Leaflet of October 19, 2017


  • Piotr Szczęsny Independent Researcher
  • Bogna M. Konior Lingnan University




manifesto, protest, Poland


Translated here is Piotr Szczęsny’s farewell letter (list pożegnalny), as Polish media called it; it is often referred to as a “manifesto.” Szczęsny distributed it as a leaflet to passers-by before setting himself on fire shortly after 4PM on October 19, 2017, near the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. On that day, a meeting of the Warsaw City Council was held at the Palace, with the participation of Jarosław Kaczyński, the chairman of PiS, whose policies Szczęsny wanted to oppose. In the leaflet, he addresses many of the recent policies of the Polish government, accusing them of authoritarianism and taking orders from the ruling party rather than following democratic protocols. The translation is based on the original publication in Oko.Press, October 19, 2017, www.oko.press/piotr-s-szary-czlowiek-zyje-czescpamieci.

Author(s): Piotr Szczęsny

Title (English): Leaflet of October 19, 2017

Translated by (Polish to English): Bogna M. Konior

Journal Reference: Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 15, No. 1-2 (Summer 2018)

Publisher: Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje 

Page Range: 160-163

Page Count: 4

Citation (English): Piotr Szczęsny, “Leaflet of October 19, 2017,” translated from the Polish by Bogna M. Konior, Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 15, No. 1-2 (Summer 2018): 160-163.

Author Biography

Piotr Szczęsny, Independent Researcher

Piotr Szczęsny (1968-2017) was a Polish chemist, a training officer, an NGO worker and a member of the Polish Mensa Society. In his youth, he took part in the Solidarity protests, but - according to his own assessment - his engagement with politics had been casual. He was never part of the formal opposition movements in Poland. On October 19, 2017, he selfimmolated in protest of Poland’s ruling party, PiS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość [Law and Justice]). He died at the hospital ten days later. His self-immolation caused an emotional debate in the Polish media, with commentators on both sides of the political spectrum accusing him of being mentally ill. He is survived by his two children, both of whom were doctoral candidates at the time of his death, and a wife he spent thirty years with, who is a pharmacist.




How to Cite

Szczęsny, P., & Konior, B. M. (2018). Leaflet of October 19, 2017. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 15(1-2), 160-163. https://doi.org/10.51151/identities.v15i1-2.342