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Nostalgia for the PRL in contemporary Poland.


In general opinion, the times of the PRL (Polish People's Republic) are considered to be a dark period in Polish history and perceived by researchers or journalists to be a time of dictatorship and political dependence. However, most of the historical narratives apply the perspective of the emergence and development of the labour movement, as well as other dissident communities. Such a perspective is adopted in Jack M. Bloom's Seeing through the Eyes of Polish Revolution, which emphasises various means of political resistance to the communist authorities. (1) Without wishing to question Bloom's conclusions, however, it is worth noting that terror, subjugation and corruption were not the essence of the whole of society, which led rather a normal everyday existence. The political transition of 1989 was to become a starting point for Polish democracy and independence. Unfortunately, apart from the ongoing political transformation, the 1990s were also formidable years for the process of social polarisation, resulting from the unlimited growth of aggressive capitalism. Many economic and social reforms typical of so-called young democracies led to social pauperisation. As Frances Pine writes, 'by then it had become clear that unemployment, deindustrialization, failing markets for local produce and a new world of consumption to which few could afford access were not temporary adjustments'. (2)

Frances Pine also raises the issue of the selectiveness of the memory of communist times. (3) This social phenomenon may be further explained through the writings of Aleida Assmann. In her article 'Memory, Individual and Collective', Assmann distinguishes several types of memory and emphasises the importance of political memory, which has a direct impact on the political sphere and thus may become a useful instrument for achieving concrete political purposes. (4) Within the context of the 1990s, those purposes could be defined through the empowerment of the democratic authorities or the legitimisation of harsh economic reforms leading to social crisis. The growing social discontent and diminishing enthusiasm about transition created a solid background for different narratives on the history of the Polish People's Republic. The debate was supplemented by other comments or opinions on recent history made by various researchers. (5)

Debates over the PRL after 1989

Among those comments, particular attention is due to Spor o PRL [The dispute over the PRL], consisting of short articles and essays published from 15 May 1994 to 5 November 1995 in Tygodnik Powszechny- an opinion-forming catholic weekly devoted to socio-cultural issues that was established in 1945 and had a great impact on shaping the Polish catholic intelligentsia. The pieces were written by prominent journalists, scholars and public figures. All the authors pursued the common goal of creating a balanced overview of recent history and the way it would be remembered by future generations. The publication consisted of various critical articles, some of which emphasised the totalitarian character of the PRL,6 but some polemical voices could be found as well. The outstanding world-famous Polish philosopher and proponent of political revisionism during the times of the PRL, Leszek Kolakowski, pointed out that:
   the vast majority of people lived with a sense of normality,
   momentarily interrupted; people attended schools and universities,
   worked their way through public administration, got married and
   divorced without the sense of a presence in relation to the state
   where they lived, the state which was dependent and whose
   governance they did not choose, based on simply ridiculous ideology
   which was not taken seriously by anyone. [...] There is no point
   [...] in persuading people that forty-five years were simply
   wasted, as if they hadn't lived and everything had been for
   nothing. (7)

A slightly different opinion was expressed by Jerzy Szacki, a professor of sociology. In his essay, he analysed two paradigms for judging the times of the PRL The first one considered communism as a blank page in Polish history; the second regarded it rather as years of normality. According to Szacki, both paradigms were inaccurate, as they tended to merge the general assessment of the PRL with its political system. (8) Drawing this crucial distinction enabled him to consider Polish culture and its creative output in different terms. In his opinion, the 90s created a particular view on culture in communist Poland which might be considered as supporting political strategy of refusal. As he wrote,
   Despite a lot of nonsense which was spoken by Marxist philosophers,
   among others, it was during the times of the PRL that the classics
   of world philosophy became present in the Polish language. That is
   not the only example. We can give examples from other humanities,
   including translations and editions of the classics; [...] It was
   not so bad in other fields of culture as well, although there is no
   doubt that it could and should have been much better. May God grant
   every, even totally independent, country as many good, and not in
   the least bit communist, books as those written in Poland during
   the PPR. Good Polish literature was produced at that time not only
   abroad. However, it is not appropriate to speak about it. It is
   still advisable to check if native authors ever glorified Stalin or
   the PPR. (9)

These last words especially suggest the scale to which artistic creativity of the PRL was depreciated in order to emphasise the sense of victory in establishing a democratic Poland. Yet the growing historical distance gives space for various narratives and research analyses to emerge.

