SPIRe Seminar EXTRA: “When a Dream Comes True: The Evolution of Civil Society in Poland”

SPIRe is pleased to announce a special, EXTRA, seminar this week.  SPIRe’s Dr. Galia Chimiak of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences will present her research on “When a Dream Comes True: The Evolution of Civil Society in Poland” from 13:00-14:00 Thursday, April 18th  in G316 Newman Building, UCD Belfield.  All are welcome.


The paper argues that the lasting legacy of four collective actors – the social movement and trade union Solidarność, the opposition leaders, the Catholic Church and the artistic manifestation of civic disobedience – should be considered in the attempt to understand the evolution of civil society in Poland. Perhaps most importantly, it should be remembered that the vision of society they hold on to was one that was meant to come true in (spite of) the totalitarian state. After 1989 those collective actors realized that grass-roots self-organization is not so much a dream or a project, but a process that requires unremitting participation in public life as well as understanding of the need for global solidarity. The dissidents’ noble aspiration to “unremitting participation” in public life has evolved from undermining the oppressive system and acquired more pragmatic yet also emphatic attitude to others.

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