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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues for the importance of preserving the visual memory of female communist agency in today’s Poland, at the time when the nation’s relationship to its communist past is being forcefully rearticulated with the help of the controversial Decommunization Act, which affects the public space of the commons. The wholesale criminalization of communism by the ruling conservative forces spurred a wave of historical and symbolic revisions that undermine the legacy of the communist women’s movement, contributing to the continued erosion of women’s rights in Poland. By looking at recent cinema and its treatment of female communists as well as the newly published accounts of the communist women’s movement provided by feminist historians and sociologists, the project sheds light on current cultural debates that address the status of women in postcommunist Poland and the role of leftist legacy in such debates.

Keywords: communist agency, female communists, Wanda Jakubowska, visual commons, feminism, Polish public memory, memory wars

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