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Pride Meets Prejudice in Poland

12 April 2022 16:30 - 19:00

Pride Meets Prejudice in Poland. A geopolitical and historical background to LGBTQIA+ rights in Poland

As LGBTQIA+ rights are deteriorating in Poland, we want to share knowledge and generate a discussion on this every important topic. For this we have invited experts on the region to share their knowledge on the context against which current events are taking place: Dr. Pola Cebulak and Dr. Iwona Guść. After hearing their stories, we will host a panel debate where young Polish LGBTQIA+ people will share their experiences. Of course, there will be room for questions from the audience!

About Pride Meets Prejudice in Poland


  • 12 April 2022


  • 16:30 - 19:00


  • b/c/d/ building UvA Roeterseiland campus
  • De Brug (The Bridge)


  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • 1018 WV Amsterdam

Organized by

  • VU Pride & UvA Pride


  • English

Dr. Pola Cebulak & Dr. Iwona Guść

Dr. Pola Cebulak & Dr. Iwona Guść

Dr. Pola Cebulak

The “war on LGBT” declared by the current Polish government is framed, at least to a large extent, through political and legal measures. As a result, these questions have been a site of a political and legal struggle in Poland and transnationally. Many municipalities introduced “LGBT-free zones” in their cite centers and saw them struck down by their local courts. The European Union has also addressed LGBTQIA+ rights as part of the rule of law backsliding in Poland. We will discuss the instances and prospects of legal mobilization for LGBTQIA+ rights in Poland before Polish and European courts.

Pola is a tenured Assistant Professor in European Law at the European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. Originally from Poland, she has worked and studied at universities in Berlin, London, Brussels, Geneva, Boston, Fribourg, Copenhagen and New York. Her research revolves around the role of international courts in addressing politically and social divisive questions.

Dr. Iwona Guść

Shaped by freedom and discrimination: the Polish LGBT movement”

Due to the dynamic and complex political situation in the 20th  century Poland’s LGBTQIA+ movement developed much later than its counterparts in the West. The roots of the LGBTQIA+ movement in Poland can be traced back to the 80s, the period in which the first seeds of Polish civil society were planted. However, before the fall of the communist regime in 1989 the LGBT communities could not operate in public. It was only in the early 2000s that the Polish LGBTQIA+ groups became more visible within the public sphere (a.o. through Pride and the so-called Tolerance Marches). Nevertheless, this social and political late coming out keeps meeting with criticism, societal ostracism and in fact it has been mostly shaped by its reactions to discriminatory measurements and counterdemonstrations. 

Iwona Guść is  Polish scholar based in the Netherlands specialised in transnational history and cultural encounters, particularly between Poland and the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in film history from the University of Groningen. She works as a lecturer at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, within the department of History. Her research and teaching encompass topics on modern Eastern European history, Holocaust and antisemitism, Human Rights, and migration. 


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