Abandoned and largely liquidated steelworks which used to be the core for a whole city is practically no longer there. “Newness” rooted in architectural and urban thought of socialist realism which was supposed to transform not only the city but also the human turned out to be more durable than the system that created it. As though the adjective ‘new’ was to condition the unchanging character of the communist intention of continuing renewal for ever. Tomasz Rakowski stresses that the 1990s, when large post-socialist industrial plants were discontinued in many places across Poland, witnessed mass dismissals, an increase in unemployment, and the emergence of entire areas of so-called “new poverty.”i Labour was one of the basic factors defining the New Human; it also became a relational community-forming factor. The residents of Nowa Huta who became redundant after 1989 had to redefine themselves and their identities. The place and the style of life that was related to it, made meaningful by the labour system involving thousands of workers, was cut off from its original context. Discussing such situations, Buchowski writes that this time “members of these group need to be disciplined and recreate as new people to fit the «capitalist normality,» which is an obvious and unmarked category.”ii

  During the transformation period, Nowa Huta had to be ‘reinvented’. The mechanisms of fashion for anything connected with the Polish People’s Republic came in handy, the perspective of Western tourists, amused by otherness“ from behind the Iron Curtain was adopted. In this way, Nowa Huta reality was exoticised and aestheticised, very much like rural culture had once been exoticised and aestheticised by the intelligentsia and nobility. Only the most visually attractive were selected from a wide range of phenomena, even if they were suggestive of poverty and dullness. The past was commodified and exotisiced to be used as an item of exchange, a valuable product. The ability of certain objects to evoke nostalgia was to trigger longing for things one has never possessed. According to Arjun Appadurai, this kind of consumers’ nostalgia creates “[…] experiences of duration, passage, and loss that rewrite the lived histories of individuals, families, ehtnic groups, and classes.iii Tourism in Nowa Huta became a “melancholic journey through time,” a way to patinate its image, and giving it completely new meanings. Golonka-Czajkowska points out that this kind of ‘anthropological’ tourism, focussed on scrutinising the life in the district and discovering its exoticism, also responds to the “need to constantly look for new, unordinary forms of entertainment which turn into fascination of pop-communism, described as fashion for the Polish People’s Republic.”