Exhibition – Poland-Street Protests

Together with Róża Thun and Barbara Kudrycka, we are organizing an exhibition of the works of Chris Niedenthal and Wojciech Kryński today in the European Parliament.

Poland is at the crossroads as something dangerous for liberal democracy became apparent. It is the fact that certain political circles are consciously striving for authoritarian governance. Additionally, a large part of society leans towards a more populist model of social development. Polish society is at the crossroads between the dominance of the “homo sovieticus” mentality and the still underdeveloped “homo civicus” attitude.

That is why those who are “homo civicus” are the most important, indeed – they are the citizens of modern Poland.

Street protests in Poland are not only a form of disagreement with the violation of the principles of democracy and the rule of law or expression of rebellion against the threat of fascism. Those protests are indeed the best lesson of democracy today. Democracy which does not shy away from taking actions to the streets, democracy as an action that is courageous, that defends itself and others’ rights, that builds internal freedom. This is the foundation for a real ‘homo civicus’.

Thank you – Polish Street – for your courage and historic responsibility.

These photographs show that the current street protests are not directly, but symbolically – as important as the historical phenomena of Polish freedom which allowed the spirit of Free Poland to survive, such as: Poznań 1956, March 1968, December 1970, Ursus and Radom 1976, and Solidarity movement!

I would like to thank those who share their courage with others, by encouraging them, step by step, to build up their civic responsibility and consciousness: the photographers Chris Niedenthal and Wojciech Kryński, as well as great Agnieszka Holland, Paweł Kasprzak and Professor Marcin Matczak.

I wholeheartedly invite you to this exhibition!

Let us look, talk about, and build our strength of freedom!