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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas


Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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12. Stereotypes and attempts at challenging them in Papusza (2013) by Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze (Iwona Grodź)

← 166 | 167 →

Iwona Grodź

12. Stereotypes and attempts at challenging them in Papusza (2013) by Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze*

Abstract: The chapter discusses the matter of stereotypes, antagonisms and all kinds of intolerance towards ethnic minorities in Poland. The research material is the Romani minority in Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze’s Papusza (2013). The analysis begins with the interest in social problems, or “conflicts and controversies – divisive for contemporary societies.” The subject of the analysis is the Romani minority and the attitude of the Polish society towards it. Stereotypes which bring about negative emotions and prejudices are followed by clearly discriminatory behaviour. The end point shall be a diagnosis of the manner in which Polish cinema challenges mental stereotypes of ethnicity.

Keywords: Stereotypes, Romani minority, Krzysztof Krauze, film Papusza (2013).

In the forest I grew like a shrub of gold, born in a Gypsy tent, akin to a boletus.

I love fire like my own heart. The winds lesser and greater cradled the little Gypsy and blew her far away into the world …

Papusza, Pieśń cygańska z Papuszy głowy ułożona [Gypsy song taken from Papusza’s Head]

“Can we understand other peoples’ cultures in the way they understand them?” “Must this understanding be distorted as it is transferred through the prism of our understanding?” “The troubles that occur between genders are similar to those that affect communication between two different cultures?” “Why are some cultures and cultural forms more appreciated than others?” These are just several issues that may arise when analysing the topic of stereotypes and attempts at breaking them in the Polish cinema.

Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze’s Papusza from 20131 brings forth several perspectives into discussion in this context: ← 167 | 168 →

a) Sociological – the main point of interest will be the relation between Poles and Romani minority as portrayed in the film. The most important topics include the forced settlements and “adjusting” the Roma to life in the Polish society; the problem of inequality (here: poverty) and subsequent conflicts or alienation; the stereotypical attitude to the Roma hidden even in the language – in the words such as the Gypsy or the Roma. The former (in Polish: Cygan), although most often used, raises a lot of negative associations, as it invokes an image of a liar and thief. The latter, although politically correct, is not so widely spread and is negated even by the Gypsies themselves. Edward Dębicki said about himself: “I am a Gypsy, and my grandfather was a Gypsy. I am no Roma! The word simply means a Gypsy in our language. For God’s sake! We cannot escape our history! […].” Further, Karol Gierliński, a poet and sculptor, believes that the word “Roma” is in Polish an artificial name created in the media2. My conclusion is as follows: a change in the nomenclature is significant when it proves that the way of thinking had changed. When it is only enforced by the correctness, it does not bring anything new. All the interested parties – including the bearers of a given name – know that3.

b) Feminist – the centre of attention will be the way in which women are presented and functioning in the Romani society, what roles are attributed to ← 168 | 169 →them in childhood, adolescence (quick marriages) and above all in marriage (listening to and serving the husband) and what changes are occurring4.

One of the first researchers into the history and culture of Polish Roma, aiming at changing its image and popularising knowledge, was Jerzy Ficowski5. Further, Lech Mróz and Ryszard Tomicki would write on the history of Roma as well. The former noted that “[a]mong ethnic groups living in Poland for centuries, the Romani constitute the most exotic and intriguing element, least known to their neighbours and folklore researchers. Their clans and families are communities closed to the outside world and cultivating their own traditional customs, they are governed by their own laws and communicate in a language known only to them and unwritten. They do not allow outsiders to learn the secrets of their existence”6. The author of The Polish Roma wrote in his Introduction that the “firmly established animosities” and feeling of foreignness or aversion towards the Gypsies all result from speculations. They are thought to be “demonic” due to occupying themselves with divination, “criminal” as they are suspected of thievery and “operetta-like” since they are thought to be romantic, to love nature and play. The aim of the book is, however, to change the image and perception of the Roma by telling their stories and replacing imagery with rationalism7. ← 169 | 170 →

The uniqueness of Papusza consists in the fact that, as Ficowski wrote, “the Gypsy song exists as a work of nameless folk culture, but we have never known a conscious Gypsy author and praiser of camping tabors (settlements), someone whose name would be known and saved in the collective memory. Not for the five hundred years of Gypsy wandering through Poland”8. The oral tradition is evanescent, improvised and anonymous. It was not favourable towards permanent presence of Gypsy folk songs in people’s memory9.

