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Scattered throughout the city of Wroclaw, Poland, are hundreds of small bronze statues of dwarves. They began appearing in the streets in 2005, but their roots go back to the 1980s, to an anti-communist underground movement called the Orange Alternative.

In the 1980s when Poland was still under the communist rule, the Orange Alternative Movement started in Wroclaw as a way to peacefully protest against the authoritarian regime. The group found creative ways to stage protest, often bordering on silliness, such as dressing up as dwarfs and painting figures of dwarfs over all communist symbols throughout the city. The idea was to use absurd and nonsensical elements so that participants could not be arrested by the police. The movement spread to other cities around Poland like Warsaw, Łódź, Lublin, and Tomaszów Mazowiecki, eventually becoming a part of the larger Solidarity Movement that led to the fall of Communism in Poland.


Three dwarves —one blind, one in wheelchair and one who is hard of hearing— in front of the Old Town Hall in Wroclaw, portray Wroclaw’s image as a disabled-friendly city. Photo credit: Piotr/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2017.


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