Ewa Axelrad: Shtamah at Copperfield Gallery


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The Polish word sztama, pronounced shtamah, brings to mind interesting connotations. It smacks of boys' solidarity. A dictionary of the Polish language explains it in rather innocent terms, as "a relation between friends or companions entailing mutual help." It is derived from German der Stamm, which means tribe. However, many examples can be quoted that analyse how this seemingly positive phenomenon transforms into group aggression; from William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954) in literature to the experiments of social psychologist Muzafer Sherif, known as the Robbers Cave, that were conducted that same year.

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Copperfield Gallery

Copperfield Street

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