Censorship as the Formative Mechanism of Neoliberal Culture?: The Productive Function of Prohibition


In this article, I attempt to indicate the productive function of censorship based on examples of recent restrictions of creative freedom in Poland, understood as elements of a new political order. Following Judith Butler, I demonstrate how the formative dimension of censorship became the element transforming Polish culture from the domain dominated by its creators into the common sphere, which is also a response to micro-fascist practices of the political authorities. Drawing from analyses of the commons offered by Antonio Negri and Hardt, as well as the idea of the institution of the commons proposed by Raunig and others, I argue that the imperative of creating public theatre expressed by Maciej Nowak has, in fact, already been implemented by Polish society in reaction to acts of censorship. By revealing the productive dimension of censorship, I also encourage an abandoning of paternalistic attitudes to the audience for the benefit of the common good – by means of revolt and resistance, if necessary.

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