Punk and Anarchist Squats in Poland
A peer-reviewed article by Jim Donaghey
Squats are of notable importance in the punk scene in Poland, and these spaces are a key aspect of the relationship between anarchism and punk. However, the overlap of squatting, punk, and anarchism is not without its tensions. This article, drawn from ethnographic research carried out between 2013 and 2014, explores the issues around punk and anarchist squats in Poland, looking at: criticisms levelled at punk squats by ‘non-punk’ squatting activists (e.g. Przychodnia in Warsaw); instances of squats as a hub for a wide spectrum of anarchist activity (e.g. the ‘anarchist Mecca’ of Rozbrat in Poznań); and the repression of squatting in Poland through eviction and legalisation (affecting all squats in some form). (Other squats and social centres mentioned here include Elba and ADA Puławska in Warsaw, Wagenburg and CRK in Wrocław, and Od:zysk in Poznań.) Among the various squats, there were tensions around approaches and tactics identified as ‘more anarchist’ or ‘less anarchist’ – this speaks to the supposed ‘workerist’/‘lifestylist’ dichotomy within anarchism more widely, but the lived experience of the squatters is shown here to be far too complex to be encompassed in any false binary.
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