Accepted paper:

Non-memory in postmigrative memory field


Małgorzata Łukianow (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

The changes after 1989 in post-communist countries are often associated with democratization of memory. However, the case memory field of Polish Recovered Territories shows that certain groups still lack their representation in public discourse and their contribution to local heritage is diminished.

Paper long abstract:

Post-migrative communities still represent a certain distinction among other regions of Poland. First, it is an issue of memory praxis on individual and local level on early and today's attitudes towards German heritage,including graveyards, monuments and buildings. Furthermore, a memory narrations change with generational progress - young people see themselves often as cultural successors. Post-migrative communities are also considered to be a cultural borderline, due to the postmigrativity of local communities. It is related with labile national and ethnic attitudes, maintaining migration processes and complexed inter-group relations. It appears that certain groups are abandoned both in public and private discourse. The Ricoeur's concept of non-memory shows that it is not a vacuum, but a set of elements from the group's past that are excluded from memory discourse. Non-memory in post-migrative communities is - as I assume - related to several factors, such as: policies and stereotypes changing over time, communist propagandist narration and social distances created in the process of social integration after 1945. Moreover, non-memory is also visible on institutional level, where organizations represent only selected groups. The transition in Poland in 1989 and fall of communist regime enabled a new field in memory studies - memory of communism in everyday experience. There is no leading pattern of constructing memory narration related to Polish post-war society being planned, located, formed and changed. Moreover, the language of war memory is irrelevant to describe post-war social reality.

panel P005
Forms of memory transitions: processes and possible outcomes