equal number
compared to the flâneur.
of women and men could be met. The more segregated the streets the more they were
After the opening of arcades, women could
dominated by men. On the other hand, as soon
find a place in the city. They could walk alone
as the shops were closed, men began to domi-
and often went to the shopping centre.
nate the streets. Women are using the streets as corridors and not as a destination itself. The
Women on the street
The flâneur is a product of modern life and the
woman who strolls alone is still either a street
industrial revolution, parallel to the references
walker or a stupidly naive victim only asking
Group 1 made their installations in one
of the tourist in contemporary times. The ar-
to be robbed.
of the most popular places in Warsaw —
rival of department stores and the “Haussman-
Pola Mokotowskie. They used balloons
nization” of Paris’ streets in the second half
In order to understand gender differences and
with helium and information boards with
of the nineteenth century swept away large
to emphasise equal rights between women
some everyday sexist sentences.
parts of the historical city and also the domain
and men, we created typographic installations
of the flâneur.
in various parts of the city. Approximately 80
Paulina Kalinowska, Zuzanna
participants created 6 different installations
Mieszczanek, Kajetan Baranowski,
The archetype of the flâneur disappeared with
within 3 days. Firstly, each group found a con-
Jan Spymul, Mikołaj Mieszczański,
its surroundings, in favour of the women-
cept, a slogan, a design solution and a place
Barbara Rosiecka, Zuzanna Bek, William
oriented department stores. “The depart-
where they could apply their project. During the
Konior, Anastasiia Zwirska, Anastasiia
ment store may have been, as Benjamin put it,
following two days, they created their project in
Jarova, Patrycja Gleba, Oryna Bondar
the flâneur’s last coup, but it was the flâneuse’s
the university building. The third day they went
first”. The department stores were a starting
to the city centre and installed their projects.
point for the existence of the flâneuse, but
Thus we aired our voices within the city through
this also marked her as a consumer.
Rafał Masłyk, Agata Moryto
Abuse Group 3 created a typography installation no one see abuse, where they hid the “abuse” word inside the “no one see” paper cage Ewa Dankiewicz, Julia Kosobudzka, Dominika Michalik, Jan Gawałkiewicz,
Tomasz Kaczmarczyk, Alyosha Kovalenko,
Małgorzata Lisiecka, Kamil Pośnik,
Group 2 made a very bright installation,
using the stereotypical pink colour,
which suggested that the women’s rights issue is easy and cheap. The
installation was shown at the main
Warsaw square where it presented
Rafał Masłyk, Agata Moryto
woman as a public object. Anastasiia Beda, Joanna Baska, Joanna Trześniewska, Margarita Minkiewicz, Matylda Gurne, Milena Rasińska, Olga Przytuła, Valeriia Mykytenko, Zuzanna Charkiewicz, Andrey Mykhalenko, Maciej Kosplotrowski, Mateusz Dziubicki, Paweł Szczyrowski supported by Agnieszka Ziemiszewska, Rafał Masłyk, Agata Moryto
Woman/Human Group 4 made a clean typographic installation, which stated that women are equal to men. They walked with the sculpture around the city and observed people’s reactions. Michalina Chłodzińska, Natalia Czarnocka, Ewa Dudka, Helen Galanevich, Tomasz Godlewski, Daniel Lewandowski, Piotr Malanowski, Serhii Mykytiuk, Joanna Opińska, Joanna Owczarek, Iga Sikora, Marta Sołtysiak supported by Agnieszka Ziemiszewska, Rafał Masłyk, Agata Moryto
Trivial Pursuit Humor in the women’s universe
Sylvie Pagé Sylvie Pagé, born in Canada, studied Communications at Concordia University in Montreal (Major in Film) then Art History at the University of Montreal where in 1993 she obtained her Master Degree:
Humor is a very powerful tool to communicate
Figure and Structure in Film Dramaturgy. From
your message in an unpolitically-correct way.
1994 until 2002, she worked as Professor for Film
The students will have the chance to make an
Studies at the University of Johannes Gutenberg in
animated film of a maximum of 30 seconds, in
Mainz. In 2003, she was appointed lecturer at the
which they will advocate for gender equality.
University of Applied Sciences Mainz in Germany where she teaches Script-writing and Film Production. As a Filmmaker, Pagé directed films for the National Filmboard of Canada and also for Arte Germany. Her latest film Hundeleben (12 min., 2015) was a production from Group.ie Gessellschaft für Identity Engineering.
