Friday 26 October 2018 to Sunday 03 February 2019

The exhibition Niepodległe: Women, Independence and National Discourse examines the role played by women in 20th-century narratives of national liberation. Taking the centenary of the revival of Polish independence as its starting point, the exhibition looks at pivotal moments in history and at various liberation movements: beginning with the year 1918, through 1945 – when the political discourse of independence expanded to include the decolonization of the global South – all the way up to 1989, when the fall of Communism ushered in a new era of globalization. The show reveals the gendered character of historical narratives by showing how women have been overlooked in the national narratives in various times and places.

Works by three important contemporary British artists make part of the exhibition: Lubaina Himid, Goshka Macuga and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa.

Lubaina Himid is a British artist of Tanzanian descent. For over 30 years she has been creating radical feminist and anti-colonial works, focusing on issues of race, gender, migration, and representation of the black body. In 2017 she received the prestigious Turner Prize, both the oldest winner (63 at the time) and the first black woman in history to receive the award. In the 1980s Himid belonged to Black British Artists, a radical art movement in the UK of artists of immigrant origins.

Goshka Macuga is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and Goldsmiths, University of London. She works in various media, creating collages, installations and tapestries. In 2008 she was shortlisted for one of the most important artistic distinctions, the Turner Prize. In her work she often addresses the stories of well-known artists, male and female, raising questions about the place of women in history and art institutions. Archival research is an unusually important aspect of her methodology. Her works have been shown at such venues as Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, Tate Britain in London, and Zachęta in Warsaw.

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa is a researcher, photographer, and author of texts and video installations. She studied literature at Cambridge and art at University College London. In 2014–2016 she served as the director of research at Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design in Namulanda, Uganda. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her works have been displayed at such venues as Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

Curator: Magda Lipska

Collaboration: Annett Busch, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet 

The exhibition is part of the project Women on Aeroplanes curated by Annett Busch, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Magda Lipska, coproduced by Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth and funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes). In collaboration with The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos), ifa Gallery Berlin, The Showroom, The Otolith Collective, London and The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

British Council is exhibition Partner.

British Embassy in Warsaw is Honorary Patron of the exhibition.


More about the exhibition at