Sinead O’Connor, Wrocław and democracy

On the 19th of June the singer Sinead O’Connor is to perform on Wyspa Słodowa in Wrocław.

Am I fan of Sinead O’Connor?  No.  Why, then, this article?  Because I am a fan of democracy and one feature of democracy is free speech.  Why am I saying that?  Because some Wrocław (“the most tolerant city in Poland”) city councillors are against her performing in Poland, the reason being for this:

What she actually did was a protest against child abuse within the Roman Catholic church, hence her symbolic attack on the then Pope, who just happened to be Polish.  This has been seen as an attack on Poland by city councillors Maria Zawartko and Wojciech Blonski.   “How could she receive an invitation to a (Roman) Catholic country”? said they.

I’ll tell you why.  Poland is a democracy.  Poland signed up to the UN articles of human rights, whereby freedom of expression is an enshrined right.  While anti-Christian art can sometimes be simply for the shock-value/marketing (say, by Marilyn Manson), Sinead O’Connor was doing a taboo-breaking thing: Protesting against child abuse within the RC church.  One doesn’t have to like that, or like her singing, but if one believes in democratic values one doesn’t try to ban them.

If one believes in democratic values, that is.  Anyway, as this is not my other, more political blog, I won’t say any more (apart from saying that Poland is not a “(Roman) Catholic country”, despite popular misconceptions).  I’ll just that that I respect her as a campaigner against child abuse and homophobia, and as a singer, and as this blog concentrates on singing, I’ll mention how she sings with passion, technique, clearly and with an individual style (something not often seen).

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About Czarny kapturek

Singer, political activist, trainer, tour guide, Polish beer lover, frequenter of Bar Mleczny, bird-watcher and football fan
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2 Responses to Sinead O’Connor, Wrocław and democracy

  1. R.K says:

    Who said it’s the “most tolerant city in Poland”? You’re just repeating the PR that the city does. Other facts show it’s the opposite. You don’t hear of racism issues in Warsaw and there were quite a few in Wroclaw recently. This city has a serious problem.

    • That’s why I put it in inverted commas. In fact, many Polish people have said that. I looked into racism in Poland on the internet the other day and many Polish people also said how tolerant Wroclaw is. If you look at my latest post on you’ll see proof of your claim. Certainly, I believe the “tolerant Wrocław” claim to be part wishful thinking and part marketing.

      What other incidents of racism in Wrocław do you know of?

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