Julka Piasecka
Research Question: How can I create a space of comfort using slavic paganism?
As a Polish queer, I feel fucking stifled and hopeless, so I need some sort of escape in a form of cultivating our forgotten religious and cultural roots, wiped out by Christianity over a 1000 years ago. It brings me comfort to explore it and find out more about it. It feels like learning about a long-lost family, looking for answers that will help me survive catholic hate, the one that is coming at me from the outside as well as the inside.

It is a continuation of my research from the past 2-3 years at the academy. I’ve been making more politically focused content ever since the abortion ban has been implemented in Poland in late 2020, which started a wave of the biggest protests since the 1980s all over the country. It was such a monumental moment in our country’s history, that I couldn’t work with any different subject matter.

Some of those works include paintings and illustrations that comment on the political situation, using symbols and deities from Slavic mythology, pieces of writing that contextualize Polish history and try to explain why we are the way we are – scared, insecure, divided. Moving out of Poland has made me hyper aware of my roots and national identity more than ever before. The longer I am here, the more I see how attached I am to my Polishness, almost held hostage by it. It started because moving here was the first time I was perceived as eastern European, and it has really stuck with me ever since.