What Surrounds Us Now: Cultural Animation and the Participatory and Cultural Voids in Poland Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
  • Daniel, Brendan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, Russian, Eurasian and East European Concentration
  • Cultural animation is a practice that uses participant-led collaborative art projects to develop community cohesion. I begin by looking at an attempt to reorient post-communist studies away from elite actors and toward the agency of regular citizens, contrasting Jean Cohen and Andrew Arato's definition of civil society, Jan Kubik's "contextual holism," and Michel de Certeau's "strategies" and "tactics". Next, I recall a history of alternative community-forming practices that provide the basis for cultural animation in Poland. I then outline specifics of the practice, including project methodology and a profile of animators and participants alike. I explain how cultural animation tries to address a participatory void left by stagnating attitudes toward volunteerism, sporadic partisan outreach and a weak civil society, and a cultural void created by consumption-oriented attitudes toward cultural policy. I conclude by revisiting the points of contextual holism and explaining how cultural animation fits them.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bohlman, Andrea
  • Pickles, John
  • Jenkins, Robert
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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