Largely homogenous in terms of ethnicity, religion and culture – this is how Polish society is often defined. Moreover, according to recent developments, “the Other” – who represents diversity in Polish society – is becoming increasingly cast as a national enemy. For example, according to the recent census, there are currently eight thousand Jews living in Poland, yet 90% of Poles have never met anyone from this group. Although the Jewish minority does not pose any threat to either the national security or dominant culture, the number of anti-Semitic incidents is steadily growing: starting from hate speech – which instead of being deplored, is gaining more legitimization through political demonstrations involving the burning of Jewish effigies – and ending with hate crimes.
These events and the current public discourse show an alarming change in societal attitudes towards this minority group and as history shows, this can have severe consequences. That is why our project, (In)visible Diversity: Encounter, Empower & Exchange aims to empower activists and educators to counter this wave of xenophobia and anti-Semitism through constructive action across political lines.