Rozina Jadrná (née Pokorná) was a Czech journalist and host of the music broadcast on Radio Free Europe. She emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1948. After a short stay in Paris, she began her career in broadcasting at RFE in 1951 in Munich. She worked there as a radio host and from 1965 also as a DJ in the show “Odpoledne s hudbou” (Afternoon with music). The show, which played contemporary pop, jazz and rock music, focusing on young listeners, was very popular. Rozina Jadrná distinctively co-created its atmosphere, led correspondence and had other forms of contact with its listeners and also hosted a show called “Vzkazy domovu” (Messages Sent Home). After the occupation in August 1968, she personally engaged in helping emigrants, for example accommodating Karel Kryl. In 1980 she co-founded, together with her husband Karel Jadrný, exile edition “Arkýř”. Her activities, e.g. this contact with Czechoslovakia, were followed by the State Security (StB) for a long time – including StB’s well-known agent Minařík. After Rozina Jadrná’s death in April 1988 in Munich, there was a memorial service in the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in Prague; RFE was able to inform listeners about the event thanks to a telephone call by an anonymous listener.
- München, Munich, Germany
- London, United Kingdom
The oppositional activities of Roland Jahn began with the expatriation of the songwriter Wolf Biermann from the GDR in 1976. With relatively spectacular feats to his name, he was a member of the Peace and Human Rights movement. The Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena ex-matriculated Jahn in 1978 from studies in the Faculty of Economic Sciences. In the beginning of the 1980’s he had several stints in prison. Finally, in 1983 he was expatriated against his will. As a journalist with the Free Berlin radio sender, he played a pronounced role in giving a voice to the oppositional elements of the GDR within West Germany. Through his contacts he was able to smuggle printing and copying machines through the Iron Curtain into the GDR. Following reunification he continued work as a journalist. In 2011, the Federal Government appointed him Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic.
- Berlin, Germany
- Jena, Germany
Marek Janiak (born 1955) is an architect both by profession and education, however mainly known for being a member and the leading ideologist of the Łódź Kaliska group, the author of Liberating exercises (Ćwiczenia wyzwalające) camera performances and the participant of the Pitch-In Culture.
Janiak was born in Łódź. He studied architecture at the Łódź University of Technology and afterwards stayed at the University to continue his academic career. In 1979 together with Jerzy Koba, Andrzej Kwietniewski, Adam Rzepecki, Andrzej Świetlik and Andrzej Wielogórski he started the Łódź Kaliska artistic group, whose member he continues to be until this day. Janiak authored the most significant programme documents of Łódź Kaliska, and most importantly the 1980 Manifesto of embarrassing art, the 1983 Manifesto of embarrassing art II, the 1984 Second and last manifesto of embarrassing art, and the II (and last) manifesto of embarrassing art (not dated), as well as the 1983 Work without focus (Praca bez skupienia). He co-authored i.a. the 1982 Manifesto (for the art of the eighties), and finally the 1984 For the necessary art.
In the first of these texts Janiak states that the embarrassing art “perhaps embarrasses with its frankness and by breaking a taboo, which is the non-disclosure (privacy) of your struggle with the «necessity» of thoughtful functioning in the society that has been imposed on you, your struggle with the compulsion to adapt constantly to this functioning” and “it relates to the following terms: failed, trivial, stupid, vapid, repetitive, pedestrian, illogical, unreasonable, inconsistent, noncommunicative, unrevealing, unoriginal, indifferent, cynical, unconstructive, unobvious, inconsequent, not good, embarrassing, carefree, null, plagiarism, dull, weak, primitive, thoughtless, confused terms, disorderly, few”. In accordance with this concept the artist placed a banner above the site of the 1981 Osieki artistic plein-air, which read: “Temple of embarrassing and other art”.
The series of objects in For the rational art — embarrassing art (Sztuce racjonalnej – sztuka żenująca) from the beginning of the 1980s, and most importantly the 1987 Liberating exercises constituted a realisation of the ideas put forward in the manifestos and other theoretical statements. Janiak would carry out senseless activities, e.g. he would try to balance a stick on the tip of his nose or move around a massive desk, or break a glass with his head and shove Zbigniew Libera out of the frame. These actions presented the exhaustion of the avant-garde ethos and the embarrassing impossibility of new creation, as well as the sense of loneliness, and the need to compete in the world of art.