Papusza is the first Gypsy poet with firm presence in the public space. Angelika Kuźniak wrote that “[t]he possibility of having her words written down stripped Papusza of her unrestrained freedom of vocal improvisation with accompanying music – which gave wings to imagination, her words and phrases. The limited ability to write was for Papusza to a certain extent an unwanted barrier, as it did not always lead to correct choice of words or appropriateness of means of expression. (…) Despite such difficulties (…) the poems are not only a precious document, but also a work of art – no longer nameless, yet still bearing the features of folk art and ‘primitive’ freshness”10.

Poetic and vocal improvisation was the characteristic form of Gypsy art. It was a folk recitation to music, covering subjects such as death, mourning, freedom and loss of freedom, and the nomadic lifestyle. Only a few folklorists managed to record the ephemeral works via taping of Gypsy songs or artistic shows11.

The social issues in the film Papusza

Researchers of social issues indicate six main areas of conflicts and compromises, or in other words, of relations laden with social tension: gender (subordination, feminist perspective, etc.), race (racism), nationality, religion, social class (poverty and contempt) and age (youth and old age). ← 170 | 171 →

For years, the nomadic lifestyle was the most interesting characteristics of the Romani. It was considered the most intriguing. The reasons for beginning to wander and various motivations and consequences of it were thoroughly analysed. The history of the ethnic group ought to be the starting point.

Linguistic research has proven that the Romani language is similar to languages in the Indo-European group, which allowed for speculations that the Romani come from India12. However, the history is much more complicated and full of gaps, ambiguities and assumptions, as Lech Mróz and Ryszard Tomicki claim in the subchapter Exodus and expansion of their previously mentioned work. As regards Poland, the earliest traces of the Roma come from 1401 and the town log book of Kazimierz in Cracow, where a taxpayer Matiasz Cygan was mentioned13. Interestingly, the Roma were very familiar with biblical stories, despite their lack of education. Mróz and Tomicki also indicate that the Roma used safe conduct documents issued by popes and kings (including Sigismund I the Old).

Stereotypes concerning perception of Roma in Poland have been around for long; not often, however, do they become the content of artistic undertakings in the Gypsy community. Papusza was a person who not only saw the disdain towards her social and ethnic group, but was also able to talk about it. Hence, probably, her words that have become the motto to Angelika Kuźniak’s study, Papusza: “I come not to you for your money, (…) I come to you so that you don’t make a black night of a white day”14.

An important event was also the decision of the Ministry for Public Administration concerning “the settlement and activisation of the Gypsy population” of 195015. Through a conference organised in Warsaw, Papusza and her husband were also involved in the action. In contrast to other Romas, the poet believed that such activities would contribute to their good. She tried to argue with others and convince them. In 1950, Papusza even wrote a poem on the topic, entitled Na dobrej drodze (Pre laćcho drom/On the right road)16. ← 171 | 172 →

Previously, as Papusza wrote, the Romas would be expelled to the forest “by other lords.” There, “their hearts became like stone.” That is why now they would be afraid of the change and miss the woods17.

Ficowski wrote that Papusza should not be considered a social didactic, even though she wrote some poems in favour of activisation of Gypsies18. These works are usually judged quite harshly. Moreover, the poet created them for specific financial benefits (allegedly, to be allotted housing).