Look, you can’t be faithful to the book, or if you’re
harm results, no matter how brutal the physical
faithful to the book, it’s only where it’s coinci-
pounding. There is a strong element of play
dental. You’ve got to be faithful to the audience.
in comedy. It’s not serious but only kidding.
There is less empathy in comedy. We identify
less with comic characters. Comedy also inWe say an image is worth a 1000 words. With
volves having an attitude of superiority. We feel
a good script you can reach a large audience,
superior to the comedy and the comic character.
like exaggeration, incongruity, the comic build,
2018 at our University of Applied Sciences in
and with a good film you can communicate a
There is an aggressive quality in our response
the topper, the reversal, the rule of three, the
Mainz. 7 different Universities from 7 different
social message that brings new perspectives
to the comic.
recall, the delay, running gags, the misunder-
countries will be presenting their short films
standings, absurdity, and the outrageous, a way
all talking about Women’s Rights. We will see
These different characteristics are ideal for
of insulting and deflating the pompous were
if we can open a constructive discussion with
If it makes us laugh we have even more chances
communicating a political message in an un-
used to reach their goal.
that screening and improve Women’s Rights.
of reaching a larger internationala audience.
forgettable way and without too much emotionality — the use comedy instead, operates
This writing session was followed by a brain-
Sam Keen wrote: Let’s begin with the story.
storm where every student gave their opinion
Human beings are storytelling animals. We
about the narrative structure of each story and
domesticate our world by narrative, by myths.
into our daily life.
But is comedy writing a gift? Can every student write good comedy? Perhaps more than other forms of writing, comedy writing is visceral,
Our group of students during that workshop
about which one worked the most efficiently.
and a sense of timing, which is so important
at the Warsaw Academy was composed of
This is where we had to create anatmosphere
We are hungry for a story that will dramatize
to comedy, is perhaps, a gift of sorts. On the
completely different personalities from various
that allowed ideas to flourish, where there was
some meaning we can hold on to. The need
other hand, comedy writing is a skill that can
cultures. It was fascinating to hear the different
support, where there were no taboos regarding
for a myth that begins with, “once upon a time”
be acquired through practice. In this workshop
testimonies of sexisms which occurs in Turkey,
the way people think or speak or write. These
and ends with, “Hero finally triumphed after
we had a big issue, we wanted to prove that you
Egypt, America, Poland, Africa. Most of the time,
specific group dynamics can be productive or
many trials and returned home” still sleeps in
can use humor as a weapon to defend women’s
the stories that the students were telling us,
destructive, and it characterizes a class in an
rights and succeed in obtaining gender equality.
were very sad and very emotional. And we had
extraordinary way while creating demands or
to work with humor!!!
During the workshop students had an intensive
Why is humor the perfect weapon? A certain
experience of writing for film. They had the
detachment operates in comedy — the comic
We decided to write two versions of their sad
The results of those film scripts were amazing,
chance to discuss their story among them-
distance. We know that it is is not real and we
personal story: one which was close to what
so different but all fighting for the same cause:
selves. Nevertheless, nothing can substitute
are reassured by the comic approach. Even in
they had experienced and the other version was
Women’s Rights. The finished films will be pre-
for weekly writing and subsequent feedback
broad, low slapstick comedy, no permanent
interpreted in a funny way. Comedy techniques
sented during the International Week in April
about that writing.
Agnieszka Toczyska The Bus Stop
Selfie How Do Women profile themselves? Cultural or personal differences? Perception of viewers?
How Do Women profile themselves? Cultural or personal differences? Perception of viewers?
The workshop was conceptualised in 6 steps:
Janna Beck can be described as a multidisciplinary 1. Contextualise: group discussions and brain-
artist. She is a lecturer at the Royal Academy of
storming about the topic of selfies: What
Fine Arts Antwerp, she is a facilitator of several
are selfies? What defines a selfie? opposites
master projects and master classes and organises
#yesorno?: What kind of a picture serves the
international collaborative projects. (Academy
#selfie? How visible should it be? Should it
Antwerp, Sint Lucas Antwerp, Aalto University
be a photo? Can it be an illustration? Selfie
Helsinki, Ringling College Sarasota Florida, pjait
versus profile? Selfies in motion/animated
Warsaw, Nottingham Trent University). In 2014,
Janna Beck and Michael Segers founded Max-
2. Collect: find examples online, look for selfies,
lab — a research facility for Media + Art experi-
bad selfies, selfies that stand out;
ments for Royal Academy and Electronica ict ap.
