Conflicts of Memory

Each community devises specific modes of remembering, but also of forgetting uncomfortable facts. Ars memoriae and ars oblivionis constitute an inseparable pair.
Common memory is a sphere that we reconstruct anew every day, even though people claim that the essence of their identity is unchanging. While history itself is a closed structure, memory is open both to individuals and to the collectivity. Collective memory reconstructs rather than registers the past; and memory is not necessarily explicit. The issues today include not only reclaiming memory and polyphony of memory, but also – and perhaps above all – conflicts of memory, the problem of “our memory and yours”, difficult memory, manipulation of memory, and its sacralisation, appropriation and instrumentalisation. Following this idea, in this edition of Herito we try not only to become oriented in the nature of conflicts of memory, but also to look around the landscape of memory that surrounds us, Central Europeans. For, above all, one needs to start with oneself.

    • 1
      Editorial
      Jacek Purchla

      Each community devises specific modes of remembering, but also of forgetting uncomfortable facts. Ars memoriae and ars oblivionis constitute an inseparable pair.
      Common memory is a sphere that we reconstruct anew every day, even though people claim that the essence of their identity is unchanging. While history itself is a closed structure, memory is open both to individuals and to the collectivity. Collective memory reconstructs rather than registers the past; and memory is not necessarily explicit. The issues today include not only reclaiming memory and polyphony of memory, but also – and perhaps above all – conflicts of memory, the problem of “our memory and yours”, difficult memory, manipulation of memory, and its sacralisation, appropriation and instrumentalisation. Following this idea, in this edition of Herito we try not only to become oriented in the nature of conflicts of memory, but also to look around the landscape of memory that surrounds us, Central Europeans. For, above all, one needs to start with oneself.

    • 4
      Worth a Look

  • Conflicts of memory
    • 10
      On Dialogue in the Context of Conflicts of Memory
      Stanisław Obirek

      The best way to cure ill memory would be to give up the myths and carry out honest historical works without closing one’s eyes to the dark pages of common history. In my opinion this is not only a just postulate, but also a necessary one, once we want the dialogue in the context of conflicting visions of the past to make sense.

    • 22
      The Necessity to Forget, or How to Cope Ars Oblivionis
      Robert Traba

      Forgetting, similarly to remembering, may be effective or even useful, yet only over a limited period of time. This requires constant redefining and searching for the optimum space of functioning in order not to become an imperative of ideological thinking, but only to have a temporary influence on the positive identification of a community with its past.

    • 30
      Sharon Macdonald

      It is important to critically unsettle taken‑for‑granted assumptions about what the past means and its significance in Europe today, and to be able to perceive alternatives to this.

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      Upper Silesian Conflicts Concerning Historical Memory. New Identities in Statu Nascendi
      Ewa Chojecka

      Would we dare to abandon set images, which have lost credibility, and – considering potential misjudgement – revise the ancient ideas and view ourselves from a distance, without all the heroics and with just a dash of humour?

    • 48
      Former Yugoslavia – a Topography of Collective Memory
      Maciej Czerwiński

      In both Yugoslavias – the interwar one (monarchist) and the postwar one (communist) – a system which could have alleviated the anxieties between nations and allow them to pursue their, frequently discrepant, political objectives failed to be created. The first state was dominated by a Serbian version of unity, the latter – by the communist concept, which, although having disowned internationalism and introducing federalism, accepted national differences, failing to prevent their radicalisation. Today, there is no single collective memory of Yugoslavia. All the nations, which once were parts of it, worked out their own historic visions – most frequently incongruent with each other.

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      Memory and Identity in the Former Warsaw Ghetto Area
      Elżbieta Janicka

      Does the memory of the Holocaust as a crime against the Jews endanger today the majority and dominant heroico‑martyrological Polish narrative of the past? Yes and no.

    • 82
      Agnieszka Zabłocka-Kos

      Historical exhibitions have not been and, seemingly, will not ever be objective. And so, by creating a certain vision of the past, an exhibition permanently shapes historical awareness. Consequently, it is extremely important, how one attains it, what one takes from history, and in what way one shows it.