In the Report on Aid and Activisation of the Gypsy People of 26 February 1951, we read that “[c]oncerning the settlement of Wajs’s tabor of about 130 people, a conference with its representatives was held. After the five-person delegation learned more about the government’s position, they expressed the willingness to settle the whole tabor in one of the towns near Wrocław. (…) Due to housing shortages and other unrealistic demands the group was not settled. According to other Roma, Wajs’s group had not really wanted to settle, but just to see what was the position of central government towards the Roma people”19. There were many difficulties. It seems that they have not been overcome until today. The point was mainly to force the Roma to settle (via registration), undertake permanent jobs and send children to school – all in all, making them, in line with the popular slogan of the time, “fully-fledged citizens of the People’s Republic of Poland.”

Emancipation of the Roma brought about both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, the group finally had a chance to become visible. On the other, new rules of living often ended in dramatic situations. Starting from 1964 (thirteen years after official announcements), the Roma were fully forbidden to lead a nomadic and migratory life. The elders believed that the prohibition was dangerous for their traditions and ethnic diversity. The process of assimilation and education, according to sceptical Romani, led to the disappearance of their language and culture. Papusza was a poet who predicted the change and the end. Ficowski calls her the “expression of common habits, attachments and yearnings which were the spiritus movens of her work”20.

The aversion of the Roma towards Papusza came from their distrust in outsiders. By getting closer to someone from outside the community, the poet entered the path of treason. Hence, in the 1950s and onwards, she was prosecuted for her ← 172 | 173 → friendship with Ficowski and other “Others.” Disdain of the Roma contributed to her nervous disease, loneliness and unwillingness to continue writing. True, she was not fully expelled from the community due to her illness; in Gypsy circles such offenders were usually called famuło or infamis and simply disappeared due to magerdy or exclusion. Yet, close to the end of her life she wrote: “If I hadn’t learned to read or write, maybe, me silly, I would have been happy”21. The poet could not have foreseen the opinions and reactions to her work. That is why in her case the old Gypsy proverb proved true: “Cut your tongue before your tongue cuts your head off.” The question is, how did she start learning to read?

The future poet was born in 1909; some sources indicate 1908 or 1910. At that time, illiteracy was the norm among the Gypsies. Against the will of her parents and despite the anger of other Gypsies, she started to learn to read with a Jewish shopowner. Eagerness to learn and the approval (a compliment) from an elegant lady she met, made Papusza sure she wanted to continue. However, because of that she faced numerous challenges throughout her lifetime, and some Romani never accepted her education. When she died on 8 February 1987, the attitude of this ethnic group towards education was partly, although not radically, changed.

Understanding the mentality of the Roma is linked to learning more about their customs, perception and interpretation of the world. Only this allows for good practices within the so-called engaged culture. Romani dances, freedom and joy are just one side of the coin, the one shown to the world. Nowadays, it is associated with Cepelia and stereotypical presentation of cultural features of the group. One of Papusza’s poems praising the dances is entitled Patrzę tu, patrzę tam (Dikchaw daj, dikchaw doj/I look here, I look there) of 195122.

However, there is also the other side of the coin. It is symbolised by winter, which for ages has been the time of stopping and settling. In this season, the Roma would reminiscence about past travels, sing, chat and wait for the spring. They also felt most of the chill, poverty, hunger and alienation.

Settling down in one place was a necessity, in order to escape the poverty and disdain of the people. At the same time, it meant the loss of freedom, praised nostalgically in the memories of spring or summer wandering. Papusza wrote on the subject as well. We are also familiar with her biography. Before the war, she would wander mostly through Volhynia, Podolia and the Grodno area. After the war, she lived in Żagań, Gorzów Wielkopolski and Inowrocław. It is said that she ← 173 | 174 → dreamed about looking at trees, but the forest remained only a memory, similarly to rivers or green grass in May (cf. the poem In May)23.