3. Select and present arguments why the specific images were selected;
Janna is also the founder and director of the arts
4. Claim: this was the most surreal sub-assign-
initiative Collectiv National, an artists initia-
ment, how to claim a selfie from someone
tive with a focus on contemporary trans medial
else. We experimented with remakes, mor-
experiments where she curates the exhibitions.
phing of images and questioned copyrights.
Her personal Artistic research is focused on
5. Make static and dynamic selfies: experi-
the interaction between analogue and digital,
ment with different ways of photograph-
manual and high-tech. She is engaged in research
ing, different kinds of applications, filters,
that explores the technical imperfection of the
rephotographing from the screen;
photographic image. Janna Beck has contributed
6. Present and tag online;
to national and international exhibitions, among them exhibitions for Europalia, the expo in Aichi and the book Stadsgedichten by Tom Lanoye. She was commissioned for some public art projects and new media concepts.
A selfie (/Selfi/) is a self-portrait photo-
conversion and the technical imperfection of
stretch-marks, or a rounded tummy… Although
very good results, selfies that looked random
graph, typically taken with a digital camera or
opinions about it are divided, recently some big
and spontaneous but containing a concept
lingerie campaign decided to not photoshop or
and idea. Images with subtle layering, meaning and suggestion.
camera phone held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. Selfies are often shared on
Take a selfie, fake a life! During the workshop
hide imperfections on a female body and have
social networking services such as Facebook,
we questioned the selfie-culture: is there a
the models look more natural.
Instagram and Twitter. They are usually flat-
difference between a self-portrait and a selfie?
tering and made to appear casual. Most selfies
Is it nothing but a trendy name for something
Don’t just be another brick in the wall. A
are taken with a camera held at arm’s length
that has already existed for ages? Is a selfie
third and very important question during the
or pointed at a mirror, rather than by using a
but an expression of narcissism? What about
workshop was how social media and smart-
self-timer. A selfie stick can be used to posi-
the #bad-selfie? One of the conclusions was
phone-photography influence the contemporary
tion the camera farther away from the subject,
that because of the posting on social media
image-culture. We took a closer look at the
allowing the camera to see more around them.
selfies are also a way of self-expression and
visual language of social media and asked how
(artificial) identity. Mostly, they are vain, they
to make a possible difference. We questioned
Posting intentionally unattractive selfies has
look spontaneous and effortless (but are often
and experimented with possible ways of pho-
also become common in the early 2010s — in
not). Selfies are mostly used as a proof of being.
tographing selfies, possible filters and apps.
part for their humour value, but in some cases
We experimented with still and moving images
also to explore issues of body image or as a
#women’s-rights #proud-to-be-female A sec-
and tried to make images that stand out among
reaction against the perceived narcissism or
ond topic of discussion was how social media
millions of others.
over-sexualization of typical selfies.
could have influence or the power to spread
I chose this topic for a workshop because so-
ideas. And how images circulate on social me-
#catch-of-the-day The experiments and results
dia: tagging, posting, reposting, etc…
of the workshop were posted on an Instagram
cial media, their influence on contemporary
account made especially for this workshop:
image-culture and the space between virtual
Could social media have any use on the topic
and reality is a returning topic in my personal
of women’s rights, human rights?
work. Selfies are for me the epitome of today’s
selfie experiments. It was an uncommon idea to combine selfies
smartphone-photography. Over the last year I
There do exist a lot of blogs, Instagram accounts
with the topic of human rights. The main goal of
even made hundreds of selfies myself to en-
about women, about celebrating femininity. Lots
having students reflect about the topic and cre-
gage with the subject. As in the rest of my work,
of initiatives go against the typical visualisations
ate a certain awareness of the impact on social
I also experimented with the digital-analogue
of the perfect female body, showing natural
media was achieved. The outcome gave some
Jan DembiĹ„ski Selfie
sculpture objects + minibooks During 3 days of workshops students will build a connection between a scalpture and a book, using everyday objects and plaster. We ask students to find an object which could be interpreted in their message. This object can be something small or simple, it can even be a part of a body. To cast it in plaster, first we have to make the mould and then we can create the sculpture. Thus it’s not the object itself any more, it becomes a symbol. The next step of work is taking photographs of cast objects, printing them in bigger size, A3 for instance, and painting them.
