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Efterklang/efterskalv : Minne, erkännande och solidaritet i Nowa Huta

Malmgren, Agnes LU (2018)
Abstract (Swedish)
This dissertation deals with memory, recognition and solidarity in the Nowa Huta district of Kraków, Poland. Nowa Huta was founded as an independent, socialist model town in 1949, together with the large Lenin Steel Plant, and was incorporated into Kraków in 1951. In the 1980s the steel plant and district became one of the main centers of the oppositional Solidarity movement in Poland. Situated between these conflicting narratives of the People’s Republic of Poland, Nowa Huta evolved into an important site of remembrance after 1989. My dissertation takes a closer look at the memories in stock and in flux in present-day Nowa Huta (2011-2017), by paying particular attention to their carriers, i.e. the people who are involved in mnemonic... (More)
This dissertation deals with memory, recognition and solidarity in the Nowa Huta district of Kraków, Poland. Nowa Huta was founded as an independent, socialist model town in 1949, together with the large Lenin Steel Plant, and was incorporated into Kraków in 1951. In the 1980s the steel plant and district became one of the main centers of the oppositional Solidarity movement in Poland. Situated between these conflicting narratives of the People’s Republic of Poland, Nowa Huta evolved into an important site of remembrance after 1989. My dissertation takes a closer look at the memories in stock and in flux in present-day Nowa Huta (2011-2017), by paying particular attention to their carriers, i.e. the people who are involved in mnemonic processes and the fruits of their involvement: stories, events, debates and various cultural expressions.

Methodologically, this study is based on a hermeneutical and phenomenological approach, which offers insight into human agency and experience of place, time and events. How do people express and give meaning to their experiences through participating in, or initiating various mnemonic acts? Which collective repertoires of memory and meaning do they lean on, or dissent from, as they do so? Aside from narrative expression and transformation of experience, I have sought to study its non-verbal forms, in line with the phenomenological approach, by paying particular attention to the sensory, embodied dimensions of remembrance. One of the main findings of this study is the correlation between the sensory experiences of living and being in Nowa Huta among my interlocutors and their subsequent involvement in the name of its memories.

The introductory chapters of the dissertation present Nowa Huta’s history and the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the study. Afterwards, I move on to discuss the mnemonic landscape of the district through four thematically oriented chapters. First, I take a closer look at the “making” of Nowa Huta after 1989, paying particular attention to the role of local activists in this process and the importance of inter-generational transmission of memory for these activists. In the next chapter, I study the travelling memory of a local Stakhanovite, Piotr Ożański, who not only inspired Andrzej Wajda’s motion picture Man of Marble, but who has also stirred considerable controversy in post-communist Nowa Huta. The following chapter looks at the everyday life-worlds of the People’s Republic of Poland through the prism of the narratives of seven interlocutors, who all touch upon the (im)/possibility to act in accordance with one’s own values, needs and insights during times of political repression. The last empirical chapter is devoted to the memory of the Solidarity Movement in Nowa Huta, as portrayed by some of its faithful members, whose mnemonic actions convey a strong attachment to this past, along with tangible disappointment regarding the developments in the country after 1989. In the conclusion, I assert that Nowa Huta remains fertile ground for mnemonic actions, not only due to the political and cultural needs in the present, but also because of the embodied memories and communal lifeforms that the place has been home to during its nearly 70 year-long existence.
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • fil dr Wolanik Boström, Katarzyna, Umeå universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
pages
310 pages
publisher
Media-Tryck, Lund University, Sweden
defense location
C121, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund
defense date
2018-06-02 10:15
ISBN
978-88473-72-1
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
89aa05c5-2001-4759-bf3f-2a915b59ac0f
date added to LUP
2018-05-04 14:48:42
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:39:41
@phdthesis{89aa05c5-2001-4759-bf3f-2a915b59ac0f,
  abstract     = {This dissertation deals with memory, recognition and solidarity in the Nowa Huta district of Kraków, Poland. Nowa Huta was founded as an independent, socialist model town in 1949, together with the large Lenin Steel Plant, and was incorporated into Kraków in 1951. In the 1980s the steel plant and district became one of the main centers of the oppositional Solidarity movement in Poland. Situated between these conflicting narratives of the People’s Republic of Poland, Nowa Huta evolved into an important site of remembrance after 1989. My dissertation takes a closer look at the memories in stock and in flux in present-day Nowa Huta (2011-2017), by paying particular attention to their carriers, i.e. the people who are involved in mnemonic processes and the fruits of their involvement: stories, events, debates and various cultural expressions. <br/><br/>Methodologically, this study is based on a hermeneutical and phenomenological approach, which offers insight into human agency and experience of place, time and events. How do people express and give meaning to their experiences through participating in, or initiating various mnemonic acts? Which collective repertoires of memory and meaning do they lean on, or dissent from, as they do so? Aside from narrative expression and transformation of experience, I have sought to study its non-verbal forms, in line with the phenomenological approach, by paying particular attention to the sensory, embodied dimensions of remembrance.  One of the main findings of this study is the correlation between the sensory experiences of living and being in Nowa Huta among my interlocutors and their subsequent involvement in the name of its memories. <br/><br/>The introductory chapters of the dissertation present Nowa Huta’s history and the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the study. Afterwards, I move on to discuss the mnemonic landscape of the district through four thematically oriented chapters. First, I take a closer look at the “making” of Nowa Huta after 1989, paying particular attention to the role of local activists in this process and the importance of inter-generational transmission of memory for these activists. In the next chapter, I study the travelling memory of a local Stakhanovite, Piotr Ożański, who not only inspired Andrzej Wajda’s motion picture Man of Marble, but who has also stirred considerable controversy in post-communist Nowa Huta. The following chapter looks at the everyday life-worlds of the People’s Republic of Poland through the prism of the narratives of seven interlocutors, who all touch upon the (im)/possibility to act in accordance with one’s own values, needs and insights during times of political repression. The last empirical chapter is devoted to the memory of the Solidarity Movement in Nowa Huta, as portrayed by some of its faithful members, whose mnemonic actions convey a strong attachment to this past, along with tangible disappointment regarding the developments in the country after 1989.  In the conclusion, I assert that Nowa Huta remains fertile ground for mnemonic actions, not only due to the political and cultural needs in the present, but also because of the embodied memories and communal lifeforms that the place has been home to during its nearly 70 year-long existence.     <br/>},
  author       = {Malmgren, Agnes},
  isbn         = {978-88473-72-1},
  language     = {swe},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {310},
  publisher    = {Media-Tryck, Lund University, Sweden},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Efterklang/efterskalv : Minne, erkännande och solidaritet i Nowa Huta},
  year         = {2018},
}