© Joanna Bednarczyk

I come from a small town (8,500 inhabitants) that belonged to Germany before World War II and was called Löwenberg in Schlesien. After the war, Poles moved there from very different places. I grew up in a family whose roots and origins were unclear, it was not said how my great-grandparents and great-grandmothers ended up in Lwówek Śląski. No one in my family had higher education, and no one had any historical or political awareness. After graduating from high school, I went to study in Krakow, where I first studied psychology and Russian philology, then directing. It was only during these last studies (I was 26 years old already!) that I realized that there is such a thing as social classes. I noticed that some people are more discerned in culture and the world because they come from a social class other than me. They expressed themselves differently, they used a different language, and through their behavior, they built authority and symbolic capital. I became interested in the subject of social classes and found Andrzej Leder's Prześniona rewolucja [Dream revolution]. This reading shocked me. I began to understand better who I am. I started to understand my parents better. I began to understand better the phenomena that had previously driven me mad and thoughtless disgust - Polish homophobia, xenophobia, nationalism, resentment, martyrdom, social egoism. Leder explores Polish identity - or rather the lack of it - with the help of psychoanalytical instruments and is the first who chose such an approach. Every sentence of his dissertation is convincing. It rarely happens that any kind of reading allows the reader to understand the phenomena that are his everyday reality in such a comprehensive way. In this sense, it is a formative reading for me.

Joanna Bednarczyk, 22 July 2022