“Women’s hell”

Berlin Wall, fragment of the mural “Women’s Hell”, Berlin, Germany
(photo: Ewa Czwartacka-Roman, 31.10.2020)

This mural was created on the initiative of feminist organisations on a fragment of the Berlin Wall as an expression of opposition to the judgment of the Polish Constitutional Court of 22.10.2020, which tightened the rules of abortion and the penalization of women who want to have an abortion.

All-Poland Women’s Strike

Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet (the All-Poland Women’s Strike), is a women’s rights social movement in Poland, established in September 2016. It was set up in protest against the rejection by the Sejm of the Polish Parliament of the bill “Save Women”, which was considered by the Sejm in parallel to the project “Stop to Abortion”. The movement was responsible for the organization of Black Monday, a protest action that took place simultaneously in 147 Polish cities, towns and villages.

Structure and key people

In October 2017, Marta Lempart was head of All-Poland Women’s Strike.While OSK was a key organiser of the September 2016 Black Protests, the protests themselves were decentralised. Klementyna Suchanow was one of OSK’s leaders who proposed the 26 October “walk” to the house of de facto leader of Poland Jarosław Kaczyński, which turned into a 10,000-person protest. Suchanow described the tactics for the continuation of the protests as decentralised, up to grassroots initiatives and creativity.

Suchanow stated in October 2020 that OSK was not a political party, but that some members, aimed at becoming members of Sejm, the Polish lower house of parliament, and that Katarzyna Kotula [pl] of OSK was already a member of Sejm.

Coordination Council

On 1 November 2020, in response to the widespread demands of the October 2020 protests that extended beyond anger against an abortion-related ruling, OSK established a Consultative Council inspired by the Belarusian Coordination Council that had earlier been created in August 2020 during the 2020 Belarusian protests.

History

2016–2017: Creation and early protests

Black Monday protest in Wrocław, 3 October 2016

All-Poland Women’s Strike was created as one of the groups organising the September 2016 Black Protests against proposed legislation that would have tightened abortion law. The protests brought together 100,000 protests who marched in 143 villages, towns and cities in Poland. Together with Argentinian women’s rights activists, OSK helped launch the International Women’s Strike together with women from 28 other countries in 2017.

2017–present: Repression and continued protests

On 4 October 2017, following protests organised by OSK, police raided the offices of the Women’s Rights Centre and Baba in WarsawGdańskŁódź and Zielona Góra. The raids were interpreted as intimidation. Marta Lempart, head of OSK, described the raids as “abuse of power” that disurpted the women’s work by the confiscation of computers and documents. The police spent nine hours in the office of Baba removing files. Strajk Kobiet booth at Woodstock Festival Poland in 2017

In July 2020, the Polish government considered withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention that aims to prevent violence against women and domestic violence. Two thousand women protested in front of the Ordo Iuris headquarters. Marta Lempart described the government’s attitude to women’s rights, stating, “This government has been laughing in the faces of victims of gender violence for years.” Marchers with a “women’s hell” hashtag and the OSK red lightning symbol on a banner, protesting on 24 October 2020 in Gdańsk.

October 2020 protests[edit]

OSK was one of the coordinators of the October 2020 Polish protests that followed the 22 October 2020 Constitutional Tribunal‘s ruling banning the most commonly used of the three cases allowing a small number of legal abortions in Poland. On 27 October, on behalf of OSK and proposals from citizens, stated that the aims of the protests included a return to the rule of law:

On 28 October 2020, Klementyna Suchanow of OSK stated that the initial involvement of OSK in the protests was to defend women’s own rights, not to remove the government. She stated that the aims of the protests had expanded based on comments, slogans and wide discussions with people who had joined the protests.

Suchanow, who had been injured by police during protests in earlier years, leading to a spinal operation, interpreted a speech by Jarosław Kaczyński as a refusal to withdraw the Constitutional Tribunal ruling and an encouragement of escalation of violence.

The President of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska, after a disgraceful verdict condemning Polish women to unimaginable suffering in case of pregnancy and defects of the fetus*, took refuge in the Przyłębski Villa in Berlin, where her husband is an ambassador on a daily basis.

After the activists of the “Dziewuchy Berlin” organization found her home, regular protests began at the Przyłębski’s house. The neighbors – broadly understood, because on quite a large area – received leaflets in which the organizers from the “Dziewuchy Berlin” collective apologize for the obstacles and explain their causes – who the addressee is, starting from the CT pacification and backstage placing her at the head of the dummy by the Law and Justice party, and ending with the essence, that is, that she set the fuse on fire and ran to the “peaceful haven in Berlin open to the world”

*according to the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 22.10.2020, the provision of the law allowing for the removal of pregnancy in the case of severe damage to the fetus is inconsistent with the Polish Constitution.

