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Paweł Demirski

IN THE NAME OF JAKUB S.

| Scena im. G. Holoubka

The majority of Polish society has its roots in rural areas. Not those, however, that used to be home to manors and landowners, but those that were inhabited by uneducated peasants. Why is it, therefore, that the calendar of Polish festivities does not feature a holiday commemorating the abolition of serfdom? Is it that we prefer to think of ourselves as the descendants of the “better”, noble part of the society? Today’s middle class and those who aspire to its ranks are Jakub Szela's descendants. The question is, however, whether we are capable of getting to terms with identity trails that are different from those learnt at school, where Szela was a brute and a traitor, and his revolt was nothing more but a carnage of Poland’s finest men, which had been instigated by the Austrian administration?

Can one really say shamelessly that we are Europeans because we used to be able to kill? Can we rewrite our history from scratch, including the history of the land which was (not) ours? History in which the word “whore” is neither a swearword nor a word for prostitute, but a depiction of a certain attitude? In which the word “hate” was not banned in the 20th century? In which you can hit someone right between the eyes and watch them suffer while complaining publicly about injustice?


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