Equivalencies of exclusion
in After ’89
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Furthering this discussion, the staging of non-ethnic Polish others and attendant questions around the status of Poland as a postcolonial space form the basis of chapter 6. While a number of scholars have detected an overlap between the colonizing experiences of language, political economies, labor, resistance and emancipation between postcolonial nations in the global south and countries formerly governed by or under Russia and later the Soviet Union, the performances examined both undermine and disrupt the assimilation of Poland under the referent of postcolonial by drawing attention to a concomitant capacity in the country to reproduce colonial discourses. Although a number of progressive directors such as Krzysztof Warlikowski and Bartek Frackowiak and writers like Weronika Szczawinska and Dorota Masłowska have felt empowered to articulate a discerning appraisal of Polish values through the lens of race and ethnicity, an apprehension is articulated about the coupling of a critique of ethnic nationalism purely and singularly to the ethnically Polish body. Despite artists’ attempts to disarticulate biology from culturally constructed notions of racial character, they do not purport to resolve social contradictions in the confrontations they stage between ethnically Polish bodies and other cultures and races. Throughout chapter 6, the equivalencies of exclusion are challenged that move across the political spectrum on race and ethnicity but which fall short of generating dissensus, demonstrating that the universalization of exclusivity as a category fails to take into account the particularities of oppression that are systemically linked to the prerogative of Polish whiteness, as well as the postcolonial imperative to allow for a speaking position that does not render the other invisible or silenced.

After ’89

Polish theatre and the political

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