D8.1 Country Report | May 2023

Authors: Maria Moulin-Stozek, Pawel Ruksza, Boguslaw Przywora – Jan Dlugosz University

This report focuses on developing resilience to radicalization through arts and sports. The idea behind his notion is that arts and sports can become avenues to challenge othering and differences in communities. In order to uncover how can sport alleviate social exclusion in Poland, we looked into social agency of members of ‘Wieczny Rakow’ – football fans association of club Rakow Czestochowa. The question this report aims to answer is what the perceived connection between lack of recognition and the expression of social agency among members of ‘Wieczny Rakow.’ The study is grounded theoretically in Honneth’s theory of recognition and argues that identity politics besides normative and an ethical, has also a psychological dimension.

Using in-depth qualitative interviews and two focus groups this report uncovers how everyday practices of ‘Wieczny Rakow’ create a framework around reconciling the grievances that can lead to radicalisation. In order to explore how creative arts and sports can contribute to dialogue and collaboration, an art project was carried out together with the fans that consisted of preparing together a game setting. During this ‘intervention’ discussions around grievances, community and trust building took place. The setting expressed a local sentiment of the fans – a display ‘Czestochowa belongs to Rakow’. The project showed that grievances, rather than being displayed for public in the form of obscenities, can also be transformed through art aspiration into having a purpose of consolidating the local community. The art project was also an opportunity for a dialogue about alienation and challenging otherness through sports. It demonstrated that there is a potential for a positive social engagement through sports, even for those who feel shunned and dismissed in the society, in a way that alleviates social exclusion and integrates them in the community.