From rock star to political star – curious case of Paweł Kukiz persona power

Tomasz Olczyk, Jacek Wasilewski

Abstract


2015 presidential election was a turning point in a history of celebritisation of politics in Poland. Rock vocalist Paweł Kukiz unexpectedly finished third with 20% of votes, the highest result of any celebrity–candidate in presidential elections. He achieved that, campaigning mostly on Facebook, without any significant power base and financial support. Kukiz has set up his own political organization, which in turn, has gained a 9% backing in the parliamentary elections. He achieved that with no political platform, no media backing, and no party structure. We argue that his persona was crucial asset in his political success. We will show how Kukiz created, managed and performed his persona, how he used it to mobilize three million voters and then to create and brand his “Kukiz’15 Movement”. Finally we analyse limits, traps and contradictions of this new persona power. Analysed material included Paweł Kukiz and his opponents Facebook posts, televised political advertisements, performances in celebrity tv shows and debates.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21153/ps2016vol2no2art612

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