  • Interviev
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      We Have Constructed Europe. Now We Need to Construct Europeans
      Leopold Unger

      Unpublished interview. Leopold Unger talks to Katarzyna Romańczyk

      Let us harbour no illusions about it. In a situation where big capital cities are bound to dominate Europe, especially such domains as foreign policy, even if the Council was presided over by a politician from another country, it would not change a thing. The interests of the largest countries, including Germany and France, are not always compatible with the interests of Estonia or even Poland. They will never give up their interests for the sake of Europe.

  • Ideas in practice
    • 112
      Europa Nostra: Fifty Years in the Service of Europe’s Heritage
      Sneška Quaedvlieg‑Mihailović

      Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović talks to Magdalena Petryna

      Europa Nostra has lobbied to make cultural heritage a transversal theme of both national and European policies. Heritage is not just about culture and history; it is also about sustainable development, environmental protection, research, education and capacity building, social cohesion and inclusion, tourism, the external relations of the EU and, above all, human rights.

  • Reflections, impressions, opinions
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      Confronting Memory in a Time of Change
      Edyta Gawron

      Erica T. Lehrer, Jewish Poland Revisited.
      Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places
      Indiana University Press
      Bloomington & Indianapolis 2013

    • 135
      Double Palimpsest
      Katarzyna Kotyńska

      "Ukraiński palimpsest. Oksana Zabużko w rozmowie z Izą Chruślińską"
      (Ukrainian Palimpsest. Oksana Zabuzhko in conversation with Iza Chruślińska)
      Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka‑Jeziorańskiego
      Wrocław 2013

    • 138
      Myth Made Cheesy
      Katarzyna Kotyńska

      Yuri Vynnychuk
      "Танго смерти"
      (The Tango of Death)
      Folio Publishers
      Kharkiv 2012

    • 143
      A Story and History
      Peter Krištúfek

      Peter Krištúfek talks to Peter Michalík

      Peter Krištúfek - is a writer and director. He is the author of nine books and a volume of poetry. His first novel "Šepkár" (Prompter, 2008) was nominated for Prix du Livre Européen, and a fragment was published in the British anthology "Best of European Fiction 2010". In 2012 Krištúfek published a long historical‑social novel "House of the Deaf Man", which is due to come out it its English, Czech and Polish translations in 2014. In October 2013 he published a conceptual work on forgetting and remembering titled "Atlas zabúdania" (Atlas of Forgetting). Krištúfek is a three‑time nominee for the prestigious Slovak literary award Anasoft Litera, and the author of two feature films and over 20 TV documentaries, including a film on the Slovak music legend, Dežo Ursiny. He is the recipient of many awards for directing.

    • 150
      The Rite of Spring in Szczecin
      Sylwia Trzaska

      "1913. The Rite of Spring. Jubilee exhibition marking the centenary of the opening of the Main Building of the National Museum in Szczecin"
      21 June 2013 – 8 September 2013
      www.muzeum.szczecin.pl

    • 160
      Portraits. Traces of Memory
      Zoltán Gyalókay

      "Imago. Portraits from the Collection of the Pannonhalma Archabbey"
      21 March 2013 – 11 November 2013
      The Pannonhalma Archabbey

    • 166
      Why Create a Photographic “Archive of Reality”?
      Wojciech Wilczyk

      "Vor Ort Ost. Eine Sammlung topografischer Fotografien Ostdeutschlands"
      Hatje Cantz Verlag
      Leipzig 1997

      "Stadt Land Ost. City Scape East"
      Hatje Cantz Verlag
      Leipzig 2001

    • 180
      Faces from the Past
      Michał Korta

      "A dim light. The photographs of Michał Greim (1828–1911)"
      27 July 2013 – 22 December 2013
      The Ethnographic Museum
      Kraków
      www.etnomuzeum.eu

  • By myself
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      Josep Maria Cabané’s Memory and Blindness
      Pol Capdevila

      The paintings of Josep Maria Cabané is an extensive project governed by the imperative of attentive observation of the tragic past: the Nazi extermination of the Jews and the Spanish Civil War. Cabané bases his work on the identification of the causes of events and a sense of justice, from which there is no escape; at the same time he bears the high risk of appropriating the past through the creation of new images which enable the reanimation of memory about it.