Walter Benjamin in the Bibliothèque National, Paris, 1937

Readings for Artworkers is a series of seminars at the Free/Slow University of Warsaw 2009. We refer to the tradition of open universities, self-education artistic groups and free education. LINK

This time, we concentrate on Walter Benjamin’s classic "The Author as Producer" - one of the fundamental texts of the critical theory of culture. Following the steps of Marx, Benjamin suggests here analysing culture in terms of the system of its production and technological reproduction, instead of perceiving it as a phenomenon that remains isolated from the social context of its emergence. Benjamin’s theses will be juxtaposed with the cabaret oeuvre of Julian Tuwim.

Kasia Chmielewska,
Tomasz Żukowski

Katarzyna Chmielewska - literature historian, works at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the Literature and Contexts team. Graduate of Polish Studies and Philosophy, auditor student at IFiS PAN. She deals with autobiographies as a problem of subject constitution, issues of literariness in the narration on Shoah. Editor of socio-political quarterly “Bez Dogmatu”. Together with Tomasz Żukowski and Michał Kozłowski, she ran pro-seminars at the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Warsaw: Art and critique, Contemporary Marxist traces and Desire, passion, affection. Constitution of craving’

Tomasz Żukowski (1969) - graduate of Polish Studies in Warsaw. He participated in seminars ran by Maria Janion and Michał Głowiński. In 2006 he defended his Ph.D. thesis on the images of Christ in the poetry of Aleksander Wat and Tadeusz Różewicz. Since 2001, employee of the Institute ofLiterary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the Literature of the 20th and 21st Century Workshop. Interested primarily in literature on war and occupation, particularly pertaining to Shoah. Co-editor and co-author of the bookStosowność i forma. Jak opowiadać o Zagładzie?(Propriety and form. How to talk about Shoah?) devoted to descriptions of the Holocaust. His texts on the subject were published in “Pamiętnik Literacki”, “Teksty Drugie” and joint works. Apart from that, he dealt with the problems of public discourse. Between 2002 and 2004 he coordinated a research scheme into junior high school coursebooks in the context of the image of ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, conducted by the Open Republic Association. Involved in social and political journalism. Editor of socio-political quarterly “Bez Dogmatu”, constantly co-operates with “La Nouvelle Vague”, a semi-yearly magazine devoted to Central and Eastern Europe. His texts were published in “Przegląd” and on website. Employee at the School of Higher Vocational Education in Cultural Studies in Ciechanów. Together with Katarzyna Chmielewska and Michał Kozłowski, he ran a seminar at the Institute ofPhilosophy of the University of Warsaw for the last three years. Since 2001, secretary of the Jan Józef Lipski MA Thesis competition.

[tansl. by Łukasz Mojsak]