Kuba Szreder - Archeologies of the the Public: insights into the Polish public sphere.

Open Lecture


The lecture will be aimed at providing insights into the historical development and current shape of the public sphere in Poland. It will be an attempt to conduct an archaeological study of the Polish public sphere, its specific cultural, political and discursive context. It is necessary to engage into radical and dialectic dialog with the Eurocentric notion of the public sphere, to pose the question about how public life organizes itself outside of the historical experience of core capitalist countries.

Poland is an interesting case study for conducting this kind of archaeological investigation, as it is a semi-peripheral country that has for centuries been torn between modernization and underdevelopment. Its tradition of noble democracy, the fight for national independence, and the strong influence of the Catholic Church add to this. The Polish public sphere was constructed under totally different constraints then the ones described by the famous philosopher Jurgen Habermas in his book “The Structural Transformations of the Public Sphere”. Beyond the veil of superficial ideas about the public sphere lies a fascinating world of various ways of being in public, constituted through the course of history and shaped by people in numerous struggles, compromises, exchanges, discussions, all the while under certain economic and political pressures.

My lecture is a modest attempt to venture into these unknown realms of the public space. Rather than providing a closed and finished picture of the Polish public sphere – trapped in the solid grid of academic references – I’ll try to stitch a patchwork of insights into the mutating flux of public life. The lecture will consist of historical data, references to contemporary artistic experiments and my own curatorial practice. It is related to the ongoing research leading towards Parade: modes of assembly, forms of address, a public event organized together with Critical Practice, which will happen in Chelsea’s Parade Ground in the end of May 2010.

Related Projects

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    TrAIN Open Series

    The TrAIN Open series is a forum for invited speakers to present exhibition, publication, and research projects in the form of lectures, discussions and screenings.

    Taking place at fortnightly intervals on Wednesday evenings during the academic term, the series is open to the public, as well as staff and students across the University of the Arts London.
    Find out more about TrAIN Open Series

Related People

  • Kuba Szreder

    Guest Speaker

    Szreder is a graduate at the sociology department of Jagiellonian University (Krakow). He works as a curator of interdisciplinary projects, which are expanding artistic activities in the public sphere, actively engaging in social context and contemporary politics.
    Find out more about Kuba Szreder