The Capital City of Warsaw won a lawsuit with the Mazowieckie Voivode regarding the suspension of Monika Strzępka, director of the Dramatic Theatre. The Provincial Administrative Court revoked the governor’s order. – He found no violation of the law. He also stated that the dispute is not a legal dispute, said Warsaw’s Deputy Mayor Aldona Machnowska-Góra on Wednesday. The court’s decision is not final.
Monika Strzępka was appointed by President Rafał Trzaskowski as director of the Dramatic Theater in August last year. In November the governor annulled her election. In his opinion, it intended to change the theater into a “feminist cultural institution” and promote a repertoire “with connotations of left-wing ideology”, allegedly contrary to the tradition of this theater. After this decision, the city filed a complaint with the Provincial Administrative Court and the court revoked the supervisory decision of the voivode.
After this decision, the deputy mayor of Warsaw, Aldona Machnowska-Góra, wrote: the administrative court did not find any violation of the law. He also stated that the dispute is not a legal dispute.
“Voivode Konstanty Radziwiłł wanted to act as an organizer and act as a competition commission, and even a censor, which is unacceptable. I invite you to free theaters in Warsaw,” wrote vice-president Machnowska-Góra.
She also thanked the team and collective of the Dramatic Theater for their work, premieres and the festival. “Few people know how working in these conditions depended on community, solidarity, values and mutual support and care” – she stressed.
On Wednesday, Gazeta Stołeczna described the court’s reasoning in this case, which emphasized that “the allegations must be substantiated and a significant violation of law demonstrated by the supervisory authority. The court also emphasized the word “significant”. According to the court, the appointment of the director of a cultural institution may be revoked only in exceptional and special situations, and not for “evaluative or discretionary reasons.”
According to the court, it is also not its role to “assess morality, ethics, views on art, to review various theatrical or film projects”. The judge also pointed out that the dispute does not have the “character of a typical legal dispute”. He assessed the voivode’s arguments as “apparent legal allegations” that were “in fact polemics”.
At the previous hearing, last week, Monika Strzępka gave a closing speech in front of the court, in which she referred to the prose of Franz Kafka. According to her, the governor’s goal was to demote her. She also expressed hope that she would not share the fate of Franz Kafka and that “he lives in a country where the law is for everyone.”
“In its program concept, it contradicted the expectations of the organizer”
Let us recall: in November last year, the voivode annulled the election of the director of the Dramatic Theatre Monika Strzępka.
In the justification of the voivode’s supervisory decision, it was stated that the candidate “in her program concept contradicted the organizer’s expectations”.
“According to the candidate’s idea, the Theater would become ‘a place for minorities, for non-normative identities, for queer’. Monika Strzępka also stated in the introductory part of the program concept that her Dramatic Theater program would ‘use and strengthen the energy of social change created by women’s protests , climate movements, people fighting for minority rights, human rights and democracy.’ She also announced that ‘in the face of more comingouts of parents of trans children, as well as misunderstanding of non-heteronormativity and non-binarity’, a performance for teenagers over 12 years of age will be staged in the second artistic season entitled ‘Clash of the Worlds’, directed by a person selected in a competition” – it was stated, inter alia, in the document.
“The whole justification is bizarre. No surprise: women, minorities, LGBT communities, interpretation of classic works, etc. We do not agree with the supervisory decision and we will appeal against it. The continuity of the institution will be maintained,” said Deputy Mayor Machnowska-Góra at the time.
tvnwarszawa.pl, Gazeta Stołeczna
Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell / PAP