Issue #141 To Follow the Grain

To Follow the Grain

Dorota Jagoda Michalska

Tatiana Yablonskaya, Grain, 1949, Tretyakov Gallery.

Issue #141
December 2023

In September 2023, Poland announced that it would impose a unilateral ban on Ukrainian grain, including wheat and maize, in order to protect the local market from cheap produce from its war-torn neighbor. In what was seen as a serious break of solidarity with Kyiv, the Polish nationalist party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, “Law and Justice”) declared that while transit of Ukrainian grain to other destinations would be allowed, it would be banned from local trade exchanges. The move was unanimously condemned by the European Commission, but the government in Warsaw stood firm in the decision, resorting to the usual rhetoric of nationalist interests and anti-European resentments. The ban imposed by PiS was largely connected to the upcoming Polish parliamentary elections in October, which saw the nationalist-populist party fighting for a third consecutive reelection. The votes of Polish farmers, traditionally a stronghold of the nationalist party, were seen as key in securing another victory. When Ukraine filed a complaint against Poland at the World Trade Organization, accusing the country of violating international trade agreements, PiS retaliated by announcing that it would limit the supply of weapons to the Eastern front. Thus, the vicious circle of local politics came to a head, and now both countries face an uncertain impasse—an impasse which, of course, greatly benefits Russia.

Since the full-blown invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation in February 2022, the production and circulation of grain have emerged as key elements of clashing political and economic interests, with both local and global repercussions. Ukraine, which before the war exported around five million tons of wheat, corn, and barley per month, continues to be vitally concerned with keeping its trade routes open, especially the ones across the Black Sea. Indeed, among some of the most symbolic images circulating in summer 2022 were photos of grain reserves, on the verge of rotting, stored in Ukrainian warehouses. Photos of fully stocked silos, warehouses, and carrier ships—stuck in the ports of Odessa and Chornomorsk—circulated in the media, while, worldwide, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, food security was decreasing. In the next months of the unfolding war, golden ears of wheat emerged as one of the symbols of Ukraine, reflecting the country’s fertile land known for yielding abundant crops. The fertile Ukrainian chernozem (“black soil”) has historically been, and continues to be, both a blessing and a curse. While it has provided bountiful harvests for local populations, its produce has also been coveted by outsiders and the adjacent imperial powers. Paradoxically, this fertile land—a source of life and abundance—has often become the very cause of misery, wars, and devastation.

While Western Europe is an important trade partner for Ukraine, from a more global perspective the route through the Black Sea into the Mediterranean is even more crucial. Countries such as Turkey, Egypt, and Libya—but also Lebanon and Yemen—fundamentally rely on Ukrainian grain. Since the start of the conflict, the whole area has dealt with shortages, with countries like Yemen—already in a highly precarious position—risking famine. These global repercussions fully show the international stakes of the war in Ukraine, due to the country’s role as a “breadbasket.” The conflict is anything but local. While these implications are not often acknowledged in contemporary discussions, they are crucial since they confirm Eastern Europe’s pivotal role as an agrarian producer within the capitalist world-system and the global structures of labor embedded within it. Such a materialist perspective is fundamental for going beyond the well-rehearsed analysis of the region as shaped mostly by political history, Cold War realities, or its communist past.

While many Western observers were surprised by Poland’s ban on Ukrainian grain, the decision is symptomatic of the often conflictual relationship between the two countries. Historically, Poland has often been the economically stronger neighbor; its productive strengths were, among other factors, based on access to and exploitation of Ukrainian raw resources and labor. This generated a deeply unequal relationship between the two, where Poland has often acted as a colonizing power within the local context. While rarely acknowledged in dominant accounts of colonialism, Poland has its own history of domination, conquest, and exploitation. Throughout the centuries, the Polish land-owning nobility has often looked at the territories eastwards as a source of land, raw material, and cheap labor. This exploitative economic pattern has been a defining element shaping both past and present contacts between Poles and Ukrainians. Within those histories, grain has often played a pivotal role.

Export of Ukrainian grain, 2023. Photo: European Commission.