The feminist issues in the film Papusza

In one of the interviews, Joanna Kos-Krauze stated that “[i]n Poland the attitude towards women is hypocritical. Yet, it is women who are the driving force behind economic development”24. Similar thinking is applied to female artists.

The status of women at the beginning of the twentieth century in Poland – and additionally, in a particular group – is a matter that may be raised when discussing the name of the main character. The secret of the unusual (illegible for Poles) name of the Gypsy poet is hidden in her mother’s dreams and an exceptional ghost story.

The film reveals the former source. In the prologue, we see a pregnant woman looking dreamily at an elegantly dressed doll standing in a shop window. We arrive at the conclusion that the young Roma is fascinated not only by the doll, but also by the female world which it represents. The world is at the same time close and far away. It is close since it treats women mainly as beautiful decorations, but far away in the manner of showing or rather expressing this status of women. The bourgeoisie culture is connected with luxury and creation of at least the appearance of respect towards women – ladies. The Gypsy culture is quite open about reducing women to “toys,” which are to be the source of entertainment, but also – paradoxically – mothers, housewives and simply physical workers. The double role is an additional burden on the shoulders of Gypsy women. Not all of them may enjoy the privilege of being only beautiful and rich.

Let us return to the ghost story: according to the legend, a ghost appears on the third night after a Gypsy child is born. It reveals what good and evil will come to the newborn; the same happened with Papusza. However, nobody ever wanted to reveal what had been forecast for the little girl. The secret has only been strengthened by the words which are also repeated in the film: “She will either bring us great pride, or great shame.” At first, the girl was named Bronka, but she turned out to be so wonderful and beautiful that they began to call her “Precious.” Finally, the girl received the nickname Papusza, which in the Romani language meant “doll.” ← 174 | 175 →

In the Gypsy society, the family model is patriarchal, and the man “(…) may do whatever he thinks of to his wife”25. Hence the analysis of the feminist perspective and of female search for knowledge. Papusza knew the importance of education. Unfortunately, it was “evil” to be educated in her community, especially for a woman. The poet would say: “Without education, one has blind eyes. Mummy also did not know anything. I asked her to let me go to school. She didn’t want to listen. So, I collected paper, sometimes pulled it out of garbage. And I painted with coal whatever I saw. Only not letters, because I didn’t know them”26.

Young Papusza dreamed about learning to read, and that is why she quickly found an appropriate teacher. The Jewish shopowner received a chicken from the girl for each lesson. The mother did not like it, and she used to say: “The books are for nothing, the head gets poisoned with them. This is where stupidity comes from.” Papusza’s father hit her for studying, and other Roma are said to have spat on her and made fun of her27. The poet wrote about her dreams in I, the poor Gypsy, as she knew that Roma who do not describe their experiences will be forgotten. She, therefore, was writing in their name, in order to save the memory.

Finally, one should ask the question: “Is Papusza a feminist film?” The director has stated that it showed the helplessness of women in the system of oppression, which is similar to that experienced by ethnic minorities, including the Romani. Undoubtedly, it is the engaged cinema. Additionally, one should remember that relatively few films have been made on the subject of the Roma when deciding on the importance of Papusza. The topic was undertaken basically only by Emir Kusturica28 and Tony Gatlif29, and in Poland by Dorota Kędzierzawska (on a margin of her feature film Diabły, diabły30) and documentary filmmaker Władysław Ślesicki31. Hence, it is important to show that the Romani life is no fairy tale, no regional fair or traditional parade. In a metaphorical manner, the selection of black, white and a palette of grey for the film explains this reality. The Roma, just ← 175 | 176 → as in the film, still remain the “close strangers,” similarly to women in oppressive systems, often limited by religion, politics or economy32.