In this context, I would like to analyse contemporary communist nostalgia, which was being expressed through Jerzy Szacki's words in 1996. However, in order to do a comprehensive analysis, some further references to historical and contemporary social context will be desirable. The context for this research will be built on comparative analysis of two basic aspects of the cultural sector (cultural policy and cultural institutions) in communist and contemporary Poland. I am also fully aware of the ongoing transformation of culture which started several decades ago. The notion of cultural attendance has been replaced with cultural participation, defined variously in accordance with its context and purpose. However, its basic principle was that culture was no longer 'made' solely by institutionalised powers. As Henry Jenkins writes, culture originated also from community involvement, caused by dynamic technological development. (10) This issue will be eventually excluded from our analysis, which will concentrate on 'classic' institutional cultural activities. Consequently, the notion of culture and its practices will be limited mostly to their institutional representations. This will be crucial to revealing the social spaces of nostalgia and its practices in the second part of the article.

Cultural policy and the value of culture

Many analyses tend to consider culture in the times of the PRL and cultural policies as a tool for political agitation (11). However, it should be noted that the principles of cultural policy were not formed only on the basis of 'socialist axiology', but also in response to real social problems. This is visible through another publication, Problemy centralizacji i decentralizacji zycia kulturalnego w Polsce w latach 1945-1980 [Issues relating to the centralisation and decentralisation of cultural life in Poland in 1945-1980], a manuscript commissioned by UNESCO's Department of Cultural Development. The author, Polish sociologist Aleksander Wallis, gave a lot of statistical data concerning associations and trades, cultural infrastructure and the situation in art education. What is more, he analysed the processes of centralisation and decentralisation in artistic life, as well as the difficulties with achieving the balanced cultural development of society. In his theory, he distinguished the notion of a cultural system whose basic functions were as follows:

The dissemination of values

1. Enabling the circulation and usage of values--historical and contemporary, native and foreign--in the whole cultural system and in the whole country.

2. Preventing large disproportions in the level of knowledge, art and cultural development in various centres and regions.

3. Maintaining the necessary balance between the development of all academic, artistic and cultural fields.

4. Presenting and promoting national culture on an international scale. (12)

The conclusions derived from the report reached far beyond the idea of cultural policy as a powerful tool for managing the distribution of socialist values. What is more, the diagnosis made by the sociologist responded to real social problems, such as the centralised network of cultural institutions, disabling the cultural attendance of people in rural areas. The relevance of the principles of cultural policy is even greater, especially since similar principles are now being mentioned in grant programmes of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. (13) It seems that the communist times did not discourage the development of intellectual life. Some researchers were able to overcome the barriers of homo sovieticus and create theories that would prove their importance in different political conditions. Jerzy Szacki's words about the valuable character of Polish culture in the times of the PRL appear to be confirmed.

Today, the cultural sector in Poland is faced with different limitations and difficulties. The tendency to involve the tools of market economics in cultural strategies have had a great impact on cultural institutions, which have been forced to generate profits and follow the strategies of city marketing. The acute negligence of the cultural sector in the 90s had its consequences in the popularisation of event culture, oriented towards commercial success, immediate profits and large attendances. That is also the main reason why festivals are generously supported, whereas institutions which would be able to pursue long-term educational and cultural strategies may suffer from underfunding. What is more, the creation of those strategies is obstructed by the dominant grant system, and their validity is often undermined by statistical data.