In order to fully grasp the long-term capitalist colonial economic patterns of this conflictual relationship, we need to consider how the relationship between Poland and Ukraine has developed across the longue durée. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, Poland’s eastern expansion was the source of great wealth for local landowners whose estates produced and exported grain and other kinds of wheat to core countries. At that time, the Polish elite brutally exploited the local, mostly Ukrainian peasants, whose labor was crucial to ensure the maximum profit from the estates. The subjugation of Ukrainian serfs—who were seen as biologically, ethnically, and culturally inferior—was a key feature that shaped the material and labor realities in the area.

The Landscape of Folwark Modernity

By focusing on the circulation and production of grain in Eastern Europe, I aim to situate the region within the wider circuits and histories of capitalist modernity. Such a perspective is vital—yet largely missing—in current discussions of the area. This essay argues that we need to “follow the grain” to understand the colonial relations of power dominating the area. Starting from the sixteenth century, modernity in Eastern Europe was shaped by the logic of the folwark—large agricultural estates possessed by landowners who worked an enserfed and subjugated multitude of peasants.1 While the West was slowly moving towards wage labor, industrial production, and a stronger middle class, Eastern Europe remained a peripheral area shaped by agrarian production, low technical innovation, and an increasingly deepening class conflict between landowners and the exploited rural population. The local economy was predominantly focused on the production of grains—such as wheat, barley, and rye—which were partially used for local consumption and partially sold on Western markets for great financial gain. While this pattern of agrarian production and circulation generated incredible wealth for landowners, it also made the local economy completely dependent on the core countries. Furthermore, it consolidated the agrarian character of the region by forestalling the development of industry, slowing down the emergence of the middle class, and thwarting the growth of towns.

Among the key characteristics that have shaped the material and social realities of Eastern Europe is the emergence of “second serfdom,” which dominated the area until the late nineteenth century. This phenomenon describes the increasing subjugation of the peasant population, which were devoid of any legal rights and ultimately reduced to expendable labor to fuel the local accumulation of capital. While some historians, such as Peter Kolchin, Marcin Kula, and more recently Kacper Pobłocki, have debated the similarities between second serfdom and slavery, a more useful perspective was recently proposed by Manuela Boatcă.2 The sociologist argues that the forms of unfree labor in the region were part of global forms of the “coloniality of labour,” which encompassed slavery, indentured servitude, and serfdom. While core Western countries embarked on the path of industrial and technological advancement, on the peripheries of the world system agrarian production continued to predominate, often fueled by forms of unfree labor.

The patterns of folwark modernity have fundamentally shaped the identity of the region. Before the sixteenth century, Poland and Lithuania remained the most densely forested regions on the continent. Once capitalism started kicking in, this began to change rapidly, and during the next centuries, massive areas were deforested to create more arable land. The countries underwent enormous transformations, fueled by a grain boom. By the end of the eighteenth century, only about 40 percent of the territory of Poland and Lithuania was still covered by forests. Environmental historian Jason W. Moore argues that the deforestation of Eastern Europe was a key step in the expansion of Western capitalism.3 This not only cleared new land for cultivation but also produced a large stock of sellable timber, a highly coveted material in early modern Europe. Timber from Eastern Europe is what made possible the construction of ships used for overseas exploration and conquest by Britain and the Low Countries. The clearing of forests and the expansion of agriculture fundamentally altered the economic patterns, social structures, and natural landscape of Eastern Europe.

Wyspa Spichrzów in Gdańsk, 1930.

In the sixteenth century, the port of Gdańsk emerged as a key location on the map of the grain trade in Eastern Europe, and the city’s sea merchants became a powerful political force. Today, walking around the city’s quaint and rather somnolent old town—lots of tourist shops with fake amber jewelry glistening dully in the afternoon sun—it is hard to imagine the immense wealth and power brought to the city by the grain boom in modern Europe. Yet for almost two centuries, the city was the epicenter of agrarian capitalism in the region: from all over the country, grain, timber, and furs flowed into the city’s many docks and were stored in massive granaries along the seafront, awaiting further shipment to the West. Walking along the city’s high street today, one passes many buildings and other places associated with the grain trade. Among them is Wyspa Spirzchów (Granary Island), situated by the Motława River in the oldest part of the city center. Until not so long ago, the island was a labyrinthine maze of ruined granaries and devastated warehouses overgrown by nettles and inhabited by a large population of rats. This has started to change in the last ten years or so, and now the island has been transformed into a hotel district. The new buildings—their bright and ugly colors reflected in the grey waters—look like they are made of plastic. Nowadays, Gdańsk has the look of a city that lost its importance long ago. Most of the shipyards are abandoned.

