Coloniality without colonies? Poland for example

The context of semi-peripheral countries such as Poland adds new layers to the understanding of (post)-colonial history. How to grasp the region, which was both oppressed and oppressor? Based on two exhibitions curated by Joanna Warsza at SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin in 2017 and at La Colonie in Paris in 2019 the talk will casts a light on how colonial and neocolonial forces have navigated the territories of Eastern-Europe, Poland in particular, through a choice of artworks. From Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa's "Paradise" (2012), where artist looks at the remains of a refugee camp of Poles in Uganda during the Second World War and the relations between the erased memory and the all-visible documents testifying to the unfulfilled hegemonic aspirations; to today’s perverse use of postcolonial theory in the nationalist agenda in the work of Agnieszka Polska. Such an inquiry can offer ways to better understand the region’s right-wing turn, the permanent need of affirmation of its exeptionalism and victimhood, the lack of the critical examination of its own imperial past, but also the feeling of discrimi¬nation in Western Europe. Those exhibitions were meant to offer ways of going beyond such entanglement, also with the help of artificial intelligence in the work of Janek Simon.

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