11 April 2016

Story #4 Communism welcome back!

The other day I went to a local UPS access point to collect my package. The shop was closed although the sign on the door clearly stated that it should be open. In the hope that a salesman would soon appear from a toilet or nearby, I decided to wait. 

I spent a very long hour in my car watching the neighbourhood, people on the street, listening to the radio, checking FB and hoping for the lazy salesman to magically appear in front of the store door. 

Tough luck! He wasn’t as bothered as I was.

I was hungry after working all day and angry because of the situation I found myself in that I finally gave up and went home.
Unproductive waiting time is in fact very productive - a little bird told me. And I have to say - it hit the nail on the head.
On the way back home one particular part of my brain switched on and made me reminisce to the time of my communist childhood. All of a sudden, similar to a movie tape, I saw pictures of people queuing for hours in a long line outside stores waiting for all kinds of stuff.

Right after that I had this idea to link the present with the past and to write this post.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
for once let’s have a bit of exchange!

Today on display
Yes, it does exist!

poster: Krzysztof Iwanski


When Communism crashed into Poland I was almost twelve. I was young enough to adapt to this New Reality but old enough to remember the Old One. Although I cannot say I was unhappy as a child, on the contrary, I still remember the Old One as a time of grey images lacking of every day needs.

Lack of sweets, lack of toys, lack of clothes, lack of colors, lack of anything.

This every-day-lack-of-anything was the top of all kinds of adult conversations at that time. Everybody was constantly hunting for something that was not available in any local shop. Sometimes for weeks, but mostly for months or even years.

No wonder I grew up with the belief that communism was a shitty period in Poland’s history.
Only twenty five years later and by preparing with Aga the expo Crazy Polish Communist-Inspired Design did I start to look at myself and the history of my country from a totally new perspective.


Yes! Communism was shit.
Yes! It was grey and sad.
And yes! We did not like it!
And yes, there is a but!
BUT at the same time 
it was one of the most inventive periods in Polish history.

Do  you  want  to  know  WHY?

Because this EVERY-DAY-LACK of almost everything  
pushed us towards being a society that had to rely

With almost NOTHING  
we had to invent SOMETHING
in order to live in a BETTER SHIT!

And yes! We Poles are extremely creative!
And yes! We can make things happen!
And yes! We are amazingly good at it!

And… lucky us!
Not all of the communistic projects went lost forever!
After decades of hibernation on dusty attics or hidden drawers
they appear on the market stage and are 
now available to the audience they were destined for.


Vive le Communism!
although I'm happy that it's dead.

Written by Sabina Stachnik

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