Aside from Łódź Kaliska, Janiak co-created another group from Łódź — the City Hall. He also actively participated in the Pitch-In Culture in the years 1981-1987, and was the creator of numerous pages of the Tango magazine. At the end of the 1980s Janiak conceptualised the postmodernist turn in the activities of Łódź Kaliska. In the later years he remained an active member of the group. He was also was a member and, for many years, the president of the Ulica Piotrkowska Foundation. In 2011 he took office as the architect of the City of Łódź. As a professor at the Łódź University of Technology he lectures on photography and interior design at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Development, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź.
Throughout the major part of the 1980s Janiak was one of the key figures of Łódź artistic underground. He not only dissented against official cultural institutions, but also against patriotic, committed or any other socially-useful type of art. He also had no ties to political opposition.
Jarosław Lubiak (ed.), "Szczerość i blaga. Etyka prac Łodzi Kaliskiej w latach 1979-89", Łódź 2009.
Marek Janiak (ed.), "Kultura Zrzuty", Warszawa 1989.
Łódź Kaliska (ed. & elab.), "Bóg zazdrości nam pomyłek", Łódź 1999.
- Łódź , Polska
Henryk Jankowski was a Catholic priest, the best known chaplain of the “Solidarity” trade union, to which he was associated from 1980.
He had been ordained to priesthood in 1964 and after serving in two different churches in Gdańsk, in 1970 he became the rector of the saint Bridget in Gdańsk (this parish served also to the Gdańsk Shipyard). Jankowski started to directly support „Solidarity” when he celebrated a mass on 17 August 1980 in Gdańsk Shipyard during the strike. From that day on he showed up there daily in order to celebrate masses and encourage striking shipyard workers. He entered the very close circle of Lech Wałęsa associates. Father Jankowski participated in the First Regional Congress of “Solidarity” in Gdynia in the summer of 1981. According to some testimonies, he mediated between different emerging fractions in the trade movement and tried to mitigate the tension between two main opponents: Lech Wałęsa and Andrzej Gwiazda.
Because of his involvement in the opposition he became the target of Polish secret services. During 1980s he helped the “Solidarity” in Tricity in getting aid (mainly medicines) from American Polonia (Polish diaspora in the United States); he organised summer camps for trade union activists’ children and managed to support financially those oppressed by secret services. Saint Bridget Church and its parish were known as a safe place for Pomeranian opposition in the 1980s. In 1983 Jankowski together with Father Jerzy Popiełuszko (chaplain of Warszawa Steel Mill) co-organised the pilgrimage of “people of work” to Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. Jankowski and Popiełuszko’s activities were one of the best known examples of involvement of the Catholic Church in Polish political opposition. This engagement is still commemorated and used by the “Solidarity” trade union. In the Archives of National Commission of the "Solidarity" Trade Union, artifacts associated to Popiełuszko and Jankowski are still of great importance, according to Archives’ activist Łukasz Grochowski.
According to some, actions of clergyman Jankowski after 1989 cross out his former oppositional heroism. Sketchy businesses, anti-Semitic sermons, cooperation with All-Polish Youth (nationalist, right-wing party), accusations of sexual harassment, introducing politics into church (in Lord’s Graves – traditional representations of Jesus Grave displayed in Poland during Easter holidays) led to the situation, when only the most decisive part of “Solidarity” still celebrates his figure. This firm stand was not changed after the information from the Institute of National Remembrance about priest Jankowski being a contact person for Polish secret service.
Leaving behind the evaluation of priest Jankowski’s character, his biography nevertheless interestingly presents how did opposition activists navigate in changed social conditions after 1989 and how the memory of involvement of Catholic Church in Polish democratic opposition is being preserved, commemorated, and contested. Conflicting interpretations of father Jankowski’s actions represent one of memory wars on 80s and 90s in Poland.
- Gdańsk, Poland