On Social Culture | Stokfiszewski | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


Igor Stokfiszewski

On Social Culture

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The article analyses the area of cultural activities outside the institutional circulation of culture, or within that framework but focusing on social values of art. Culture is understood here in its wide anthropological and sociological sense; by the subjects of culture, the author means individual producers, informal groups and social movements, NGOs, subjects of social economics, etc.  The class perspective is very important for the author and he puts special emphasis on those phenomena of culture which are manifestations of cultural practices in folk class. The author demonstrates how culture built primarily on non-institutional foundations influences empowerment, communication and cooperation skills, shaping community, and how it achieves inclusiveness, openness and responsibility, increasing the level of participation, achieving self-sufficiency and contributing to accumulation of common goods. The author believes that adopting the perspective of social culture as the foundation for thinking about culture in general creates an opportunity to strengthen culture and democracy.


Igor Stokfiszewski

(1979), activist, dramatist, researcher, participant and initiator of actions in the areas of political and social theatre, community theatre and engaged art. He has collaborated with the Łaźnia Nowa Theater (Nowa Huta, in Kraków), the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (Pontedera, Italy), with the German collective Rimini Protokoll, and with artists Artur Żmijewski, Paweł Althamer and Katarzyna Górna. In cooperation with directors Wojtek Klemm, Bartosz Szydłowski and Agnieszką Olsten, he has staged performances based on plays by authors including Bertold Brecht, Heiner Müller, Sławomir Mrożek and Olga Tokarczuk. Author of Zwrot polityczny [Political Turn] (2009), co-editor of the collections Jerzy Grotowski – Teksty zebrane [Jerzy Grotowski: Collected Papers] (2012) and Built the City: Perspectives on Commons and Culture (2015). A member of the Political Critique team and an activist in the trade union Workers' Initiative. Since 2013, with Jaśmina Wójcik and others, he has been conducting social and artistic actions in post-industrial spaces of the Warsaw district of Ursus.