Monday, March 28, 2011

Poland's Alternative orange movement

Kitty Hubbard asked me to make a bunch of my bobsie dolls with orange hats and then she told me all about the Alternative Orange Movement in Poland.
Orange Alternative (Pomarańczowa Alternatywa) is a name for an underground protest movement which was started in Wrocław, a town in south-west Poland and led by Waldemar Fydrych (sometimes misspelled as Frydrych), commonly known as Major (Commander of the Festung Breslau) in the 1980s. Its main purpose was to offer a wider group of citizens an alternative way of opposition against the authoritarian regime by means of a peaceful protest that used absurd and nonsensical elements. By doing this, Poland's Artful Revolution participants could not be arrested by the police for opposition to the regime without the authorities becoming a laughing stock. Orange Alternative has been viewed as part of the broader Solidarity movement. Happenings took place all across Poland, and the numbers of supporters make for impressive reading – over 10,000 people attended the Revolution of Dwarves in Wrocław, while another saw a similar number attend a mock carnival beseeching the government for ‘more festivities, more games and more eggs’. With communism crumbling the protests grew, with one seeing thirteen Orange bods walk the streets with individual letters printed on their t-shirts. Lined up together their shirts announced ‘Precz z upałami’ (away with the heat), though whenever the police would turn their backs the chap wearing the letter ‘u’ would slip from view, the message therefore changing to ‘Precz z pałami’ (away with the truncheons).

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