Cultural institutions and their public

Many analyses overlook the fact that the period of the PRL was internally diverse. The years of Stalinism were followed by the Polish thaw, the years of Wladyslaw Gomulka as First Secretary, replaced by Edward Gierek, the years of economic crisis and the protests leading towards martial law in 1981 and finally the reformative years ending with political transition. During the time of economic prosperity, the state invested in expanding the cultural infrastructure, which was later financed by trade unions. As Maria Burdowicz-Nowicka suggests, until August 1980 the trade unions should be considered as having been important patrons of cultural life for the working class. Their funds supported many cultural venues that belonged to them: 3800 cultural centres,14 clubs and dayrooms, 900 libraries, 400 cinemas, and around 7000 art groups and hobby associations. (15) The economic crisis of the 80s had a substantial impact on the cultural infrastructure, and the number of cultural institutions registered in 1970 (26,492, with 691 cultural centres) declined. Similar expansion may be observed in the number of artistic institutions such as theatres, music halls and opera houses, most of which opened during the post-war period. (16) The great majority of them still operate today.

It may seem an obvious conclusion that the collapse of the cultural sector in the 1990s was a result of the 80s crisis. However, the situation was carefully examined in the mid 1990s, when a report on cultural infrastructure and attendance at cultural institutions was delivered. The report, Kultura Polska 1989-1997 [Polish culture 1989-1997], was divided into two parts: one focused on diagnosing and responding to social problems, the other presented statistical data. The conclusions arising from the report pointed directly at the problem of the ongoing pauperisation of Polish society and the cultural sector.
   The largest drop in the rate of participation in artistic culture
   came in 1992. It was certainly connected with the economic
   situation of households [...]. The withdrawal of the public from
   cultural institutions was also a result of the limitation of
   various forms of participation in culture, which was enforced by
   the necessity of "economising" on the scarce cultural funds
   provided from the budgets of the government and local
   self-governments [...].1 (7)

A similar tendency could be observed in the development of cultural infrastructure, especially in rural areas. The report pointed out that although cultural infrastructure was adapting to the new conditions of the free-market economy, a tendency to limit the number of cultural centres, clubs, community centres, dayrooms and libraries could be observed in many administrative districts. (18) The worst situation arose in rural districts, as the number of cultural institutions decreased significantly. (19) Their facilities and human resources seemed poorer and were not improved. Consequently, as they could not afford to expand their offer, they had to deal with a growing lack of interest and limited or withdrawn subsidies.

Today, the state neglect of the 1990s has produced tangible results. A report on cultural practices delivered in 2014 showed that cultural institutions had become of less interest to both younger and older generations. (20) Supported with statistics, report led to the conclusion that cultural activity in contemporary Poland had become directly related to socio-economic status. In other words, it revealed the change of social motivation for cultural participation. First of all, the issue of material status became significant when the governmental subsidies were withdrawn and cultural participation was given its monetary value. This created a material barrier for some parts of the society. However, Polish experiences from the times of the PRL suggested that educational credentials were not the major determinants of cultural participation. There were initiatives such as lectures about art for working classes organized by Muzeum Sztuki w Lodzi [Lodz Art Museum] by its director Marian Minich yet in the 1950s. (21) As seminars, exhibitions and social events achieved massive popularity, the idea of learning about art in a more accessible manner was then developed by subsequent directors. The drop of cultural participation after political transition may be, therefore, explained not only by material issues but also by new kind of social divisions defined by access to culture participation.

Obviously, the state took necessary steps to overcome social inequality and make cultural participation more accessible. (22) Many new grant programmes were established in order to enable the promotion of cultural activities among the excluded parts of society. Following global trends, cultural and artistic institutions organise educational workshops for children and adults, as well as providing special ticket fares. Systemic changes also reach cultural centres, which can apply for a special programme under the auspices of the National Centre for Culture (Narodowe Centrum Kultury). The programme Cultural Centre + (Dom Kultury +), organised since 2010, aims to modernise their infrastructure, functioning and programming, as well as improving the qualifications of staff. Mocked as relics of the communist past, encountering a huge crisis of popularity in the 90s, cultural centres are being revived, playing an important role for local communities. (23)

To conclude this section, we would like to refer once more to the words of Leszek Kolakowski and Jerzy Szacki. The one-sided view of the PRL, especially with regard to culture, cultural education and artistic creativity, seems to be a great simplification. It simply cannot be presumed that everything produced during the times of communism was corrupted by 'socialist axiology' and served as a tool for political propaganda. It would be also unfair to devalue the work of artists, cultural animators and educators doing their everyday work. Should we really make them forget about forty-five years of their lives? Appreciation of culture and its meaningful role during the times of communism does not obviously equate to an appreciation of the political system of the PRL, which could be considered as a conglomerate of vulgarised values. Despite everything, culture and intellectual life developed well, even if they sometimes clashed with the state. If the positive aspects of the past are identified, it will be easier to understand the growing feeling of nostalgia which accompanies some aspects of collective memory. However, that nostalgia may be rather unconscious and deeply grounded among society.