While the second half of the eighteenth century marked the end of the grain boom in the region, this part of Eastern Europe continued to rely on agriculture into modern and contemporary times. The growing of wheat, vegetables, and fruits is a fundamental part of Poland’s economy, and arable land constitutes nearly 50 percent of the country’s total area. The export of rye, potatoes, and beetroots is crucial for both local and global markets, and the revenue from crop cultivation in Poland is almost twice as high as the EU average. Fundamentally, agriculture is the country’s future: according to current plans, Poland plans to double its arable land by 2030, thus becoming the EU’s largest producer of agrarian products. Farming constitutes a lucrative business, handsomely supported by both the government and the EU. In the last decade, farmers have been among PiS’s staunchest supporters, upholding a long-standing alliance between the countryside and nationalist ideology. In this sense, the contemporary economic patterns in Poland mark a continuation of the long-term histories of capitalist modernity in the area.

The Eastern Frontiers of Capitalism

By exploring and unravelling the material histories of economic production, circulation, and consumption, we can also start to address the complicated and often antagonistic relations between modern Poland and Ukraine since the sixteenth century. In 1569, Poland and Lithuania formed a political union, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which, for the next two centuries, would play the role of local imperial power. The new federation was among the most populous and largest countries in Europe in the seventeenth-century: its territory stretched to the Black Sea and included large swathes of the Podolia and Volhynia regions, now part of contemporary southwestern Ukraine. Thanks to the ongoing boom in the grain trade, the local economy was rapidly expanding, and the Polish landowning elites quickly amassed huge land holdings and great fortunes. From Gdańsk, ships carried grain, timber, and furs to the major ports of Antwerp and Amsterdam and brought back wine, beer, fruit, exotic spices, and luxury goods.

The political union with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was particularly advantageous for the Polish szlachta (landowning elite), as it allowed them access to the large, and until then mostly empty, parcels of fertile land in today’s central and southern Ukraine.4 Large latifundia were established through royal grants to meet the demand for grain from European markets. While at first peasants were offered temporary exemption from serfdom, servitude was eventually reintroduced, generating much conflict and peasant flight to the steppes. The conflict was made worse by issues of nationality and religion: while the peasants were Ukrainian and Orthodox, the landowners were largely Polish (or Polonized) and Catholic. Within second serfdom, serfs were generally treated like less than humans, but the situation was particularly violent in the eastern latifundia. Here, the Ukrainian peasants were often called “czernia,” which can be literally translated as “blackness,” an expression of their supposedly inherent inferiority. They were brutally exploited without much chance for legal appeal or resistance. During these centuries, the Polish-Ukrainian relationship was, for the most part, a relationship between master and slave. The violence and cruelty unleashed on the local peasants was all the greater because of the almost total impunity of the landowners. The latter had complete legal power over their serfs, which led to heinous forms of violence going unpunished.

Daria Koltsova, A Poem of the Black Field, Stained Glass, 2022. Courtesy of the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. 

Was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth a colonial enterprise? In recent years, the question has generated some bitter disagreements between historians.5 Those who oppose defining it as such claim that the term does not do justice to the historical specificity of the region and obscures, rather than illuminates, the local realities.6 Among other arguments, they underline that the Commonwealth never militarily conquered Ukrainian territories but rather incorporated them legally, and that the local Ruthenian elite played important roles in state institutions. Here, Boatcă’s term “coloniality of labor” is useful to underline how Polish interest in Ukrainian territory was mostly economic. Rather than political or cultural domination, the Polish landowning elite was looking for financial gain, cheap raw material, new land, and an available workforce. Their primary concern was not military conquest or cultural hegemony; their goal was to start lucrative capitalist enterprises located in the rapidly expanding eastern frontier of modern Europe. Among the first historians to write about these dynamics was French scholar Daniel Beauvois, who claims that the western provinces of today’s Ukraine witnessed a form of settler colonialism, which by the mid-nineteenth century led to about a million Poles dominating over nearly five million Ukrainians.7

