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Marta Połeć

Kozminski University


Organizational Ethnography of Festivals of Street Performers

Marta Połeć explores street performances as an organized cultural activity in the urban sphere. She has been interested mainly in grassroots and informal street performances so far, but currently she focuses on festivals of street performers and municipal licences.

Marta is investigating street performers in the field of management since 2012. She has defended her PhD dissertation, concerning the process of informal organisation of street performers in the context of cultural entrepreneurship. The thesis makes aims at a presentation of the patterns of construction of street performers’ cultural roles and activity, the structure of the activities that compose it, and the institutional logics that shape it. The thesis also presents a definition of a street performer and a classification of performative street art. The fieldwork was carried out mainly in the urban area of Polish cities: Gdansk, Lublin, Cracow, Warsaw and Wroclaw.

Currently, Marta is leading a research project entitled: ‘Organizational Ethnography of Festivals of Street Performers’ (2021-2024, Preludium, National Science Centre, Poland). The aim of the project is to explore various international festivals of street performers as formally organized cultural and entertainment events in the urban sphere. The main methodology of the research project is organizational ethnography. The fieldwork includes international events in urban sphere involving street performers. Additionally, Marta is investigating the practices of licencing buskers in Polish cities (2022, Scholarship for the promotion of culture, Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage).