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Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology 
University of Warsaw

Żurawia 4, 00-503 Warsaw
tel. +48 22 55 316 11/ fax. 22 55 316 12

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Anna Ptak

Anna Ptak is a social and cultural anthropologist, PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Humanities, University of Warsaw. She is investigating air pollution as social and environmental assemblage through case studies located in Poland in order to provide an ethnographically informed description of ecological transformation. She is also a contemporary art curator. Her recent curatorial work includes dramaturgy for VR and performance series landscapes and bodies (dir. Kötter/Israel/Limberg) and curatorial project Amplifying Nature at the XVI Architecture Biennale in Venice (with/by Centrala architecture collective). From 2009 till 2022 she curated residencies, social programs and exhibitions at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, worked on policies and debates related to artistic work and its social status, collaborated with / on ethnographically orientated artistic practices in Poland and EU, Ukraine, Iran, Lebanon and Japan.

Area of interest

environmental and political anthropology, climate and energy studies, art and research collaboration, the curatorial in anthropology, collaborative and experimental methodologies in anthropology, extractivism, mining, resistance, activism

Selected publications

This is Major Tom to Ground Control: On „Control Negative”, a VR installation by Monika Masłoń, „View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture”, No.33, 2022.

Amplifying Nature. The Planetary Imagination of Architecture in the Anthropocene. Zachęta - The National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2018.

Dust. “Obieg” 7/2018, guest editor, https://obieg.u-jazdowski.pl/en/numery/kurz

The Make Yourself at Home Guide to Warsaw. Co-edited with Monnik (Christiaan Fruneaux and Edwin Gardner), Rani al Rajji. Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2015.

Inicjatywy i galerie artystów [Eng. On Polish Artist Run Initiatives and Spaces]. Co-edited with Agnieszka Pindera and Wiktoria Szczupacka. Sztuka Cię Szuka Association, Toruń, 2014.

Polityka ciekawości [Eng. The Politics of Curiosity]. „Res Publica Nowa” Quarterly, guest editor with Kacper Pobłocki, No 2/2014.

Re-tooling Residencies. A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals. Reader. Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2011.

Community arts: wprowadzenie do idei i praktyki [Eng. Community arts: introduction to an idea and practice], published in: Lokalnie. Community arts. Animacja kultury, ed. Iwona Kurz, IKP Warsaw University, Warsaw 2008.

Conferences and visiting lectures

Warped temporalities of extractivism: Frontier ecology of lignite mining in Poland at Post-Extractivist Landscapes and Legacies Conference, University College Dublin, Dublin, Irland. A panel Socialist pasts and capitalist present in the face of climate crisis, convened by professor Eeva Kesküla, 7.07.2023

Warsaw’s coal and heat, a fieldwork workshop as part of professor Sascha Roesler’s course Energy Landscape and Energy Transition at the Academy of Architecture of Università della Svizzera italiana, 15.09.2022;

Curating Regenerative Practices, lecture at Viadrina European University, as part of Transsectoral Summer School Viadrinicum 2022: University in Ruins. Scaffolding Futures, Frankfurt Oder, 10.08.2022.

Visions of Space. Panel discussion convenor; with Małgorzata Kuciewicz, Kaja Schelker, Saskia van Stein in frames of Meetings on Architecture public programme at XVI International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, 25.09.2018.

Group Art Work and Its Discontents. Lecture at the programme accompanying “House of Day, House of Night” exhibition at the Kyoto City University Gallery / @KCUA in Kyoto, 7.02.2016.

Global Responsibility of Art. Geopolitics of New Dramaturgies. Panel discussion with Monika Bobako, Kacper Pobłocki, Anna Ptak, Major Sium, Bartosz Frąckowiak, Polski Theatre, Bydgoszcz, 10.10.2015.

Letter from a fellow art worker. Curator’s talk at RAF projects, Tehran, 2.03.2014.

Re-tooling Residencies. Notes on spaces of artistic labour (introductory lecture) at: “Ljubljana – the City of Artist”, conference organized by City Museum and Soros Centre for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 6.12.2011.

Film: praktyka społecznie zaangażowana [Eng. Film – a socially engaged practice], at: “IV Annual Conference on Animation and Community Development”, European Social Fund in Poland, Warsaw, 18-19.04.2011.

Awards and Scholarships

Japan Foundation Fellowship – Intellectual Exchange, February-March 2016.