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Who was behind October '56?

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October thaw. The display cabinet
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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Gablotka to taki pomysł, myśmy zaczęli jakieś plakaty satyryczne wywieszać w oknach, w tej witrynie takiej, która wychodzi na Krakowskie Przedmieście, w tym domu studenta. I komitet partyjny zaczął się z nami w tej sprawie handryczyć i stanęło na tym, że będziemy wywieszać na zewnątrz w gablotkach. I tak powstała gazetka ścienna w gablotkach, w której wieszano różne, ważne rzeczy. Na początku, między innymi, szczątki artykułów zdjętych przez cenzurę z różnych gazet warszawskich, przede wszystkim z Życia Warszawy – to Krzyś Pomian jakoś to załatwiał. I co sprawiło... a później już same, różne redakcje przynosiły do nas po prostu w zębach, to co tam wieszali, że przychodził stale tłum ludzi i oglądał.

The display cabinet was an idea we had. We'd started to hang satyrical posters in the window, in that big plate glass window that looks out onto Krakowskie Przemieście in the student centre. The Party committee started picking on us about that and so it was agreed we'd put the posters up inside, in a display cabinet. And that was how we started a bulletin in which we published all kinds of important material and displayed it in the cabinet. At first, among other things, there were proofs of articles that the censors wouldn't allow various newspapers in Warsaw to print, primarily Życie Warszawy. It was Krzyś Pomian who somehow got hold of this, after which the various editorial teams used to bring their material to us themselves to put on display because crowds of people were always coming to see what was there.

The late Polish activist, Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004), had an influential but turbulent political career, helping transform the political landscape of Poland. He was expelled from the communist party, arrested and incarcerated. He was also instrumental in setting up the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and later became a Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Listeners: Marcel Łoziński Jacek Petrycki

Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.

Tags: Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście, Party, Życie Warszawy, Krzysztof Pomian

Duration: 47 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008