Polish Punk Collection by Anna Dąbrowska-Lyons
Punk in Polish People's Republic began in 1978 and it quickly gained popularity in Warsaw, as well as in other cities. In its initial phase, the movement maintained close ties with student clubs and galleries, where performance art, mail art, and concrete poetry flourished at the time. The collection of a punk photographer Anna Dąbrowska-Lyons includes zines, photographs, and newspaper clippings from the years 1978 to ca. 1982. The most interesting of these materials were featured in the album titled Polski punk (Polish Punk) published in 1999. The album documents the first wave of punk in Warsaw, while also presenting original, artistic photographs, collages, and graphics which blend the Western influence of punk and the new wave with the poetry of futurism, Dada, and conceptual theories of the 1970s.
Name of collection
- Polish Punk 1978-1982
Provenance and cultural activities
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Description of content
The collection of Anna Dąbrowska-Lyons contains punk zines, photographs, and newspaper clippings gathered mainly between 1978 and ca. 1982 and later, before her emigration to London in 1986. Most notable fanzines include such titles as: Post and PUNK published by Henryk Gajewski, Zjadacz Radia and Papier Białych Wulkanów by Jacek “Luter” Lenartowicz, Kanał Review by Andrzej “Amok” Turczynowicz, Radio Złote Kłosy by Anna “Ada” Dąbrowska, Tomasz Hornung’s Organ and Szmata by Stefan “Mikes” Mikulski. They come complemented with numerous brochures and leaflets, e.g. from the first 1st Polish New Wave Festival in Kołobrzeg or the 1st New Wave Festival (I Festiwal Nowej Fali) in Toruń, both organised in 1980, as well as with bulletins published by members of Tilt and Kryzys bands, which in 1981 transformed into the first Polish punk superband, Brygada Kryzys. The poetry of these publications represents a blend of Western fanzines inspirations with the legacy of futurism, Dada, and other avant-garde movements. Surrealistic novelettes by “Luter” were featured next to Gajewski's constructivistic typography, extremely expressive photographs by “Ada”, and humorous illustrations by Tomasz “Frantz” Lipiński of Tilt.
The most interesting of these materials were included in the Polski punk album, published independently by Anna Dąbrowska-Lyons in 1999. “Ada’s” photographs, full of dynamism, motion, and emotions, constitute an important part of the album. Dąbrowska created unique photographic portraits of her punk friends, masterfully capturing the mimics, flinches, and emotions expressed by human faces. The portraits are complemented with photographs from concerts, events, and meetings, often vivid and exuberant, which perfectly illustrate the fashion, the atmosphere, and the lifestyle of the punk community at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s.
- graphics: 10-99
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 10-99
- photos: 100-499
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland
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Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Stanczyk, Xawery
Ania Dąbrowska-Lyons, Polski punk 1978-1982, Agencja Promocyjno-Wydawnicza ADA, Warszawa 1999.
Łukasz Ronduda, Sztuka polska lat 70. Awangarda, Polski Western, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Jelenia Góra-Warszawa 2009.
Dąbrowska-Lyons, Anna, interview by Stanczyk, Xawery, September 19, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection