The consequences of sending the Letter, meaning the State Sanitary Inspection
On this Saturday morning, the 16th of May, two of the participants in last week's reenactment of the „Letter" carried out by: Marta Czyż, Magda Drągowska, Michał Frydrych, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Kuba Rudziński, Julia Minasewicz, Jan Możdzyński, Yulia Krivich, Weronika Zalewska and Paweł Żukowski received in their own hands an administrative penalty in the amount of 10 thousand zlotys each, imposed by the office of the State District Sanitary Inspector. On this basis, we assume that the rest of the people stated on a participants’ list (which was written down by the police) also have a pending, and not yet delivered, letters with pending administrative penalties. Notifications in place of the Polish Post Office were delivered by masked police patrols.
In our understanding, the above sanctions are not connected with causing an epidemiological threat, but are of a repressive nature, aimed at artistic activity and the resulting political context.
It is ironic that the reenactment of the „Letter”, a reconstruction of Tadeusz Kantor's work from 1967, was constructed in lege artis with an epidemiological act in force - all participants wore masks, the reconstruction of the Letter in scale 1: 1 physically forced the participants to be spaced more than 2 meters apart (the mail was 14 meters long and there were seven postmen), and- most importantly - all the participants were in the course of their professional activities, performing the reconstruction of the performance based on the statement provided by the Bęc Zmiana Foundation.
So why the sanction?
Perhaps because our version of the 'letter' was not taken safely to the gallery, but was delivered to MPs outside the Parliament, on Wiejska Street on the 6th of May in the evening, as a declaration to stop the organisation of elections during the epidemic. And what is the Kafkaesque justification for the administrative punishment imposed by the same State Sanitary Inspection who kept silent about the May 10 elections?
"In a democratic state under the rule of law, there can be no tolerance for the reckless neglect of the efforts of society as a whole by consciously ignoring the restrictions whose disregard leads to an uncontrolled spread of the epidemic[...]"
All photos by Monika Bryk, this text was penned by the participants of the reenactment of "Letter"