Mariusz Szczygieł

Polish journalist and writer, a Czechophile propagating contemporary Czech culture and customs in his homeland.

Together with his peers Wojciech Tochman and Jack Hugo-Bader he is mentioned in all foreign anthologies dealing with the Polish art of reportage. A huge wave of resistance in Polish Catholic circles was evoked by his 1993 reportage “Polish Onanism”, printed by Gazeta Wyborcza in its Sunday edition between an essay by Czeslaw Milosz and an interview with Václav Havel. In it he described the sexuality of Polish youth differently than was presented in the Ministry of Education and Sports guide. This report was not only a provocation but primarily the first sign of a sexual revolution which had been significantly held back in Poland by the communist past and the strong Catholic tradition. This led to an extensive controversy on the pages of the Catholic press and in protest several readers sent there copies of the Sunday supplement back to the editorial office. The reportage “Take us to the Diamond” about Amway inspired the documentary film “Vítejte v životě” by Henryk Dederko, the showing of which was forbidden by a court order. From 2001 he has concerned himself with the history and culture of the Czech Republic. In the autumn of 2006 he published Gottland, a book of essays mapping out the last century of Czech history.