Fueled by centuries of exploitation, unjustified punishment, and poverty verging on famine, Ukrainian peasants rebelled in the mid-eighteenth century, slaughtering Polish landowners and the local Jewish population, which functioned as a symbolic scapegoat in the conflict. In 1768, thousands of nobles were killed by Ukrainian peasant brigades in Humań (Uman), east of Kyiv. The killing lasted for over three days. However, peasant conditions hardly changed for another century, during which the region was marked by social, economic, and intellectual stagnation. Only by the second half of the nineteenth century did new laws (imposed by the Russian administration) limit serfdom and eventually abolish it altogether. This was hardly motivated by humanitarian concern: the Russian authorities wanted to limit the Polish presence in those territories by fueling anti-Polish resentment. The Ukrainian peasants were only pawns in this geopolitical conflict, as neither side was willing to recognize them as political subjects.

The Past Splendor of Podolia

Some years ago—a time which now seems irrevocably lost and impossibly distant—I travelled by car from Krakow to the Wolhynia and Podolia regions in western and southern Ukraine. My plan was to explore the largely ruined palaces and properties of powerful local Polish magnates like the Potocki, Wiśniowieccy, and Brunicki families. While these last names inevitably crop up during many history lessons in Polish high schools, the source of their economic power and richness is rarely discussed in detail. Like my other Polish peers, I was educated in a system where “the nation” constitutes the ultimate signifier of both individual and collective identity. History lessons focus almost entirely on political history and completely omitted the class structures and conflicts underpinning the country. Ukraine itself often appears as an object of barely veiled nostalgia for the territories that Poland “lost” after World War II.

My first stop was the recently restored neoclassical Vyshnivets Palace, near the city of Tarnopol in Western Ukraine. Historically, it was the seat of the powerful Wiśniowiecki family, whose fortune and land possessions were so vast that the heads of the family were called “little kings” (królewięta). Among them was Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki, who was from a Polonized Ruthenian family. In the seventeenth century he was one of the wealthiest magnates in the region, ruling over lands inhabited by over two hundred thousand people. A sharp and ruthless military commander, he was nicknamed Młot na Kozaków (Hammer on the Cossacks) because of his merciless campaigns against the Cossack uprisings in Ukraine. While in Poland he is often considered a national hero, more critical accounts underline that the uprisings were in fact peasant wars spurred by the increasingly exploitative conditions imposed on Ukrainian serfs.8 Wiśniowiecki was first and foremost protecting his own interests and landed properties in Podolia and Wolhynia, which were at risk. During the Cossack War, Vyshnivets Palace was a veritable fortress whose design was inspired by Dutch architecture. Only much later was it transformed into the elegant and somehow dainty estate it is today.

Next, I traveled southward to the Podolia region, adjacent to today’s Moldavia. The whole area is dotted with the abandoned ruins of the estates built by Polish landowning families. Among them, the largest and most impressive property was the neoclassical residence built by the Potocki family at the end of the eighteenth century in the town of Tulchyn. Designed by French architects according to the most fashionable trends of the era, it was a place of unparalleled opulence and luxury. Surrounded by a vast landscape garden, the palace included a library, a small printing house, Turkish baths, an art gallery (with paintings by Rubens, Titian, and Rembrandt, among others), and—perhaps most outlandishly—an opera house with a regular cast of over two hundred singers and actors. The palace was an astonishing and dazzling symbol of the Potockis’ influence, power, wealth, and good fortune. Most of it originated from the family’s vast latifundia, where more than four hundred thousand peasants worked the land.

Potocki palace in Tulchin.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the palace and the garden were already falling into ruin, and the twentieth century brought only more devastation. When I visited, I found myself walking among the decaying buildings and overgrown parks, wondering about the immense splendor and the equally immense arrogance of the Potocki family. To this day, the whole Podolia region bears the painful traces of these histories of capitalist violence. Polish nationalists often express nostalgia for the “lost” eastern lands, but those decaying palaces are material traces of Poland’s expansionist ambitions, haunted by histories of capitalist violence, wealth accumulation, and land and labor extraction. The opulent and splendid palaces were built by and upon the bodies of local, predominantly Ukrainian peasants and financed by their unfree, slave-like labor in wheat fields. Today, looking at the decaying reliefs of the Potocki family crest, which is ever present in the many palaces scattered around Podolia, I am reminded that capitalist coloniality did not only happen in the far-off territories of the Americas. Quite the opposite: it took place—as history often does—close by, on Europe’s eastern frontier, where the rich Ukrainian soil proved irresistible. Here, internal colonialism was a technology of power connected to capitalist expansion across new territories and new reservoirs of labor. This materialist and economic perspective is crucial to understanding the stakes of the Polish presence in the region.

