The Museum of Nowa Huta invites you to an exhibition which tells the story of the metallurgical plant once known as the Lenin Steelworks. It is part of the ongoing celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Nowa Huta.
As we welcome the jubilee year, the topic of the exhibition is not accidental, as the construction of the plant became the reason for the establishment of Nowa Huta, first as a separate city, later as a district of Kraków.
The Lenin Steelworks was one of the largest industrial plants in the communist era and a flagship investment of the six-year plan. The significant role which the factory played in the district has changed significantly across the decades. During the communist era, Nowa Huta was actually a monocultural district built around a workplace, in which the roles of worker and resident were often inseparable.
For many of these people, the time of transformation, as well as the associated restrictions in employment and the end to the caring role of the plant, was a shock. At present, we are facing another significant change, as the Kraków Branch of ArcelorMittal Poland has announced that the last blast furnace in the plant is to be deactivated.
The exhibition My second home? Lenin Steelworks is an attempt to look at the plant as a socialist workplace, alongside its philosophy and its rendition to reality. It touches upon the social functions of the workplace at the time of the Polish People’s Republic, such as: kindergartens, common rooms, holiday resorts, and community centres which operated in close relationship with such workplaces.
The creators of the exhibition – Karolina Żłobecka and Piotr Kapusta – did not want its narration to focus on the expansion of the plant, the opening of new sections or growing steel production. Instead, they decided to give an account of the steelworks as remembered by its former employees. The story is told around the following focus points: Work, Universum, Calling card, Show, Mantis. Each of them depicts a particular aspect of the steelworks. An inspiration to seek non-standard categories linked to the Lenin Steelworks were scientific projects conducted in the Warsaw Steelworks and in Nowa Huta itself.