• Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer


The chapter provides an outline of “ordinary celebrations,” the outcomes of the 1989 transformation to democracy in Poland, manifested through new cultural practices and their rising visibility. The book examines aspects of the new social imaginary in which aspirations of “catching up” with the West are mixed with religious conservatism and the persistence of a national tradition of struggles for a sovereign nation-state. The author investigates three new sites of religious, cultural, civic and political engagement as these ordinary celebrations: shared, practiced expressions of larger imagined narratives and viewed by the participants as self-evident. The introduction briefly describes the three new sites: a religious sanctuary, centered around the currently biggest Roman Catholic church in Poland; a charity-based rock music festival, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe; and grassroots nationwide pro-voting campaigns and small-town government monitoring websites, created by ordinary citizens, both of which encourage civic monitoring of authorities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Koźmiński UniversityWarsawPoland

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