Issue 11/2019 (756)

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Plays

Sisters

Rafał Wojasiński

Benia, a spinster, and her father Romek live in a countryside. He is a man without a job, without a leg and out of his mind, at least that is what people say about him. In fact, Romek is a homegrown philosopher writing an endless lawsuit against the world which offends his feelings. His town-dwelling family, namely Benia's mother, her sister and brother-in-law, is looking forward to his death. Ashamed of Romek, they do not attend his funeral, and yet they take over the house. An intimate drama, full of poetic rhythms and understatements, showing not only the family but also social tensions.

Svetlana

Przemysław Wojcieszek

A Polish artist drives around Berlin as an Uber driver. He earns bad money and vents his frustration in the monologues behind the wheel. On the other hand, however, his relationship breaks down and the number of reasons for coming back to Poland decreases, especially that the country is now being ruled by a conservative government and he has no prospects to practice art freely. The main character drives different people, the most mysterious being the prostitute Svetlana. She is also the only one he is not allowed to talk to. No wonder he falls in love with her ... An angry, engaged and funny text.

Jeanne

Jean Robert-Charrier

A story of a pensioner living in a large Paris block of flats who is put into  an elderly assistance programme. Initially distrustful of her new young guardian, she eventually opens up to him, becoming more cheerful over time and leaving unpleasant memories of years ago behind. An intimate tale for three actors about the loneliness of the elderly and the malfunctioning of the social assistance system.

Essays, Studies

Eribon and critical theatre, or the right-wing electorate

Joanna Krakowska

In today's political reality, the relationship between the voice of the people and right-wing mandates is increasingly taken for granted. Thus, it would be worthwhile to repeat Didier Eribon's gesture from the book Returning to Reims. But instead of looking at one’s family, to look at the characters from contemporary dramas, in a similar attempt to understand why so many of them would certainly vote for the right-wing  today.

Good Will Hunting

Magda Piekarska

With his Svetlana Przemysław Wojcieszek tries to tell Poland to Berliners. And it is not yet another inspiring fairy tale with a happy ending, typical of the Made in Poland’s author. Not untypical of him, however are about-turns and acute diagnoses, made in a firm tone. Transitions from the cinematic to the theatrical and back. Theses defended eagerly and then suddenly questioned.

Gentrification and Its Discontents

Richard Florida

A chapter from the book: The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It, Basic Books, New York 2017.

Sociological connections between art and social processes

Paweł Możdżyński

Today’s gentrification of cities is focused on quick profit, sanitization of urban space, strengthening hegemonic classes and cultures, thus weakening the dominated communities and delegitimizing their lifestyles. The creative city saturated with an archipelago of creativity centres, which are in fact business centres, is an excellent example of this.  Artwashing is doing well all the time. And the release of artists from this process seems unlikely.

Capitalist art of refining space

Weronika Parfianowicz

The feature is devoted to the role of artists in the process of gentrification. The author, referring to contemporary research on this phenomenon, asks questions about how this process takes place in specific socio-economic conditions typical of post-socialist cities, such as Warsaw, and what strategies are adopted by artists and cultural institutions. The main context for her reflection is neoliberal spatial policy.

Revitalisations?

A conversation by Tomasz Fudala, Ewa Kalnoj-Ziajkowska, Piotr Olkusz and Agata Siwiak.

In recent years, due to new legal solutions, it has become possible to combine urban and renovation works with social and cultural activities. At stake is the preservation of social bonds in districts covered by major revitalization works. How seriously is the participation of social workers and artists in these multi-million projects treated? What is the function of a cultural institution and its obligations towards a given place and its inhabitants?

A song is another theatre

Ewa Wąchocka

Over the past nearly thirty years Polish theatre has undergone aesthetic changes, introduced new themes to the stage and stimulated transformations in the field of writing, at the same time making an alliance with new media. By gradually breaking with the dramatic paradigm, it also accelerated its musicalization process. Today, it is hard to find a performance devoid of music, whether it is played live by a group of instrumentalists or - as it often happens - played or produced using electronic devices.

Columns

Pedro Pereira, Tadeusz Nyczek, Marek Beylin, Piotr Morawski

Varia

Contexts:  Ida Ślęzak on the margin of the exhibition De-Heimatize It!, 4. Berliner Herbstsalon, Gorki Theatre, Berlin, 26 October-17 November 2019. Notes on plays: Ana Isaković, Ramiz Huremagić Da li bi htela da se još ponekad nađemo; Tino Caspanello Quadri di una rivoluzione. Playbill.

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