Sex on stage: Poland threatened by a cultural revolution

Poland’s new Minister for Culture Piotr Gliński tried to prevent the opening of a play in Wroclaw on the grounds that it contained pornographic scenes. Twelve people have been arrested in Poland after trying to block the entrance to a theatre which was showing a play they deemed pornographic. However, after initial riots the performance of the play went ahead on Saturday

piotrglinski
Piotr Gliński

Poland’s new culture minister wants to ban a production by one of the country’s leading theatre companies of a play by a Nobel prize-winning author, claiming public money must not be used to subsidise “pornography”.

The move by Piotr Gliński, who is also deputy prime minister in the new conservative Law & Justice government, is seen by civil liberties groups as a sign that Poland is poised for a return to draconian state censorship.

The liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza takes a dim view of the future for Poland’s cultural scene:

If things go on like this we’ll soon have an all-out cultural revolution here in Poland. They’ll make films that glorify Poland’s history and show plays without pornography. There will be journalistic programmes in which presenters can’t interrupt politicians with inconvenient questions. … The minister’s political career has thus got off to a fatal start. Even under the dictatorship there was fierce opposition when the state was too restrictive on culture. Poland’s history has repeatedly shown that.

Polski theatre’s website describes the play, directed by Ewelina Marciniak, as an “exploration of the relationship between torturer and victim”, saying it was “suitable for very adult audiences”.

“The opening scene features Czech porn actors Rossy and Tim. Under strobe lighting, they simulate foreplay. The scene is intended to startle the audience in the same way as when you come across your parents having sex.” said Rudzki.

The Baltic Review
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