“Major” Waldemar Fydrych, Activist, Founder and Leader of Orange Alternative
During Martial Law Fydrych became known for his dwarf images that were painted on building walls, on top of the paint that was used by the authorities to cover up anti-regime slogans. In the mid 1980s he began organizing public actions, which he called happenings, as in Surrealism and founded Orange Alternative, an independent artistic movement that has played a role in Poland’s social and political landscape since the 1980s.
Today, people in Poland are no longer fighting for survival, but they want to live an even better material life. We are dealing with the early formation of a consumer society. I would like it to avoid the mistakes that were made in the west where people have more value for knowledge, for themselves and for other people.
Currently, we have greater ecological needs. Knowledge about healthy food is visible on store shelves. Whether or not the current government has dealt with or will deal with corruption, history will answer this question.
I am making dialectical paintings.
Drawing General Jaruzelski - the dragon of the Wawel Castle, acrylic on canvas 60 x 70 cm, 2016
Great Social Forms.
In accordance with the Hegel Dialectics,
Quantity transforms into Quality,
Which means the more Dwarfs there are,
There is no freedom without dwarfs.
The former system was so absurd that it was a socialist surrealism. It, in and of itself, was a piece of art.
Yes, we are living in a post-communist country and what that means is that you are free to go out and spend your money. People’s activities are directed toward economic survival. They work non-stop for corporations and then only have energy left for shopping.
There are still many problems. The developers have more power than people who are trying to preserve green areas. When someone is arrested they are considered guilty and have to prove their innocence. There is corruption and fraud everywhere and a crisis of values in society.
My aim with Orange Alternative is, and has always been, to achieve, through happenings and other forms of activism, the aesthetics of individual freedom and to inspire people to reject apathy and to attack the problems in society.
In Poland there are only three places when you can feel free: in churches, but only for the meditations, in prisons, but not everyone can go to prison, and on the streets - they are the freest places.
Drawing Dwarf Graffiti, Warsaw, 1982 - 83, Photograph by Tomasz Sikorski
2019 Interview in English
2009 Interview in Polish and English and included Agata Podemska