Agata Zborowska – “The Life of Things in Postwar Poland (1944-1956). Practices and Images”
The purpose of the project is the analysis of the role and meaning of things in Poland between 1944 and 1956. This period of post-war scarcity was simultaneously a period of establishing a new economic order, in which consumption was often limited to the most basic goods. The research is thus an attempt at looking at things not in the situation of their general availability and abundance, but lack and constant concern about them. It will thus be an analysis not from the perspective of a developed capitalist system, but a centrally planned economy, which was supposed to eliminate overproduction, but instead consequently lead to shortages. The subject of the proposed research will include both practices connected with things and images of things in the first years after the war in Poland. What needs to be researched is how the two following areas functioned and in what relation they remained: top-down area, connected with strategies, politics and regulations at the central level, and bottom-up area, including emotions and tactics of individuals (Michel de Certeau 2011). The point of departure of the proposed project is the hypothesis that concentrating on things in the period of scarcity will allow for a unique analysis of their functioning and for valuations not possible in other circumstances.
Katarzyna Kułakowska – “The counter-culture theatrical movement in Poland from the perspective of its female participants“
The purpose of the project was to explore and describe the experience of actresses associated with Polish counter-culture theatre as interpreted by them in the form of biographical narrative and theatrical activities they conducted. On the basis of preliminary diagnoses, I proposed a research hypothesis that being a woman in counter-culture theatre is a peculiar experience which ultimately contradicts the movement’s main postulates.By analysing the movement’s female participants’ experiences as reconstructed by themselves, the project not only aimed at restoring the memory of the actresses whose creative work has been neglected in hitherto theatre studies synthetic works, but is also an attempt to re-read the history
of Polish counter-culture. Moreover, while treating theatre group as an “ideal type” of social and public life model, the project enabled reflection on basic cultural patterns, in particular those concerning gender paradigms of Polish counter-culture. Moreover, while treating theatre group as an “ideal type” of social and public life model, the project enabled reflection on basic cultural patterns, in particular those concerning gender paradigms.The most important research category in the presented project is experience which I define as something “lived through” (Wilhelm Dilthey). I assume that experience is incomplete until “the lived-through” is attributed with meaning during a creative retrospection (Victor Turner) which may result not only in a narrative but also, in the context of women that I study, theatrical activities. Hence, while studying the women’s biographies, I determine their all creative acts as interpretations and representations of their own experiences, thus as an experience which they put in a structural framework.