Issue 9/2019 (754)



All Is Good When We Are Happy

Malina Prześluga

The text starts with several intertwining monologues of ordinary people: a pregnant woman, a middle-class man arranging his apartment, an elderly couple looking at the pictures of a dog. We can also hear broken, banal street voices. Suddenly the daily rituals are interrupted by bombing. A war breaks out, and ordinary people lose their homes and set off as refugees. What should they pack? Will small things they would take to a desert island in the past prove useful in an extreme situation? Can we imagine such a situation at all?

Dead Man (A halottember)

János Háy  

In a provincial town, life passes in anticipation of a postman. Every day he brings letters written by husbands and fathers from the war front, and sometimes notifications of their death. When he arrives with the information about the death of the beloved of the main character, she is first in despair, but later tries to reconnect with life, erasing the memory of her husband because living in eternal mourning is impossible. But when after some time it turns out that the man has survived, the everyday life of the woman who has already finished mourning becomes unbearable.

Damascus 2045

Mohammad Al Attar 

The action of the play takes place in the future, many years after the Syrian war, in the War Memorial Museum in Damascus and the Centre for Brain Rehabilitation and Memory. The main character, a security services officer, tries to complete the programme of collective memory manipulation to ensure the expected memory of the past. However, whether due to an IT system error or human intervention, the operation is not proceeding as planned.

Essays, Studies

A demilitarised tale

An interview with Paweł Machcewicz, historian, originator, co-founder and director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk in the years 2008-2017.

Honour and the particular

Kornelia Sobczak

Jan Kott's polemic with Conrad is a call to defend the particular. You have to ask about the meaning, because the question about the meaning is a question about the particular. Perhaps today you can read Kott's Marxism and materialism as a call for the concern about the living, specific people, for the meaning of their lives and their killing, as a question about social relations and values around which we build our society. Otherwise, we will only be left with the heroism of death.

Plants at the people’s war

Justyna Szklarczyk

Ruderal species grow close to humans, usually in dumps, courtyards, squares, embankments, or railroad tracks, under fences and between paving slabs. This is during peace. There may be more unused spaces during the war. Roman Kobendza was, among others, a chronicler of this specific reaction of the environment to the destructive warfare.

After the Third Republic – the Third Reich

Piotr Olkusz

During the Second World War, French theatre did not stop playing and, according to many viewers and actors, even experienced a period of prosperity. In Paris, the audience eagerly watched performances, while in the Vichy zone the office of Marshal Pétain often used theatre as a political tool, enjoying the artists' consent for a long time. It seems that this assent to the collaboration on the part of theatre artists resulted primarily from their aversion to the Third Republic, which had been established in 1870  It proposed a liberal political system radically different from that of Bismarck and the Nazis, which according to many artists was a system devoid of great ideals and discussions about values.

An Eye for an Eye

Simone de Beauvoir

An essay published in „Les Temps modernes” no 5, 1946

Post-war transformation of Simone de Beauvoir

Olga Byrska

Simone de Beauvoir’s essay An Eye for an Eye exemplifies the change of the author who, from an attitude of non-involvement in defining the principles of morality, in her post-war essays performs moral reconstruction from the position of involvement.

Austria. An illusory similarity

Bożena Keff

What do Poland and Austria have in common? Nothing, actually, except for the fact that for over a hundred years part of Poland was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In addition, both countries are Catholic. Both countries have a well-rooted anti-Semitic tradition. Poland emerged from the Second World War as a victim (which it actually was) and as a victim, it had cooperated to a great extent with the Reich as regards the extermination of Jews. And Austria also received the victim status, despite the fact that the majority of Austrian society had favoured the Anschluss, and then the Austrians participated in the crimes of the Third Reich.

Jewish theatre, or just theatre

Marcin Kula

Shulamis  is the patron of a fundamental work by Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska dealing with the phenomenon of Jewish theatre in Poland - from its beginnings to recent housing problems of the  Estera Rachel and Ida Kamiński theatre in Warsaw. It is entitled Polska Szulamis. Studia o teatrze polskim i żydowskim [Polish Shulamis. Studies on Polish and Jewish Theatre] (2018).

Dailiness of tragedy

Paweł Sztarbowski

Director Omar Obusaada and playwright Mohammad Al Attar took an active part in the Syrian revolution, while trying to work on theatrical activities which documented these events and displayed their paradoxes. Their performances commented on current political events in the country almost on a regular basis. Both artist are currently working on a performance at the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw.

Will theatre stop the war?

Małgorzata Budzowska

The article focuses on the Milo Rau’s documentary theatre performance Orestes in Mosul (NTGent, 2019). The director of the performance juxtaposes fragments form Aeschylus’ Oresteia with the real situations from the city of Mosul in Iraq. The production is played on theatrical stage with the support of video projection displaying the same situations staged on the real streets of Mosul. The article scrutinizes the juxtaposed scenes from the stage and from the video projection, considering the conceptual equivalence of such parallels in the context of an overarching anti-war idea of the play. Furthermore, the issue of ethical responsibility of such documentary projects, which involve real victims of war crimes, is pondered upon.

1970s: Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak and Krystyna Janda (1)

Ewa Hevelke

Another feature within the Faces series – history told through the prism of the characters and roles of actresses emblematic of their time.


Marek Beylin, Tadeusz Nyczek, Pedro Pereira, Piotr Morawski


Contexts: Zofia Cielątkowska on the work of  Niki de Saint Phalle in the context of the art of performance. Notes on plays: Tomislav Zajec Mala Moskva; Michał Łukowicz Kuszenie Wojciecha K.; Kathrin Röggla Normalverdiner. Playbill