The social spaces of nostalgia

Nostalgia is one of the possible approaches to history. The meaning of nostalgic practices is created through their re-enactment, which plays a significant role in shaping social memory. (24) A deeply grounded feeling of nostalgia does not exclude the fact that nostalgia may also be performed through acts of consumption and become de-politicised. That is why we would like to distinguish three modes of thinking about nostalgia, which relate to the cultural sector in Poland. It is important to note that this perspective does not refer only to the working class, whose nostalgia for work and life was described by Frances Pine in the article quoted above. (25) We will try to locate nostalgia in contemporary social practices, starting with those introduced by cultural and art institutions.

For over a decade, the significance of programmes fostering cultural participation, education and social involvement has been growing. Cultural institutions are introducing their own projects, aimed at equalising chances and reducing educational and social deficiencies. These projects are financed from programmes launched by state institutions. In their descriptions, principles such as the inclusion of marginalised social groups are very common. Great emphasis is placed on educating children and preparing them to understand the content of culture. It is presumed, therefore, that investing in the youngest generation will have a significant effect on their future adult lives, when they become an integral part of the cultural sector and its life. Are these principles not similar to those formulated in the times of the PRL? Let us remind ourselves of the principles of cultural policy established by Aleksander Wallis as a response to the problem of the centralisation of cultural life and his great concern for empowering cultural centres in rural areas. After years of political transition, it is now clear that the cultural sector will not be able to manage on its own without becoming a space of social stratification. Nostalgia for the PRL is often expressed directly by older generations, showing their discontent with the number of young people's cultural activities. (26) The so-called 'classic' forms of cultural participation are growing less popular. That is why there appears to be some kind of longing for music halls, opera houses and other cultural venues filled with a younger public. (27) It may be of great relevance, however, that, during the times of the PRL, cultural attendance was a source of social prestige, and every cultured man or woman considered it a personal duty. (28) Nowadays, due to massive technological development, forms of cultural practices have changed, and 'classic' practices are considered less attractive.

The other type of social practices, which can be considered as nostalgic, has a strong presence in public space. As it is connected directly with re-creating, re-enacting and commemorating history, it has a distinctive performative character. Published no more than one year ago in the Polish weekly Polityka was an article about national celebrations during the times of the PRL. Its author, Piotr Oseka, described the rituals of celebrating public holidays as a foundation for totalitarian propaganda, although most of them (according to the official state calendar from 1946) referred to recent or old Polish historical events. (29) What is more, he pointed out that the celebrations were far too costly for the ruined post-war country. After the political transformation, national commemorations connected particularly with the lives of Lenin and Stalin became relicts of the forgotten past. However, they were replaced with other forms and reasons for celebration. As sociologist Przemyslaw Sadura writes:
   The teachers who had taken us on a May Day Parade would now take us
   to 3rd May [Constitution Day] Masses in honour of the Fatherland.
   [...] No one told me to praise Lenin; however, while taking part in
   a performance to commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of
   Poland's sovereignty, I had an option to play the role of Roman
   Dmowski [co-founder and chief ideologue of the right-wing National
   Democracy- Endecja; the father of Polish Nationalism with strong
   anit-Semitic attitude ] or Jozef Pilsudski [first Marshal of Poland
   from 1920 and unofficial head of the state after coup d'etat in May
   1926; Dmowski's political opponent; as his political actions were
   strongly anti-Russian his person and records were officially
   forbidden during the PRL]. (30)