(Quelle: Wikipedia, red. Ewa Wanat)

Below is the English language version:

“Dear citizens of Thielallee, dear fellow citizens, As you could see, your quiet, beautiful surroundings have changed in recent days into a place of loud protests and gatherings. You are probably wondering what this is about. We feel obliged to explain this to you. The case concerns your neighbors, the couple of Julia and Andrzej Przyłębski, who lived at number 79. Mr. Przyłębski has been the Polish ambassador to Germany for over four years. As a faithful ally of the ruling Polish right-wing-populist formation, he bears responsibility for the constant state of crisis in Polish-German relations. He has spoken out many times in a provocative and aggressive manner, which has contributed to the fact that both the friendship between the two countries and the difficult process of historical reconciliation are still encountering serious obstacles. However, it is not the reason for our presence in your neighbourhood. We mean his wife, Julia Przyłębska. In 2015, immediately after the right-wing populist party Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, took power, the process of destroying the independent justice system began. A very important link in the judicial system of control over lawmakers was the Constitutional Tribunal, which had the power to overrule unconstitutional laws and regulations. As a court of key importance to democracy, it became the object of a hostile, illegal takeover. With the help of legal tricks and illegal judicial appointments, soon the chair of the president of the TK was filled by an incompetent but loyal to the government judge, Julia Przyłębska, who was unknown to anyone before. She fulfilled her task. The Tribunal ceased to function properly as a supervisory body. The government is free to enact unconstitutional laws, and the average citizen has lost the support of the body that has so far defended his fundamental rights. One of these rights was taken away from the Polish people as a result of a very controversial verdict of that tribunal a few days ago. It was the right to terminate the pregnancy if a serious defect in the fetus was found. The tribunal suddenly annulled the law, which had lasted for over 25 years, when all major political forces in Poland made a difficult compromise. Millions of Polish women and men took to the streets in protest against this decision, despite the raging pandemic in our country. For over a week now, protests, gatherings and strikes have been taking place all over the country, as well as beyond its borders, against this inhuman, undemocratic verdict. The country has found itself in a state of dangerous confrontation between its citizens and an aggressive, ultra-conservative ruling formation that is increasingly resorting to threats of open violence in its defense. Julia Przyłębska set the powder keg on fire and immediately evacuated to Berlin. We cannot accept that the destroyer of democracy in our country lives peacefully outside its borders, in our common metropolis, open to the world. We, the proud citizens of Berlin, will not let “bloody Julia” continue to lead a comfortable, luxurious life in Germany while our homeland, set on fire by her, stands in flames. We therefore found her previously kept secret residence in Dahlem in order to regularly remind her of her deeds. As much as we are sorry to have disturbed your peace, we hope that we can count on your solidarity and understanding as our fellow citizens. We will make every effort to leave the place of our protests in order every time. We also hope that one day you will want to join us in an act of solidarity. Our gatherings are open and many Germans participate in them. After all, we are concerned about universal values: women’s rights, human rights and justice, directly threatened in one of the countries of our common European Union by Julia Przyłêbska’s actions.

With respect, Dziewuchy Berlin”.

The leaflets were distributed to many houses, service points, stores and an Italian restaurant where the ambassador is sometimes present. They were received with interest.

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Polish women say: “Enough”!

“The World we know…”

Mercure Hotel Berlin_Basia Satchira 25.02.2018Mercure Hotel, Berlin, Germany (photo: Barbara Stachira, 25.02.2018)

This world we know is dying on our eyes…

There is no time – we have to act!

Between here and now,
The abyss hides
I’m closing this theater now,
I’m running off anywhere.

Actors were chosen by fate,
The cast was bad,
And the role of the sufler here
He’s not responding to us.
The next day, and the art
It’s the same title,
Who is there to fool tonight?
And what’s this game about?

Mural “Books”

Mural Utrecht Marta Piatkowska marzec 2019.jpgArtist: Jan Is De Man, Deef Feed Utrecht, Netherlanden (Photo: Jan Is De Man, March, 2019)

 Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed have asked people from the neighborhood to hand in their most precious book so that he can process it in this mural.
After a week of hard work they have finished an interactive wall painting, on which many nationalities and different tastes regarding literature are shown in a closet.

