Mistakes Were Made

Agata Madejska

Mistakes Were Made develops Agata Madejska’s ongoing interest into the fissures of institutional power by looking closer at the linguistic structures of contemporary politics. The collection of poems at the core of this publication are deconstructed speeches made by Western leaders between 2016 and 2022 — pronouncements which mark the beginning or the end of a political reign. Transformed into jittering, self-­affirming monologues, here, the political content of these public announcements has been removed. Debased of rhetorical action, Agata’s editing exposes the patterns of persuasion that colour the play of contemporary political practice.


This publication not only brings together transcriptions of these ominous proclamations but positions them next to a range of abstract light-sensitive drawings. Operating in a manner similar to courtroom sketches, these drawings are instinctive gestures made by the artist as she pays witness to the narrative flows of political rhetoric. Loose and ephemeral, they record how the lulling voice of politics infiltrates the body, directing one’s movements through as well as one’s adaptations to life.


In an age of ever-increasing radicalisation and shifting narratives within mainstream discourse, Mistakes Were Made asks us to look beyond the facade of our political architecture and to become more cognisant of the grains that dictate our social being.





Published by Edition Taube, Munich. Co-published by Belmacz, London

Softcover, edition of 555
272 pages
14 × 22 cm
ISBN: 978-3-945900-96-3

£20 + shipping


Sign Up to our newsletter