Klaudiusz Święcicki

Klaudiusz Święcicki

Theatre Against Non-Human Reality: A Few Sentences About the Theatre of the Eighth Day

The Theatre of the Eighth Day (Teatr Ósmego Dnia), from Poznań, has been a phenomenon of Polish independent theatre for 54 years. It is comparable to Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre or Tadeusz Kantor’s Cricot 2 Theatre. Like each of these theatres, it determined the area of its artistic autonomy. It was founded in 1964 by students of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. As the students’ theatre of poetry, for the first few years it operated under the direction of Tomasz Szymański. They were closer to the legendary Rhapsodic Theatre of Mieczysław Kotlarczyk from the years of wartime occupation than...

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Poland and The World of the Bad Change: The Theatre of the Eighth Day’s “And They Pitched a Tent Among Us”

For the last three years, liberal, pro-European Poland has been experiencing an identity crisis. It seems that the demons have been brought to the forefront: religious obscurantism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and sexism. Cultural and intellectual openness has been replaced with populism and nationalism. The Theatre of the Eighth Day (Teatru Ósmego Dnia) does not remain indifferent to these processes. As in the days of communism, it takes the side of the open society. In the face of propaganda, a nationalistic-oriented vision of history, this theatre is the voice of conscience. A cry for reflection, a critical look at the civic...

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Contemporary Poland in “Paragraph 196 (Exercises on Terror)” by the Theatre of the Eighth Day

The Theatre of the Eighth Day’s Paragraph 196 (exercises on terror) (Paragraf 196 kk (ćwiczenia z terroru)) places the viewer in the mental centre of today’s Poland. Paragraph 196 as a socio-political diagnosis The title refers to a quite controversial paragraph of the Polish Criminal Code, detailing punishments for offending religious feelings. In Poland, artists were put on trial based on this paragraph. In Poland, criminal proceedings were imposed on artists based on this paragraph. One of the creators of the performance is Paweł Hajncel, a performer critical of the Catholic Church. His performances accompany religious processions. Hajncel appears...

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