A Fragile Solidarity

While both Poland and Ukraine were struggling in the post-communist decades of the 1990s and early 2000s, Poland eventually found its footing, largely thanks to joining the EU in 2004. Another watershed moment came in 2014, with the Russian annexation of Crimea, which triggered a massive migration of Ukrainians westward. Many of them found work in Poland, and soon the Ukrainian community in the country reached around 1.35 million. The group was largely composed of temporary and highly precarious workers employed by private Polish companies. These workers had little financial, social, or legal security, which exposed them to brutal exploitation.

Following the boom in Ukrainian migration to Poland, the latter’s social landscape changed quickly. The presence of Ukrainians, especially in larger cities such as Warsaw and Krakow, was easy to spot. In supermarkets, post offices, kebab shops, and on buses, one increasingly heard snippets of Ukrainian. Every morning, outside the Immigration Office on Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw, people waited in long queues, smoking cigarettes and exchanging information and advice. While some of my Polish friends claimed to understand the language, I couldn’t, and this added to a growing sense of just how little I knew about our eastern neighbor. Like many Polish people from my generation, my travels and plans took me mostly to Western Europe, and—to my shame—Ukraine rarely figured in my thoughts or research. However, this was starting to change rapidly. It was becoming more and more clear that Poland was intimately and fundamentally linked to Ukraine and that Poland’s many present and past paths were leading eastward. Around that time, a new wave of historical scholarship was starting to explore the colonial histories of the region, histories in which Poland was deeply implicated.9 Suddenly, it became poignantly clear that instead of looking West, we needed to urgently turn our gaze to the East and address our own past of violence and colonial modernity.

The presence of Ukrainian migrants in Poland made visible some of those old patterns of exploitation. The rapidly expanding Polish economy of the 2010s urgently needed cheap labor to sustain its intense accumulation and investment. While official state propaganda took a firm anti-immigrant stance, Polish business was in desperate need of cheap workers from Ukraine. Soon, news of brutal exploitation and violence started to circulate in the media, including the story of Vasyl Chorny, who, after suffering a stroke at work, was abandoned in a forest and left to die by his Polish employer. Instead of calling an ambulance, the employer dropped him in a secluded area, afraid of facing charges of illegal employment. Like many migrant workers across the world, Ukrainians in Poland were forced to inhabit a deeply paradoxical space: they were needed but not wanted, necessary but not welcome. The status quo held for almost a decade: while the Ukrainian community in the country continued to grow, Ukrainians remained—or rather were kept—politically, legally, and culturally invisible.

The eruption of a full-scale war between Ukraine and Russia seemed to change some of these attitudes: Ukrainian migrants were no longer exclusively seen as a cheap labor force but as refugees fleeing the violence of war. In the immediate aftermath of the Russian invasion, Poland was among Ukraine’s biggest supporters and political allies. Between February and mid-May 2022, millions of Ukrainian refugees crossed the eastern border of Poland. Most of them were relocated to temporary shelters, refugee camps, schools, gyms, and hotels across the country. Poles often welcomed the refugees with open arms in an unprecedented show of transnational solidarity. Thousands of ordinary citizens mobilized, offered time and money, volunteered at local support centers, and welcomed refugee families to stay in their houses. With little support from the government, aid groups, volunteers, and NGOs organized temporary medical help, food distribution pantries, free legal advice, and Polish-language classes. Many were surprised by the solidarity demonstrated by Poles: since the rise of the nationalist Law and Justice party, anti-immigrant rhetoric and politics had become a staple of Polish politics. In 2015, the Polish government refused to accept a plan to introduce refugee quotas. In 2021, the country deployed armed police and the military to push back a few thousand migrants from the border, many of them women and children, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria. Now, the same society welcomed and accepted millions of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