Marian Golka noted that:

(…) art is not separate from the social life, but constitutes one of its elements or aspects. Of course, it is not the sublimation or the most important product of the social life, but also – it is not its margin. In its nature, art is social, just as societies are inherently co-created by artworks, together with other cultural and natural influences. An artistic fact is a social fact; regardless of whether it is a purely social one. (…) Sociology is less useful for the examination of the work of art itself, more so for learning about its context. In art, we deal with a particular tangle of social values and means of expressing them, of content and form, of perception of the world and the manner in which the perception is articulated33.

Such attitude towards art ascribes it to the “engaged culture” area, which overcomes stereotypes and prevents conflicts. In line with that, the most important functions of artistic statements or performances are according to Golka:

a) “Modelling of social values” – this function consists of a number of minor functions: aesthetic, hedonist, therapeutic, expressive, communicative, magical, ideological, educational, cognitive and economic.

b) “Modelling of social ties” – this function consists in connecting people with similar experiences and values, in unification and ordering of the social structure. At the same time, it brings in differentiation and complicatedness, as it distinguishes between “Us” and “Them”34.

In the case of Papusza, almost all of these functions have been fulfilled. Film is a type of art directed at mass audiences. It may establish, sustain, model or explain both well-known and new values belonging to a different culture. It does that via

a) refined anaesthetisation and overly orderly manner of filming – Papusza is shot in black and white since the directors wanted to escape the artificial bling, cheap folklore and circus-like quality which is often associated with the Gypsy culture full of colourful dresses or gold. Even so, the artistic layer of the film is ← 176 | 177 → refined due to precise framing and focus on lines and shapes, structures that determine the texture of scenography, and nuanced hues of grey. Ultimately, one may arrive at a paradoxical conclusion: the film is internally colourful with “hidden colours” within the black-and-white world. In order to see it, one needs to forget what is visible with the blind eye and delve deep into the reality.

b) the hedonist and therapeutic function of Papusza is brought about by joy experienced at certain (only few) moments in the film: when we see the Roma celebrating, playing, singing and dancing with joy at bonfires. Each time, the image is dusted over with internal and hidden sorrow, for instance, by the yearning of the little girl to learn, by reflection on poetry and writing, or contrariness in prison. The therapeutic qualities of Papusza consist mainly in separation from contemporary problems and reaching for the roots of the undertaken subjects. Understanding what is “the otherness” requires understanding its sources, since some perceive what is different as alien. Deeper insight into the image allows for recognition of one’s own, often stereotypical, attitude.

c) the expressive function should present the position and emotions of the Krauze duo, senders of the artistic message. It consists of the cognitive and magical, as well as partly didactic, minor functions. The filmmakers bring the already non-existent world to life; hence, the magic of Papusza comes from the willingness to retrieve the time which has almost passed into oblivion. At the same time, they establish a separate imagery of that world35. All those undertakings are based on the willingness to learn more and spread the knowledge about the Roma culture and Papusza, the poet, and indirectly, also on the need to share the feelings accompanying the artists which have shaped the final film: nostalgia and melancholy, but also memory, hope and freedom.

d) the ideological function of Papusza is not related to “ideology” understood and defined in the outmoded political sense, but rather to the modern tendency to reinterpret various notions and assume certain perspectives, such as the feminist one. According to that statement, the film may be said to refer to a concrete way of thinking of the women question and their role in the society.

e) the economic aspect of the film made by the Krauze duo suggests the need to focus the researcher’s attention on three stages: production, distribution and “consumption” of the film. At each stage, directors showed great understanding ← 177 | 178 → of the mechanisms of the art market. They managed an uneasy feat: achieved financial success without resignation from their own recognisable artistic style. Papusza is a fully original and artistic film without the burden of necessity to draw huge audiences to cinemas.

Finally, the most important function of Papusza consists in modelling the social ties. It is difficult to state whether the task has been completed. Definitely, the film revealed positive contexts for thinking about the Romani culture: artistic creation, willingness to learn, war experience close to that of Poles. It allows the recipients to better understand the culture and realise that the contemporary problems stem from certain sources. However, will the connection between “us” and “them” (and thus elimination of the division) be ever fully established? It is difficult to judge that today.


