Beyond a teatr kobiecy
in After ’89
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In examining feminist new writing and reworkings of the Polish canon it is asserted that it is imperative to amend the habit of interpreting the political transformation as lacking gender components and to stop codifying women’s experiences as uniform or homogenous. As both the civic and the social spheres have become increasingly sexualized, the radical right continues to reinforce conceptions of nationhood through gender binaries. The performances by Krystian Lupa, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Andrzej Wajda, Anna Augustynowicz, Maja Kleczewska, Weronika Szczawinska and Bartosz Frackowiak seek to disrupt the ongoing solidification of binary tropes that position women as either eroticized victims and sexualized objects or asexual martyrs that safeguard conservative national narratives and restore traditional hierarchies in a return to a Polish ‘normality’ that is antithetical to communism. It is argueed that the primary objectives of staging gender in political theatre over the past two decades has been to repudiate a perceived ‘proper’ femininity, to advocate and contest legacies of feminism, to represent innovative and lateral forms of kinship and intimacy, to disrupt the reinforcement of heterosexuality as originary and natural and to attend to the insights offered by trans bodies, identities and experiences.

After ’89

Polish theatre and the political


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