Censorship in Polish Art After 1989 : Art Law Politics

Jakub Dąbrowski & Anna Demenko

Censorship in Polish Art After 1989 : Art Law Politics

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Censorship in Polish Art After 1989 is a pioneering work on censorship in Polish art after the fall of the USSR available in English for the first time with a skilled translation by Łukasz Mojsak and Aleksandra Sobczak. Polish Art Historian Jakub Dąbrowski, with contributions from Anna Demenko, offers the first comprehensive study to analyze the problems of restricting the freedom of artistic expression in the Third Polish Republic. Censorship in Polish Art After 1989 includes two complementary approaches - legal and historical (including political and social aspects of the phenomenon). 

The first section of Dąbrowski’s thought provoking book contains an analysis of the issues of freedom of artistic expression in the Polish legal system, against the background of international context. This unprecedented approach allows a new look at the issues being addressed and helps to develop insightful conclusions. This section includes reflections on the meaning of art in the context of general principles of criminal responsibility and a detailed analysis of selected criminal law regulations, which most often become the cause of conflicts between artistic expression and the law. Section Two is an attempt to narrate the history of censorship in Polish art after 1989. Based on the collected factographic material, Dąbrowski captures the characteristic qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the phenomenon studied in time. He enters his considerations in a wider social, political, artistic and media context, at the same time pointing to symbolic breakthroughs, precedents, sequences or correlations of events. The book closes with a detailed study of censorship cases.


Jakub Dąbrowski is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Visual Culture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw where he lectures about the History of Contemporary Art and Copyright Law. In 2010 he won the Polish Art Historian Association award for scholarship for young members of the Association and in 2015 he won The Award of the Polish Art Critique for Cenzura w sztuce polskiej po 1989 roku (Censorship in Polish Art after 1989). Jakub lives in Warsaw, Poland.


Anna Demenko is an Assistant Professor in the Law Faculty of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, where she lectures about criminal law. She is a member of the European Criminal Bar Association and has an individual law practice.