It seems that some of the cultural practices did not change their form but were given different political meaning- often indicating strong anti-Russian sentiment. Public ceremonies to honour socialist leaders were replaced with historic anniversaries for which victorious battles were often reconstructed, such as the Gorlice Offensive of 1915 (when Austro-Hungarian and German armies defeated the Russians), the Battle of Mlawa in 1920 (victory in the Polish-Soviet war) and the Radlowska Offensive of 1939 (reconstruction of a Polish-German battle). It is not only military campaigns and battles that are performed. Reconstruction groups take part in other important historic events, such as Jozef Pilsudski's arrival in Warsaw in November 1918 and the Augustow round-up of 1945 (during which the communists arrested alleged anticommunist fighters from the Home Army and their sympathisers). Obviously, participation in any of these events is voluntary. However, it is the longing for an 'experience of togetherness' accompanying those social performances that may be considered as nostalgic. The sense of being a part of community was lost after the transformation and is now re-established in the public ceremonies. What is more, the impact of such events on creating a particular vision of Polish history and collective memory seems to be massive.

Finally, the third kind of social practices seem to express nostalgia though products. The so-called nostalgia industry is growing in most countries of the post-soviet bloc. This seems like a natural reaction to the growing distance in time from the 'previous epoch', the overall view of which is becoming blurred, but also amusing and ideal for the needs of contemporary consumerism. Its basic principle is to create a sense of attachment to the colourful and 'exotic' past, especially among the younger generations. This feeling of something being lost is visible through many Facebook profiles, such as Born in the PRL, or even the on-line shop, whose name and range of products refers back to its predecessor- originally Pewex, the synonym for western luxury in the PRL. The longing for 'authenticity' is present in the Museum of the Magic of the PRL (Muzeum Czar PRL), narrating history through typical apartment interiors, consisting of various items from communist times. Established in 2009 in Warsaw, this private museum presents a history which appears to be simple, entertaining and non-political. Every visitor can have their photo taken in communist surroundings. The same tendency occurs in pubs, the style of which refers directly to the PRL pub interiors. Most of them are called Pub PRL or Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa [Wodka and beer drinking room] which was the actual name for pubs in the PRL. Some of them try to build their 'authenticity' on exhibiting every kitsch socialist souvenir they can find. However, their deliberate exaggeration helps to erase references to history, enabling the consumption of a gentle past extracted from the socio-political context. Therefore, they all may serve as an example of nostalgia being part of a marketing strategy- nostalgia which is not individually and originally felt but created for the sake of consumption.

Polish nostalgia appears to be either partially concealed or represented by exaggerated forms. It seems as if mentioning anything positive from communist times in public is morally wrong and that amusement or kitsch are needed to legitimise it. Deeply grounded nostalgia and its practices are not clearly articulated but reveal themselves in a multitude of social practices and moments of national celebration. Finally, they reveal themselves in the activities of cultural institutions which pursue programmes of social inclusion, aiming to involve culturally marginalised people. Only now can we see that ideals and principles formulated by some of the PRL's cultural animators and academics can transcend political boundaries and become an important part of contemporary society.


(1) Bloom, Jack M., Seeing through the Eyes of Polish Revolution, Boston: Brill, 2013.

(2) Pine, Frances, 'Retreat to the Household? Gendered Domains in Postsocialist Poland', in Chris M. Hann (ed.), Postsocialism. Ideals, Ideologies and Practices in Eurasia, London and New York: Routledge, 2002, 106.

(3) Ibid, 111.

(4) Assmann, Aleida, 'Memory, Individual and Collective', in Robert E. Goodin and Charles Tilly (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, 218.

(5) For example: Urbanek, Mariusz, 'Problem Panstwa z nieprawego loza. Rozmowa z prof. Jerzym Holzerem' [Problem of the misbegotten state. Conversation with Jerzy Holzer] in Odra 9/1994 ; Wladyka, Wieslaw, 'Piecdziesiat i piec' [Fifty and five] in Polityka, 18/1994; Walicki, Andrzej, 'Demony Peerelu' [Demons of the PPR] in Res Publica Nowa 3/1993; Walicki, Andrzej, Zniewolony umyslpo latach [The captive mind after years] Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1993; Magierska, Anna, Dylematy historii PRL [The dilemmas of the PRL history] Warszawa: Dom Wydawniczy Elipsa, 1995; Kersten, Krystyna, Czy PRL byta panstwem totalitarnym? [Was the PRLa totalitarian state?] in: Wiadomosci Historyczne, 1/1992; Kersten, Krystyna, [eds.] Polska 1944/45-1989. Studia i materiaty 1, [Poland 1944/45-1989. Researches and sources] Wydawnictwo Instytutu Historii PAN : Warszawa 1995.