After we make a sculpture, we are going to make a portrait of it, by taking photographs. We need to take a lot of things into account, such as light, framing, perhaps also the sur-
Living in Ukraine is sometimes tough, the country
Since 2006, Grafprom design studio has been
roundings. And let’s make the photos black
slipping from one crisis into the next. How can a
fighting evil forces in contemporary design and
and white, so that we can add colour or our
designer survive in Ukraine? How can one make a
art space. And yes, we do care about the place,
personal artistic touch afterwards. We can
that we have many photographs of our beloved
living without an ugly portfolio? What can one do
so that’s the reason for us to take part in differ-
add not only colours but also some writing
objects. We have them painted. We have objects
to keep on developing as an artist and a soul? You
ent eco and cultural projects. We’re members
themselves. How should we present them? We
really have to do three jobs at a time. The story is
of Icograda (International Council of Graphic
are going to make a small book which tells the
about three simultaneous jobs and the way to turn
Design Association), “The 4th block” Ukrainian
The last part of the workshop concentrates on
story of our process of our object, which has
bad into good in order to survive in times of change.
Association of Graphic Designers and Ukrainian
composing all the material in minibooks, now
become a new media painting.
acknowledgments to the Polish-Japanese Academy of
Women’s Rights are Human Rights —
Information Technology for their hospitality
International Women’s Week,
and technical support,
to Barbara Nowacka for her honorary patronage
of the Women’s Rights are Human Rights event, to Elizabeth Resnick for her Women’s Rights are
Articles and workshops comments
Human Rights Exhibition, her passion and support, to the Poster Museum at Wilanów for their patronage,
This book is the result of the ma project of Marta
to Aleksandra Oleksiak and Izabela Iwanicka who were
Zofia Myszewska which included the design and
the managers of the exhibition at the Poster Museum
production of the visual identity of Elizabeth
to Verena Gerlach for her typeface, Sizmo Pro,
Resnick’s exhibition Women’s Rights are Human
to Ewa Bobrowska for her inspiration content propositions,
Rights, as well as symposium and workshops held
to the group of volunteers who helped us with
in April 2017 in Warsaw, under the supervision
organization and preparations of the conference
of Marcin Władyka and Elizabeth Resnick.
and workshops: Zuzanna Rawa, Nathalie Tippi Olko, Marta Kamieńska,
Authors of the articles, who share their
Jan Duda, Tomasz Grabowski, Maja Biskupińska,
professional knowledge, film and photo makers,
Barbara Krajewska, Nikodem Marek, Anastasia Buialo,
designer Marta Zofia Myszewska, who patiently
Kinga Ostapkowiczm, Julia Michalska, Paulina Kowalska,
collected the materials and put them together
Andrzej Bach, Paulina Kozłowska, Aleksandra Hojszyk,
with the assistance of her supervisors.
and to the professional teachers, designers: Ewa Satalecka, Elizabeth Resnick, Sara Rodowicz-Ślusarczyk, Agnieszka Ziemiszewska, Agata Moryto, Rafał Masłyk, Zuzanna Szyszak, Mateusz Jarmulski
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Podział pracy oraz dystrybucja kapitałów
społecznych w polu sztuk wizualnych we
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Publication released with support
magno volume 150 gr
of Friedrich Ebert Foundation,
Representation in Poland
Poster Museum at Wilanów
of Information Technology
Izabela Iwanicka and
ul. Koszykowa 86,
Sizmo Pro — Verena Gerlach
02-008 Warsaw, Poland
Sizmo Pro Line — Verena Gerlach
exhibitions in poland
Questa — Martin Majoor
Galicja Jewish Museum
Poster Museum at Wilanów
Ewa Wein My Body My Rights (pl) 2017
ul. Kostki Potockiego 10/16
Yann Legendre Score
photography and film settings
02-958, Warsaw, Poland
Women Are Not A Game (fr) 2006
Nathalie Tipi Olko, Jan Duda,
Woman is not an object (ba) 2012
Piotr Syndoman, Jakub Zięba
Galicja Jewish Museum
Lex Dreviński Free Pussy Riot (pl / de) 2014
ul. Dajwór 18
31-052 Kraków, Poland
Treat Women As Equals (ca) 2001
of Information Technology
Robynne Raye Modern Dog Design Co
isbn e-book: 978-83-948531-7-4
students projects exhibition
I Am Woman Hear Me Roar (us) 2017
Joe Scorsone & Alice Drueding
Marta Zofia Myszewska
Marta Zofia Myszewska
Sexual Slavery (us) 2012
Teresa Sdralevich Salaire
ul. Węglowa 3, Lublin, Poland
Egal Equal Pay (be) 2008
Marta Zofia Myszewska
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights (pl) 2017
300 project manager , art director and designer
Marta Zofia Myszewska