Poland Goes ‘Bananas’

    Poland is a country seized by communism and is an independent democracy. It is a shocking piece of news that the newly appointed gallery head of the National Museum of Warsaw, Jerzy Miziolek, ordered for the removal of the popular art piece “Consumer Art” by Natalia LL in the 1970s.

    Image of Consumer Art by Natalia LL in the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw.
    Photograph: Waldemar Gorlewski/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters

    This is also paired with another art piece being taken down. The art showed a woman walking two men leashed and dressed as dogs, on all fours by Katarzyna Kozyra. This comes as part of a larger debate surrounding art and culture, and questions the supposed growth in the mentality of the current generations. Following ensued a vibrant uproar with hundreds of people crowding outside the museum; eating bananas and parading the peels as headwear.

    Protestors also took to social media using hashtags like #jesuisbanan and #bananagate – writing about the insensitivity towards art that comes from a democracy.

    The art piece is now up for around 45 years, why is it that now it is in question and people are saying that ‘let’s take it down’? The Government’s reasoning’s includes multiple complaints from visitors, attaching the copy of a letter written by a parent which states that their child “traumatized” by the visuals in the museum. This includes images of women who are undressing as well as children stabbed by knives.

    Amid the uproar, the arts were temporarily put back into the museum. However, due to refurbishment, the museum is said to re-open only in June. It came up with a completely new exhibition named “Visible Invisible”. This exhibition shall not be displaying the arts mentioned.

    2 individuals share a two ends of a single banana, with multiple peels pined to their hair

    The Real Question(s)

    After all that has happened, the question still remains, was it truly censorship?
    Through history, we have always witnessed art opression, more so art curated by females. This, according to Kozyra in talks with https://www.ft.com/content/e1f96880-7e31-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560, deemed the act as insulting. She believes that these pieces have been prominent in Poland’s modern art history and cannot be removed without challenging society.

    The events caused a significant rise in millennial’s and the youth speaking up about their opinions. It is a strong belief that change is only successful when the older generations are more accepting of the new. They should understand that their opinions can only boost the youth further to bringing the world atleast a couple steps closer to being better.

    The link below is just another form of steps closer to a better world!
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