Narrating Otherness in Poland and Sweden
European Heritage as a Discourse of Inclusion and Exclusion
Table Of Contents
- About the editors
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Narrating Otherness in a Time of European Instabilities. Introductory Remarks (Krzysztof Kowalski / Łucja Piekarska-Duraj / Barbara Törnquist-Plewa)
- European Initiatives in Cities. Discourses of Inclusion and Exclusion
- The City and Narrating Otherness. Polish Cities and the Process of Europeanization (Paweł Kubicki)
- The Other at Home. The Union of Lublin in the Context of the European Heritage Label (Krzysztof Kowalski)
- Respectable Subjects in “The Social Garden.” Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion in Umeå’s Planning and Preparation to Become ECOC 2014 (Christine Hudson / Linda Sandberg / Ulrika Schmauch)
- Narrating Otherness in Museums
- Facing the Challenges of Migration in Europe. Museums of Emigration in Sweden and Poland in Light of the Processes of Europeanization (Barbara Törnquist-Plewa)
- Heritage in Sweden between Knowledge, Mobilization and Moralization. Meeting Diversity and Otherness with Different Institutional Logics (Eleonora Narvselius)
- Post-German Heritage in Polish Open-Air Museums. Between Folklorization, Polonization and Europeanization (Łukasz Bukowiecki)
- The Narrative of Otherness in Museums. A Case Study of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków (Katarzyna Suszkiewicz)
- Making Ends Meet. The Experience of Women and Their Representation in Museums (Łucja Piekarska-Duraj)
- Otherness and the Heritage of Wars
- Transnational and Local Memories of World War I in Sweden. The Case of Bohuslän (Niklas Bernsand)
- Us and Them. The Other in the Home Army Museum in Kraków (Elisabeth Wassermann)
- Remembering and Forgetting the Culture of Others. The Inclusion and Exclusion of German and Jewish Heritage in Poland (Zdzisław Mach)
- Series index
Krzysztof Kowalski / Łucja Piekarska-Duraj /
Barbara Törnquist-Plewa (eds.)
in Poland and Sweden
as a Discourse of Inclusion and Exclusion
Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available online at http://dnb.d-nb.de.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress.
The book is a result of the project "The Europeanization of realms of memory and the invention of a common European heritage" (2013-2019) which was funded by the National Science Centre on the basis of allocation decision DEC-2013/08/M/HS6/00041.
Reviewers: Prof. Michał Buchowski, Prof. Katarzyna Wolanik Boström
Linguistic Editor: Aeddan Shaw
Editor: Jan Burzyński
ISBN 978-3-631-78392-4 (Print)
E-ISBN 978-3-631-78411-2 (E-PDF)
E-ISBN 978-3-631-78412-9 (EPUB)
E-ISBN 978-3-631-78413-6 (MOBI)
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About the book
The book studies how multiple representations of the Other are constructed, Europeanized and used in Poland and Sweden in various heritage related contexts (museums, cities, war cemeteries, commemoration sites etc.) in the second decade of the 21st century. In a more general sense, the authors raise the question of how otherness (in terms of culture, ethnicity, class, gender, etc.) is constructed and leads to its social inclusion, domestication, marginalization or – increasingly common in Scandinavian and Central European peripheries – exclusion.
This eBook can be cited
This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.
This volume presents the results of research supported by several institutions to which we would like to express our gratitude. First of all, our thanks go to the National Science Centre in Poland, which financed the whole (2013–2019) research project “The Europeanization of realms of memory and the invention of a common European heritage” (funding program Harmonia 4, research project no. 2013/08/M/HS6/00041). Furthermore, we wish to acknowledge the key role played by the two partner institutions in the realization of the project – the Institute of European Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland) and the Centre for European Studies at Lund University (Sweden). Prof. Zdzisław Mach and Prof. Barbara Törnquist-Plewa – the leader and the leading partner of the project respectively – represent the two institutions whose support was crucial in successfully completing the planned research tasks. Last but not least, we would also like to thank Formas (the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning), whose research grant (2016–2018) allowed Christine Hudson, Linda Sandberg, Ulrika Schmauch to advance and conclude their study.←5 | 6→ ←6 | 7→
Authors←8 | 9→
This volume is the third in a series of works published within the research project “The Europeanization of realms of memory and the invention of a common European heritage.” It has brought together researchers who have sought to use empirical cases from Poland and Sweden in order to analyze how the complex and multilevel processes of European integration influence the discourses and practices of heritage and memory in the two countries. The inspiration was derived from the fact that they are both located at the periphery of Europe in terms of their relation to the historical and geographical heartland of European integration (France and Germany) and both of them became members of the EU relatively late (Sweden 1995, Poland 2004). It raises the question of the impact of these circumstances on the pace of the integration of both countries within the EU and the extent to which these factors played a role, particularly in relation to the other elements that constitute differences between the countries, especially since these disparities are manifold.
