Memories and generation in 'model socialist town'
Kinga Pozniak (University of Western Ontario)
This paper explores how memories of socialism are re-worked and negotiated by different generations in Nowa Huta, Poland. Initially built as an industrial, "model socialist town", since 1989 Nowa Huta has experienced de-industrialization and marginalization. At present, its socialist past is being re-interpreted by different actors to serve different (and sometimes contradictory) goals. This paper addresses some of these memory-making projects, noting the key events in the town's and nation's history around which these memories are constructed. It examines how different generations remember/perceive the socialist period, and particularly how the socialist past is treated by young people who have no firsthand memories of it. Memories of socialism in Nowa Huta are revealed to be varying, multi-faceted and dispersed. The paper then considers what this case can tell us about the use of the past to serve a particular vision of present and future in Poland.
Recasting pasts and futures: imagination and belonging across generations in Europe