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On 31.03.2019 Catholic priests in Poland have burned books that they say promote sorcery, including one of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, in a ceremony they photographed and posted on Facebook.

Three priests in the northern city of Koszalin were pictured carrying the books in a large basket from inside a church to a stone area outside. The books were set alight as prayers were said and a small group of people watched on. A mask, various trinkets and a Hello Kitty umbrella were also visible in the pictures of the makeshift bonfire.

more here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/01/harry-potter-among-books-burned-by-priests-in-poland?

“Where books burn, soon people will also burn.”

-Heinrich Heine-

Books are a source of knowledge. Knowledge gives power. I express my loud protest against any attempts to discourage the society from asking questions and having own independent unindoctrinated worldview. Knowledge rescues life – imbecility deprives it.

 

“Before I die…”

Prague 130.JPGPrague, Czech Republic (Photo: Gosia Głowacka, 22.08.2014)

Before I die

I would like to see people around who oftener smile at and help each other rather than swearing and harm one another …
I would like to reduce disparities in distributing goods of this world between the richest and the poorest
I would like people to understand that by destroying our beautiful planet they undercut the branch they sit on
I would like to travel to the farthest and most oriental corners of the world without fear that I might not come back alive (e.g. as a result of military operations carried out in these areas, epidemics, terrorist attacks etc.)
I would like that white is always white and black is black without necessity to prove it
I would like that my son grew into a wise, happy man as well as he will be surrounded by that kind of people
I would like that hate speech is replaced by LOVE speech

… so it seems that there are many more years of life ahead of me for these wishes to come true;). And you – what would you like / want to do / see / experience before your earthly journey will finish?

 

“Black protest”

14958725_10211012114445601_886304184_n                                               Made by: Marta Frej, Warsaw, Poland (Photo: Jakub Kosiorek, listopad 2016)

The mural is by Marta Frej. It commemorates the protests against the proposed bill that would ban all abortions submitted to the Polish Parliament by members of “Ordo Juris”.

There were several events organized in October 2016 including the Black Protest, the Dignity March, the Women’s Strike. Signatures were collected voicing the opposition to the proposed amendments of the already very restrictive abortion law.

“The Black Protest, the Dignity March and the Women’s Strike involved several hundred thousand women and their families standing together in the defense of women’s dignity, health and life,” says Weronika Paszewska of Akcja Demokracja.
“Almost a thousand people supported the idea to commemorate those events by donating money for a large mural. It will remind everyone that women in Poland will keep fighting for their dignity and will not let arrogant politicians limit their rights.”
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I am a WOMAN – I HAVE THE RIGHT to live with dignity and myself decide for myself.

“We Have the Power”

DSCF0032.JPGMade by:INO, Port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece (Photo:. Gosia Głowacka, 04.04.2016)

Greek visual artist iNO created this mural on the center of Piraeus Port, one of the largest seaports in the Mediteranean sea located in Greece. The artist was interviewed by the National Geographic staff and the mural creation procedure was filmed for an upcoming documentary. The artwork is entitled “We Have The Power” and is depicting a child looking up at a huge portrait of the ancient philosopher Democritus. Knowledge is power.

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An educated society has power, which no devious hypocrite will be able to destroy by trying to impose his will. A society in which the level of education is low is more prone to manipulation and to unrealistic promises of populists. Therefore, such a society can be easily manipulated and used by cynical political players and representatives of religious associations or churches. Let’s educate ourselves and the others – May the Force be with us!.

Chopin murals at Tamka

Made by.: Marcin Urbanek, project:: collective work, Warsaw, Poland (Phot. Monika Saczyńska, August 12, 2012)

Two big murals were created on the walls of the Tamka 37 House (the mural-map) and the Kopczyński 5/7 House (the mural-comic book) by the Frederic Chopin’s Museum in Warsaw. The unveiling of the murals took place on 25th June 2010 and it was one of many events which commemorated Chopin’s Year in Warsaw. Both projects were effects of the Warsaw City’s campaign ‘Frederic in Warsaw 200 years from a great move’.  The artworks are an homage paid by Warsaw street-art artists to Frederic Chopin. The project’s aim was to show Chopin, associated with – first of all – high culture, in a way attractive for young people.

The artworks will remain on the buildings for at least 5 years to come.