Ficowski, Jerzy. Cyganie w Polsce. Dzieje i obyczaje [The Romani in Poland]. Warszawa: PIW, 1953.

Golka, Marian. Sztuka w socjologicznych ramach [Art in the sociological framework]. In: Marian Golka, Socjologia sztuki,. Warszawa: Difin, 2008.

Kuźniak, Angelika. Papusza. Wołowiec: Czarne, 2013.

Machowska, Magdalena. Bronisława Wajs – Papusza. Między biografiąa legendą [Bronisława Wajs – Papusza. Between a Biography and a Legend]. Kraków: Nomos, 2011.

Okely, Judith. The Traveller Gypsies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Papusza. Lesie, ojcze mój [Forest, My Father].Warszawa: Nisza, 2013.

* Translation by Agnieszka Marciniak, Iwona Grodź.

1 See also two documents about the poet: Papusza, dir. M. Wójcik (1974) and The History of the Gypsy, dir. G. Kowalski (1991).

2 See Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza (Wołowiec: Czarne, 2013), p. 190. See also Magdalena Machowska, Bronisława Wajs – Papusza. Między biografią a legendą [Bronisława Wajs – Papusza. Between a biography and a legend] (Kraków: Nomos, 2011), p. 26. In the part devoted to Objaśnienie terminów Cygan, Rom [Explanation of Terminology – Gypsy, Roma], Machowska explains that she uses the first form (in Polish: Cygan – translator’s note) since it appears in documents forming the basis for her work. Papusza called herself a Gypsy (Cyganka) as well. Moreover, the word Gypsy has a wider meaning than Roma. On the other hand, the aspect of political correctness is also important. Namely, as Machowska wrote: “In the view of the Roma the word Roma does not strip them of dignity and respect, since it creates a new context and gives a chance for dialogue in which the Roma’s story about themselves will be shared from a partner’s and not just subject’s perspective. Thus, they gain a chance to build a new identity. Certainly, however, it diminishes the distance towards the Gypsy community. The improvement of their image must come through education and not through changing names, and such cognitive and educational aims are set out by this book and an academic paper on Gypsies.”

3 The fundamental notions that are helpful in understanding this viewpoint on the story portrayed in the film will be: the power and surveillance, habitus, inequality, the concept of “the culture of poverty,” theory of “the vicious circle of deficiency,” appearance of people outside of social classes, topographies of culture and their cultural images (villages, towns, cities), nomadic cultures, community and alienation (expulsion).

4 An appropriate context here is the representation of femininity in the Roma culture as well as the paradoxes of female modesty, duplicity, visibility, beauty or death.

5 Jerzy Ficowski, Cyganie w Polsce. Dzieje i obyczaje [The Romani in Poland] (Warszawa: PIW, 1953).

6 Jerzy Ficowski, Cyganie, pp. 8–9.

7 See also Lech Mróz, Ryszard Tomicki, “Jak Cyganie świat zdobyli … Kilka uwag, kilka pytań, kilka refleksji” [How the Roma conquered the world … Some notes, questions and reflections], in: Antropolog wobec współczesności, eds. Anna Malewska-Szałygin, Magdalena Radkowska-Walkowicz (Warszawa: UW, 2010), pp. 293–317. The authors analyse how the Roma arrived not only in Europe, but also in Africa, Asia, America and even Australia. “In Europe, the Gypsies created clan and regional communities, as well as international ones. In the 1970s a new community layer was born, the intelligentsia of political leaders, social workers and artists. The Gypsies began to fight for their rights and dignity. Political correctness led to them being called Roma, even though they themselves did not accept such a name. The European Union allowed for the Gypsies to become fully fledged citizens of countries where they lived, with the idea of ex-territorial nation. The Gypsies began to discover Europe and history once again, by separating truth and legend. Source literature claims that “in the arising ethnic mythology, the origins of Gypsies are rooted in India and connected to the Kshatriya social class. But what really connects them is their ancient nomadic lifestyle.”

