Ola Korbańska, Gentle Protest

Kitchen Conversations with Ola Korbańska A Polish artist and multidisciplinary designer.

Ola Korbańska is a Polish artist and multidisciplinary designer. She first trained her visual eye in the School of Form in her home city of Poznań, to later move west and get her master degree at the Design Academy Eindhoven. After graduating, and in the middle of the global pandemic, she returned home and she’s been living there since. 

Using various media such as design, written text, and illustration, Ola inquiries about the nature of objects in the context of temporality and perception. No matter the technique, be it installation, performance or activist intervention, Ola is always dealing with the process of transformation, change, and resistance.

Ola Korbańska, photo by Pawel Jasiewicz
Ola Korbańska, photo by Pawel Jasiewicz

The recurring subject in our Kitchen Conversations was the women liberation movement taking place in Poland since 2016 to which Ola very much relates to, both as a woman and as an artist. 

Both her works, Purity is Temporary and Gentle Protest, deal with silent forms of resistance. The former speak about the act of cleaning, stereotypically attributed to women, and the invisibility of that type of labour, especially within the domestic sphere. The latter is a performative act of cleaning public spaces, through which Ola asks: Can the gentle act of caring become a form of active resistance?

Our conversation was concluded by the story of the six-fuck – a middle finger for the non-audacious. The characteristic graphic started as a party henna tattoo and with time transformed into a real “five finger beast” to be used on demonstrations against the hegemonic systems of oppressions. 

Instagram: @olakotarbinska

Return to the homepage

About The Author


Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

This might interest you