The comic book mural (Tamka Street 37, by a fountain Złota Kaczka)

A composition contains 18 works designed by various artists from whole world. The artwork in collage style shows the composer in the company of persons and stories from his life or objects commonly associated with him: George Sand, a Japan tourist, Napoleon Bonaparte as well as the planetoid called after the composer. Artists did not know – during their work – in which part of “comic book” would take place their project.

The map mural (Kopczyńskiego Street 5/7)

The artwork is the audacious portrait of Frederic Chopin walking on Tamka Street. A big map of Warsaw is depicted in the place of his head.Chopin’s map-head, divided by Vistula, is filled with the persons associated with his life. The left side shows the Warsaw’s life of Chopin and the right side describes subsequent part of Chopin’s life.

Grafitti galery “The Berlin Wall on the eastern side.”

Berliner Mauer composition 1

Berliner Mauer composition 2Ger. “Berliner Mauer”, Berlin, Germany (photo: Aleksandra Sawicka, February 2015)

From the 13th of August 1961 to the 9th of November 1989 The Berlin Wall separated West Berlin from East Berlin.
The East Side Gallery (as it is called) stretches along the river Spree and is the longest outdoor gallery. 101 large-format paintings covers more than 1.3 kilometers of the Berlin Wall. It starts near the East Railway Station (Ostbanhof) and ends in Warsaw Street (Warschauer Strasse).

The East Side Gallery is one of the most famous landmarks on the tourist map of Berlin. It is mentioned in almost every guidebook and is visited by 1.5 million tourists a year. The first graffiti was created in 1990 and only a year later in 1991 this section of the wall started being protected as a monument. In 1996 the association for the purpose of taking care of the wall and to preserve this important symbol of reconciliation for the future generations was estalished. By the end of 2009 all the murals were renovated and preserved.

The most famous painting is “The fraternal kiss” (picture no 2, on left side) by Dimitri Vrubel. The characters presented in it are Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker the former Soviet leader and the former East German leader respectively. The two met in 1979 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic celebrations. Till today there have been disputes as to who initiated the kiss.

The painting by Birgit Kinder “Test the Best” which shows the Trabant piercing through the wall (picture no 6, on left side) is equally symbolic. One of the passages in the wall closed with the metal bars (picture no 3, on the right side) is very popular among those in love. They like to hang padlocks on the trellises as a symbol of their love.

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Did you know? (Source: Wikipedia)
Fragments of the Berlin Wall exported from Berlin
The largest fragment of the Berlin Wall is located in Poland, Lower Silesia, in the village of Sosnówka near Oleśnica. There are about 25 pieces of concrete blocks with graffiti that once
made the Berlin Wall. The collection belongs to a Polish doctor who lives in Berlin.

Mural”Chopin in Warsaw”

Warszawa_18_05_2013

Project: Krzysztof Bagiński, Warsaw/Poland (Photo: Monika Saczyńska, 18. Mai 2013)

The mural “Chopin in Warsaw” was painted on the east wall of the house Górnośląska 8. It was fulfilled by Goodloking Studio as a part of the Warsaw City’s campaign ‘Frederic in Warsaw 200 years from a great move’. The target of the campaign was to remember that Chopin was deeply connected with Warsaw, where he spend the half part of his life (it means 20 years). He commended in his last will that his heart should rest in Warsaw (There is the urn with the Chopin’s heart in the Saint Cross Church, Krakowskie Przedmieście Street 3). The idea of Bagiński’s project was using simple symbols which were unambiguously connected with Chopin (a piano) and Warsaw (the Palace of Culture and Science).

(On the photo we can see a little “bonus”. The tooth, which was painted in the bottom part of the work, is a mark of vandalisem)

“Mural on Piotrkowska”

spacer po Łodzi 003-2Made by: members of Design Futura group, Lodz, Poland (Photo: Gosia Głowacka, January 2013)

Mural on Piotrkowska – a mural located in Lodz on the wall of the building at 152 Piotrkowska Street.

The idea to paint such a large mural was born in 2000 during the event “Colorful Tolerance”. The idea for this painting, which occupies 600 square meters, was approved in August 2001. Work on it started in September, and the whole project was completed on November 26. Initially the mural was designed under a working title “Boat Victorious,” showing a ship sailing on the ocean shortly after winning a battle with another, already sinking, ship. This idea, however, was modified, as initially seen as ”not urban enough, with too few elements typically associated with Piotrkowska Street“. The authors of the giant mural are members of Design Futura. To create it, 30m wide and 20m high, they used about 2,000 cans of spray paint. When finished in 2001, it was the largest mural in the world at the time, and today remains among the largest graffiti murals in Europe.