The presentation will focus on Polish rock music in the 1980s, when politically and socially engaged rock music emerged in Poland on the fringes of official culture and in the underground.
We will think how rock music functioned in the period of People’s Republic of Poland, what problems were faced by musicians, how they struggled with censors, managed to organise rehearsals and concerts. The lecture will include fragments of interviews with artists answering these questions. We will also analyse the popularity and influence of this music, taking into account the openness of radio stations, the character of the most important music festivals and the informal circulation of recordings. Also of interest will be the connections between Polish musicians and those on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Some of the best-known lyrics from that period, by bands such as Kult, Dezerter, T. Love, Moskwa or Rejestracja, will be analysed. This will show how musicians perceived communist Poland and the ruling elites, the communist propaganda and various social problems.

Dr Marcin Dyś has graduated from Wrocław University and currently studies at Aberstwyth University. He has participated in numerous international conferences on the newest history. Author of the book Oczami rockmana: Polska i świat w tekstach polskich twórców rockowych lat ’80 i ’90 XX wieku (In the rockman’s eyes: Poland and the world in the lyrics of rock musicians in the 1980s and 1990s) and other publications concerning phenomena such as the Jarocin festival or the functioning of the rock scene in the communist Poland.