8 Jerzy Ficowski, “Wstęp” [Introduction], in: Papusza, Lesie, ojcze mój (Warszawa: Nisza, 2013), p. 7.

9 See for example the new edition e-book Teodor Narbutt, Rys historyczny ludu cygańskiego [Gypsy People: A Historical Outline] (Warszawa: Imprint, 2010).

10 Jerzy Ficowski, “Wstęp,” p. 9. Ficowski mentions Gypsy poets from other countries, but judges them to be professionals and not “naive poets” such as Papusza. They include Bari Karoly from Hungary and Rajko Burin from Yugoslavia.

11 In the margin, it must be added that the music for the film was composed by well-known Polish composer Jan Kanty-Pawluśkiewicz (born 1942), who has no Roma roots. It is a clear signal that the directors wanted to emphasise the versatility of their film, in the sound layer of Papusza, to combine, not to divide.

12 Lech Mróz, Ryszard Tomicki, “Jak Cyganie świat zdobyli,” p. 295.

13 Lech Mróz, Ryszard Tomicki, “Jak Cyganie świat zdobyli,” p. 298.

14 Words of Papusza as quoted in Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza, p. 7.

15 Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza, p. 91.

16 Papusza, “Na dobrej drodze,” in: Lesie, ojcze mój [Forest, My Father] (Warszawa: Nisza, 2013), pp. 46–47.

17 Papusza, Lesie, ojcze, p. 30. In the poem entitled Na śladach ognisk grzyb wyrosły [Mushrooms have grown in old Gypsy bonfires] (Watry betkenca zabaryne), mushrooms, like old Gypsies or simply elderly people, die when uprooted.

18 Jerzy Ficowski, “Wstęp,” p. 10.

19 Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza, pp. 95, 97, 128.

20 Jerzy Ficowski, “Wstęp,” p. 11.

21 As quoted in Jerzy Ficowski, “Wstęp,” p. 13.

22 Papusza, “Patrzę tu, patrzę tam,” in: Papusza, Lesie, ojcze mój (Warszawa: Nisza), p. 48.

23 Papusza, “Patrzę tu, patrzę tam.”

24 Bożena Chodyniecka, “U nas faceci robili filmy tylko dla siebie” [Here, men would only make films for themselves], Dziennik Trybuna, Vol. 28–30 (2013), p. 16.

25 Bożena Chodyniecka, “U nas faceci,” p. 15.

26 Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza, p. 27.

27 Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza, p. 27.

28 Emir Kusturica – director, born in Sarajevo in 1954, his films include Dom za vešanje (1988), Underground (1995), Black cat, white cat (1998).

29 Tony Gatlif – director, born in Algiers in 1948, his films include Gadjo dilo (1997), Vengo (2000), Exils (2004), Transylvania (2006).

30 Dorota Kędzierzawska – Polish director, born in 1957.

31 Władysław Ślesicki (1927–2008) – Polish director of feature and documentary films which include Jedzie tabor (1955), Zanim opadną liście (1964).

32 Bożena Chodyniecka, “U nas faceci,” p. 16. The issues mentioned here were also discussed during the Congress of Women or Women’s Cinema Review, as mentioned by Joanna Kos-Krauze in the quoted interview.

33 Marian Golka, “Sztuka w socjologicznych ramach” [Art in the sociological framework], in: Socjologia sztuki, ed. Marian Golka (Warszawa: Difin, 2008), pp. 11–46.

34 Marian Golka, “Sztuka,” pp. 200–227.

35 Papusza’s poetry performed similar functions. For her, the creative work was like a magical spell, a secret skill and love. This is visible in her Szarika-marika poem, which reads: “(…) fly, come here!/Oh, my song! Where are you today, my heart?” (Papusza, Lesie, ojcze mój, p. 33).