On May 6th, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of artists took a fourteen-meter-long banner-letter with the slogan ŻYĆ NIE, UMIERAĆ (To live not, to die) from the Main Post Office in Warsaw to the Parliament, where the letter was delivered to the addressee: the Member of Parliaments from the Opposition. The action was a gesture of artistic protest against the attempts to organise presidential elections to be conducted by postal ballot during the lockdown – a time overwhelmingly and unjustifiably favourable to the current government – ultimately putting the safety of citizens at stake.
The march of the “postmen” through the empty center of Warsaw became famous due to repressions that were imposed on the participants of the action – draconian financial fines from the National Sanitary Inspector. There were appeals, protests, an effective crowdfunding campaign (over PLN 100K collected in 3 days, over 8,000 contributors), support from numerous circles. Thanks to the intervention of the Ombudsman, the fines were lifted.
Shortly after the action, “The Letter” was acquired for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and the artists began working on a Solidarity Fund – the money raised during the fundraising will be donated to support the victims of censorship in Poland: artists and activists who are forbidden not only to perform their work but also to exercise their civic rights – to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, to manifest their views and to criticise the authorities.
Artists: Marta Czyż, Marianna Dobkowska, Magda Drągowska, Michał Frydrych, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Kuba Rudziński, Julia Minasiewicz, Jan Możdżyński, Julia Krivich, Weronika Zalewska, Paweł Żukowski.