(6) Jerzy Turowicz's voice may serve as the exemplary one: 'The political system of the PRL was totalitarian. Discussions are taking place among us about what totalitarianism is and whether during its whole existence the PRL was a totalitarian state [...] in my opinion, there is no need to split hairs'. Quoted after Turowicz, Jerzy, 'PRL dla doroslych' [The PRLfor adults], in Spor o PRL [The dispute over the PPR], Krakow: Znak, 1996, 179.

(7) Kolakowski, Leszek, 'PRL--wielki nieboszczyk?' [The PRL--the great departed?], in Spor o PRL [The dispute over the PPR], 152-153.

(8) Szacki Jerzy, 'Dwie historie' [Two histories], in Spor o PRL [The dispute over the PPR], 69.

(9) Ibid, 72.

(10) Jenkin, Henry et al., Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, Cambridge, Mass., Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2009, 5-8.

(11) For example, Krajewski, Andrzej, Miedzy wspotpraca a oporem. Tworcy kultury wobec systemu politycznego PRL (1975-1980) [Between collaboration and resistance. Culture creators vis-a-vis the political system of the PRL (1975-1980)], Warsaw: Trip, 2004.

(12) Wallis, Aleksander, Problemy centralizacji i decentralizacji zycia kultural-nego w Polsce w latach 1945-1980 [Issues relating to the centralisation and decentralisation of cultural life in Poland in 1945-1980], Warsaw: Instytut Kultury, 1981, 12-13.

(13) Each year, the Ministry announces a list of grant programmes with distinguished priorities. For example, the main purpose of the 'Cultural Heritage' programme is 'safeguarding Polish cultural heritage at home and abroad, supporting the functioning of museums and the popularisation of regional culture'. In 2015, the programme consisted of seven priorities, such as 'Regional and traditional culture' and 'The protection of archaeological monuments'.

(14) The distinction between these cultural venues may seem quite unusual. During the times of the PPR, cultural infrastructure consisted of domy kultury, which served as cultural centres for local communities, where they could develop their creative stills, swietlice, which were dayrooms for children and teenagers, and kluby, that is, hobby or interest clubs.

(15) Burdowicz-Nowicka Maria, 'Ludzie kultury--inicjatywy kulturalne' [People of culture: cultural initiatives], in Kazimierz Zygulski, et al. (eds), Przemiany form zycia kulturalnego w warunkach narastajqcego kryzysu i reform systemowych [Changes to the forms of cultural life in the conditions of growing crisis and systemic reforms], Warsaw: Polska Akademia Nauk Instytutu Filozofii i Socjologii, 1989, 75.

(16) To give several examples: the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdansk (1945), Silesian Opera in Bytom (1945), Warsaw Operetta (1947), Poznan Philharmonic (1947), Wroclaw Philharmonic (1954), Krakow Opera (1954), Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz (1956) and Grand Theatre in Lodz (1967). According to the data provided by General Statistical office of Poland, the total number of music institutions in 2010 was 10 Operas, 15 Operettas, 25 Philharmonies. Report 'Dzialalnosc instytucji kultury w Polsce w 2010r.' [Functioning of cultural institutions in Poland in 2010] polsce-2010.pdf, accessed 10 December 2015.

(17) Kaczmarek, Urszula, and Grad, Jan, 'Uczestnictwo w kulturze spoleczenstwa polskiego' [Polish society's participation in culture], in Teresa Kostyrko (ed.), Kultura Polska 1989-1997 [Polish culture 1989-1997] Warsaw: Instytut Kultury, 1997, 127.

