Agata Pyzik

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Agata Pyzik
Born c. 1983 (age 34–35)[1]
Occupation Journalist, critic
Residence Warsaw, Poland; London, England
Nationality Polish
Notable works Poor But Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West (2014)

Agata Pyzik (born c. 1983) is a Polish journalist and cultural critic who has written on politics, art, music, and culture. Her 2014 book Poor But Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West examined the artistic and cultural history of late-20th century Eastern Europe under socialism and its eventual transition to neoliberal capitalism.[2][3][4] Her writing has appeared in The Wire, The Guardian, New Statesman, frieze, and New Humanist. She divides her time between Warsaw and London.[5]


Pyzik was born in the 1980s in communist Poland and attended private school as a teenager.[6] In Warsaw, she pursued academic studies in philosophy, art history, English, and American studies.[7] She wrote for Polish magazines such as Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik, and Polityka, as well as music magazine Glissando and smaller literary magazines. Her recent interests have turned toward political aesthetics and forms of resistance. Her study of Eastern Europe, Poor But Sexy, was published by Zero Books in 2014.[8] The following year, Pyzik was commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing to write an addition to the 33⅓ series of music books on British band Japan's 1981 album Tin Drum.[9]

Discussion of Poor But Sexy (2014)[edit]

In a review of Poor But Sexy for The Guardian, Sukhdev Sandhu wrote that

Pyzik wants to reassess the culture of the cold war period, to give the lie to the widely held impression that eastern Europe must have been uniformly dour and artistically sterile, and to explore the heady mixture of fear, desire and yearning that fuelled the imaginative traffic between east and west. [...] Ideas, some more developed than others, tumble from each page creating a kind of swarm energy that's a pleasing antidote to the tasteful mourning found in so many books about eastern Europe. There's an urgency and intensity to Poor But Sexy that's entirely in keeping with Pyzik's assertion that the key cultural feature of pre-1989 Poland was high-mindedness.[10]

Critic Simon Reynolds called the book

a fascinating and provocative study of Eastern Europe (including her native Poland) in the quarter-century since the Soviet Bloc began to disintegrate, looking at both the realities of post-communist life (transition trauma, precarity, emigration for work, etc) and at the fantasies and misunderstandings that East and West entertain about each other, as figured through pop, fashion, film, and art.[11]


  • Poor But Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West. (Zero Books, 2014)
  • Japan's Tin Drum (33⅓). (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017 forthcoming)