The bar is open! Kulturotwórcza funkcja instytucji kawiarni w kulturze polskiej w opinii trzech pokoleń mieszkańców Śląska i Zagłębia

“The bar is open!” takes on the problems of both the origin and the significance of urban meeting areas. It combines a historical perspective with a synchronous look at the Silesian pubs, clubs and cafés. The text is based on qualitative fieldwork conducted in the cities of Katowice and Sosnowiec, which gave this work major local meaning and impact, but the proposals are an attempt to make wider recognition of the problem of cafés. In fact, a café can be treated as a mirror which reflects many aspects of Polish culture. This institution is a place that gives the opportunity to observe two different ways of human behaviour over time. It is a space of balance between the sacrum and the profane, between everyday life and celebration. It eventually leads us straight to the struggle known from Bruegel’s painting “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent”. One of the most important areas of this “café reflection” is a critical look at semiotic processes that concern the space in question and the people inside this space. Meeting places create a web of different meanings. This text aims at discovering some regularities and patterns of this process.
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