I am Zofia nierodzińska, I was born in 1985 in Łomża, a medium-sized town in Podlasie in eastern Poland, as my mother's second or third child: I have a twin sister and it is unclear which of us was born first. In the spring of 1985, Poland was still one of the socialist countries and no one could have predicted that in four years the communist system would collapse and that we would have to adjust our life realities to the rules of capitalism at an accelerated pace. Between 2000 and 2005, I attended an art high school in Nałęczów. I then studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. I painted mainly figures of young people whose gender was not clearly defined. I read Judith Butler's 'Gender Trouble... ', just translated into Polish by Krytyka Polityczna, and tried to understand my situation as a female person in a strictly Catholic, turbo-capitalist post-Soviet society at the beginning of the 21st century.

After graduating from the academy in Poznan, ending a four-year relationship and winning a prize in a 'young Polish artists' competition, I moved to Berlin. I studied, partying and trying to survive, I was homeless for a while. I learned German and got into the MA Art in Context at the University of Arts in Berlin, graduating in 2016 with the thesis 'Materiality of Work, an Assemblage, a Brick, a Piece of Cake', in which I compared and contrasted the work I made for money in a patisserie and the one I made for symbolic reasons at an art university, for which I received credit points instead of money. I was out of work, doing activism as a member of the Auntie Basia (Ciocia Basia) collective and working on a Ph.D. entitled 'Where is the Academy? Critical Institution and Science Fiction, Towards The Virtual Feminist University', which I completed in 2017 at the University of Arts in Poznan.

Just when I thought my life would forever be linked to Neukoelln (Berlin), I got a job as deputy director of the Municipal Gallery Arsenal in Poznan. I moved back to Poznan and during my five and a half years at the gallery, I co-curated seven exhibitions, quite a few events, co-edited two books and a platform on art and activism called Magazyn RTV. I continued to be involved in activism, and after the Women's Strike in 2020 I was accused of violating the religious feelings of several military priests. I moved back to Berlin, where I have been living since June 2022 with my partner and a doggy. I have received a research scholarship from the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa. I am writing and curating, working on the publication 'Politics of (In)Accessibilities' and on the book 'Affinity Institution', and since January 2023 collaborating as an editor and curator with the Theatertreffen Festival in Berlin. I am thinking intensely about Eastern Europe.

This is a portrait photo of Zofia nierodzińska, who is a female person, shown from her shoulders to the top of her head. She is wearing a black t-shirt. She has blonde, long hair. She is in her early thirties. The background is in a plain light pink colour.
Photo: Katarzyna Wąsowska