(18) Kolbowska, Ewa, 'Spoleczne warunki edukacji kulturalnej w Polsce lat dziewiccdziesiqtych' [The social conditions of cultural education

in Poland during the nineties], in Kostyrko (ed.), Kultura Polska 1989-1997, 158.

(19) The report presents statistical data that reflects the dynamic changes in cultural infrastructure. In 1994-96, there were 3558 established, 2014 liquidated, 9699 privatised and 400 merged institutions. The totals for some of the various types of institution break down as follows: cultural and community centres 95/80/16/80, rural dayrooms 303/116/45/24, libraries 120/538/0/24. Further references: Zina Jarmoszuk and Krystyna Jcdryczkowska (eds), 'Statystyczny obraz kultury w gminach' [A statistical picture of culture in administrative districts], Index 2, p. 25, in Kostyrko (ed.), Kultura Polska 1989-1997.

(20) Szlendak, Tomasz, 'Formy aktywnosci kulturalnej' [Forms of cultural activeness], in Rafal Drozdowski, et al., Praktyki kulturowePolakow [The cultural practices of Poles] (Torun: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, 2014), 210-212.

(21) Lot of data concerning such activities is provided on the Museum's website. Its archive consists of press releases and photo documentation of events taking place in the museum from the 50s., accessed 10.12.2015

(22) Especially, it was The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland that started its grant programmes in 2008 and established institutes responsible for promoting artistic culture, such as Instytut Teatralny im.. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego [Theatre Institute] (2003), Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej [Polish Film Institute] (2005) Instytut Muzyki i Tanca [The Institute of Music and Dance] (2010). Each institute has its own grant programmes supporting art production. What is more, the Ministry established Narodowe Centrum Kultury [The National Centre for Culture] (2005), which 'launches and supports research projects, (...), develops and maintains a platform documenting good practices in the field of cultural policy, collects research reports as well as monitoring activities of national and foreign cultural observatories, (...) inspires and supports social movements and NGOs operating in the fields of culture and national heritage,(.) raises the qualifications of people working in the cultural sector'. accessed 15.12.2015.

(23) The programme was preceded by extensive research, aimed at diagnosing the problems and needs of cultural centres. As a result, many reports for Narodowe Centrum Kultury (the National Centre for Culture) have been produced.

(24) Nadkarni, Maya, and Shevchenko, Olga, 'The Politics of Nostalgia in the Aftermath of Socialisms Collapse: A Case for Comparative Analysis', in Olivia Ange and David Berliner (eds), Anthropology and Nostalgia, New York: Berghahn, 2015, 65.

(25) Pine, Frances, 'Retreat to the Household?, 104-105.

(26) According to statistics from the report Praktyki kulturowe Polakow, 28.3% of people aged 18-25 visited an art gallery at least once in 2013, 43.4% visited a cultural centre at least once and 27.6 % a theatre. Tomasz Szlendak, 'Formy Aktywnosci kulturalnej', 141-212.

(27) It appears through public discussions and interviews with people involved in cultural institutions. Often, the lack of cooperation between schools and cultural institutions is considered as responsible for ongoing situation, like in the article entitled 'Szkola wychowuje kulturowych ignorantow' [School educates cultural ignorants] ,http://www.oswiata. doAsGroupId=5138430&refererPlid=5258594, accessed 14.12.2016.

(28) Research into the model of cultured man has been conducted by sociologist Andrzej Tyszka, in Uczestnictwo w kulturze. O roznorodnosci stylow zycia [Cultural attendance. On the variety of lifestyles], Warsaw: Polskie Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1971.

(29) Oseka, Piotr, 'Kazecie, to idziemy' [Just say the word and we'll go], in Polityka weekly,1 ,; accessed 10 December 2014.

(30) Sadura, Przemyslaw, 'Marzy mi sie inna rozmowa o szkole' [I dream of a different conversation about school], in Edukacja: Przewodnik Krytyki Politycznej [Education: a guide of political criticism], Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, 2013, 9.
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Title Annotation:Polish People's Republic
Author:Golinowska, Karolina
Publication:Twentieth Century Communism
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EXPO
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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