It is easy to be moved by this uplifting image. However, the relationship between Poland and Ukraine remains an ambiguous and vexed one. The border between the two countries embodies and replicates multiple divisions that continue to split the region, but also bind it in an indissoluble knot. The war, like past conflicts, has created a political alliance rooted in shared priorities and a deep-seated fear of Russian expansionism and imperialism. However, this solidarity is fragile and, as Warsaw’s ban on Ukrainian grain makes abundantly clear, subject to national political and economic interests. Poland’s alliance with Ukraine will not extend far enough to go against the latter’s economic interests, which historically have pitted the two countries against each other. Poland’s position is especially fraught: the country’s past as a regional imperial power crucially shapes its current economic ambitions, which continue to rely on cheap labor and resources from its eastern neighbor. The economics and politics of grain production and circulation continue to divide the region, offering a window into the deep structures, tensions, and imperial ambitions that have shaped the area for centuries. Ultimately, PiS failed to retain a majority in the October 2023 elections in Poland. A new government will soon take over, spearheaded by Donald Tusk—former president of the European Council and a staunch liberal. While this constitutes a turning point in Polish and European politics, it is unlikely that these changes will alter the relations of capitalist production and labor exploitation that have existed for centuries. Forces of extraction and accumulation will likely continue to follow the grain.


Witold Kula, An Economic Theory of the Feudal System: Towards a Model of the Polish Economy, 1500–1800 (Verso, 1976); Marian Małowist, Wschód a Zachód Europy w XIII–XVI wieku (Eastern and Western Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries) (Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2006); Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (University of California Press, 2011).


Peter Kolchin, Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom (Harvard University Press, 1987); Kacper Pobłocki, “Globalna historia ludowa a problem niewoli w dawnej Polsce” (Global folk history and the problem of slavery in ancient Poland), Widok, no. 27 (2020) ; Manuela Boatcă, “Coloniality of Labor in the Global Periphery: Latin America and Eastern Europe in the World-System,” Review (Fernand Braudel Center) 36, no. 3–4 (2013).


Jason W. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life. Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (Verso, 2015), 169–93.


Daniel Beauvois, The Noble, the Serf and the Revizor: The Polish Nobility Between Tsarist Imperialism and the Ukrainian Masses (1831–1836) (Routledge, 2023); Henryk Litwin, Napływ szlachty polskiej na Ukrainę 1569–1648 (The influx of Polish nobility to Ukraine 1569–1648) (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 2000).


For the colonial hypothesis, see Jan Sowa, Fantomowe ciało króla: Peryferyjne zmagania z nowoczesna formą (The king’s phantom body: Peripheral struggles with modern form) (Wydawnictwo UNIVERSITAS, 2011); Jarosław Hrycak, Prorok we własnym kraju: Iwan Franko i jego Ukraina (1856–1886) (A prophet in his own country: Ivan Franco and his Ukraine, 1856–1886) (Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, 2010); Bogdan Huk, Ukraina: Polskie jądro ciemności (Ukraine: Polish heart of darkness) (Stowarzyszenie Ukraińskie Dziedzictwo, 2013).


For an overview of existing criticism of the colonial hypothesis, see Hieronim Grala, “Kolonializm alla polacca: Was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth a Colonial Power?,” Polski Przegląd Dyplomatyczny, no. 71 (2017).


Beauvois, The Noble, the Serf and the Revizor, 1.


In the sixteenth century, the Cossacks were joined by merchants, peasants, and runaways from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Muscovy, and Moldavia, all fleeing serfdom.


Chief among this scholarship was Jan Sowa’s 2011 book Fantomowe ciało króla: Peryferyjne zmagania z nowoczesna formą (The king’s phantom body: Peripheral struggles with modern form). Regrettably, it remains untranslated into English.

Colonialism & Imperialism, Capitalism
Eastern Europe
Return to Issue #141

Dorota Jagoda Michalska is an art writer, researcher, and critic. She has written for ArtMargins, L’Internationale, Afterall, Kajet Journal, and Post.Moma. She has also contributed to catalogues for the Venice Biennale (2019), the Biennale Matter of Art in Prague (2022), and the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw (2023). She is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna.


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