Cultural Practices of New Nationalism in Poland

By: Piotr Zanko   Michał Rauszer  

After the collapse of communism in 1989 in Poland the National Independence Day was revived on the 11th of November. To commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s sovereignty in 1918 marches have been organized by different patriotic groups. However in 2009 a few fascists organizations joined the celebrations, gathering hundreds of thousands of people. It wasn’t until 2010 that the situation changed and November 11th became a platform for new nationalism. The nationalist sentiments were triggered by the presidential plane crash in Smolensk in April 2010. Simultaneously in Polish public discourse the term “lewactwo” – which is a derogatory combination of the words “left wing” and “worms” – was coined. This word has become the symbolic foundation for the new nationalism discourse. Moreover, the nationalists have started using the cultural practices characteristic for subcultures and alternative cultures, making it a platform very popular among young people. These local practices coincided with the rise of a global phenomenon labeled as new nationalism. In Poland it inscribes into the structures of alternative information and web discourse against “lewactwo,” which can be found in the combination of patriotic motives with alternative culture. We analyze the performative and media practices of new nationalism such as marches, posters, graffiti, clothing, lyrics of rock and hip-hop music, etc. We also show what elements of social discourse this “patriotic subculture” is questioning and what alternative visions of the world it creates.

Nationalism, Media Practices
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Piotr Zanko

-, -, University of Warsaw, Poland
Mazowieckie, Poland

Piotr Zańko – PhD,Faculty of Education, University of Warsaw. His research focuses on alternative culture,urban anthropology, visual anthropology and qualitative research. He wrote a book on culture jamming in Poland „Zabijemy was słowami”. Prowokacja kulturowa w przestrzeni miejskiej i w internecie” („We will kill you with words”. Culture Jamming in Urban Space and in the Internet, 2012).

Dr. Michał Rauszer

Assistant Profesor , Faculty of Educataion, University of Warsaw