Monday, August 29, 2011

Wrocław Dwarfs

Back in the 1980s there was an underground, anarchist movement in Poland called Pomarańczowa Alternatywa – the Orange Alternative. They used sarcasm and satirical slogans to make fun of communist propaganda. In 1982, members of the group painted dwarfs next to some censured anti-communist slogans and from then the dwarfs became the group's symbol.
As the group became more popular with students they began organizing events in the streets. These street protests were organized as parties in order to avoid arrests.
In 1988. hundreds of people marched in the city center while wearing orange dwarf hats. There were lots of arrests this time but the image of the communist militia arresting people in dwarf hats was used to further ridicule the government.
In 2001, the city honored the movement by placing a dwarf at Świdnicka Street where a lot of the protest occurred. Since then more and more dwarfs keep popping up. Today, there are over 150 around town. Many companies sponsor their own dwarf and you can see tourists in Wrocław out dwarf hunting.

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