Reflections on Europe and its heritage may be carried out from many perspectives and thus research can focus on the consequences of political integration processes which are discernible in the different manners of interpreting the past. This is what the monograph The Europeanization of Heritage and Memories in Poland and Sweden,1 was devoted to and which began the research cycle launched by the Institute of European Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and the Centre for European Studies (Lund University). The next work, Diversity and Unity. How Heritage Becomes the Narrative of Europe’s Future2 focused on the influence of so-called European values and the objectives of the EU in the first←9 | 10→ decade of the 21st century on the redefinition of the past in both Poland and Sweden. This process – which was researched by both Polish and Swedish scholars – functioned in such a manner that the common, supranational representation of the past became the basis for the future, imagined and postulated Europe. As a result, this second work showed how certain strategies are utilized to overcome problematic memory in both countries. In turn, in the final stage of the project which resulted in this third volume, the investigation focused on the question of the extent to which the process of European integration influences local, regional, national and transnational representations of the Other/otherness in Poland and Sweden and how – if at all – it is Europeanized.
Thus, the goal of this volume is to look at how at present multiple representations of the Other are (being) constructed, Europeanized (?) and used in Poland and Sweden through different forms of experiencing otherness. In a more general sense, the question raised is of how otherness (culture, ethnicity, class, gender, etc.) is constructed and thus leads to its social inclusion, domestication, marginalization or – increasingly common in the second decade of the 21st century in Europe – exclusion. The focus is placed on the analysis of the processes of inclusion and exclusion of the Other(s) into/from the official public discourse. Therefore, this work tries to trace the presence of the Other and otherness in these two countries in various heritage-related contexts (museums, cities, war cemeteries, commemoration sites, etc.), capture their images and analyze them, considering especially their role in the process of European and national identity redefinition taking place in Scandinavian and Central European peripheries.
The authors believe that it is high time that the process of the social imagining of the Other in Europe was investigated, being of paramount importance in light of the current problems, obstacles and challenges to European integration such as the growing refugee crisis and the reawakening of nationalisms in Europe.
Besides the concept of the Other, the title of this volume contains that of narration, which is understood here broadly and in relation to heritage and memory. The authors share the position that together with the debates about texts3 or myths and mythologies,4 20th-century intellectual discourse was constantly nourished with the ideas and conceptualizations of narrative. In this book, the notion of narrative applied to the field of heritage denotes the manner in which the past is structured, specifically in the form of an account of events that illustrates a selected theme or topic. Thus, “narrative” in this understanding is close to “story”←10 | 11→ and some of the authors here prefer to use this term, for example, when relating the stories told by institutions such as museums.5
Several approaches to the construction of narratives are specifically important herein. First, there is the classical understanding, first formulated by Aristotle, where any narrative (story) is described as – among others – having a beginning, development and ending so that they all create one complete unit.6 In heritage, this approach can be traced in numerous attempts to construct understandable messages where diverse events and facts need to be structured in a way perceivable by the audience. On the other hand, the rejection of grand narratives as being insufficient for frameworks of reference, as proposed by Jean-François Lyotard, appears to have important consequences in many European heritage related practices where plurality and democratization are highlighted while monolithic, official perspectives are challenged as lacking relevancy in terms of identity building.7 Finally, the phenomenon of Europe is often described with the use of narrative as a core concept, for example in works of Gerard Delanty8 who highlighted the heterogeneity of European narratives. An important approach to texts has also been demonstrated by many anthropologists, including Clifford Geertz,9 who focused on the identity perspective in terms of transforming one’s own experiences by becoming their “author.” All of these theories are reflected somehow in heritage and memory studies where ideas such as structuring diversity, identity and storytelling remain key.
Others beyond and within Europe
The focus on otherness in heritage and memory work is motivated by the fact that its designation is an integral part of the process of social and individual identity formation.10 In other words, self-representation is created in relation←11 | 12→ to the significant Other/s.11 As a result, the construction of a community, be it local, regional, national, European or other, entails the construction of external “boundaries” and internal “bonds.”12 Thus, the analysis of the creation of boundaries and otherness in the context of Europeanization reveals the shape of Europe and the way in which European countries – such as Poland and Sweden – relate to this imagined community. The persistent need for diverse Others remains to feed the continuous search for a European self-image as well as its quest for identity.
The process of building a representation of Europe and attempts to construct its identity is accompanied by the narrative of otherness – of non-Europeans – whose image evolves, reflecting the changes taking place in the complex supranational matter of the European imagined community.13 To define Europe means more than just capturing its essence,14 the goals it sets for itself in a globalized world, and the values it professes.15 It is also about showing certain symbolic boundaries, beyond which stretches everything that Europe does not identify with and does not regard as its inheritance.16 This is a remarkably difficult task since these limes – which divide Europe from the non-Europe – are just as fluid and changeable as←12 | 13→ Europe itself.17 Thus, what is hic et nunc regarded as European and defining Europe was not always seen in such a light. In other words, the historical, social, cultural and political context has an influence on both Europe and its Others, including who is European and who is excluded from the European imagined community. These are two sides of the same story of Europe and otherness, where Europe contributes to the construction of the image of itself in parallel to that of its Others.
The history of otherness in Europe is a sequence of consecutive or co-occurring discursive strategies in which the societies of the Old Continent have equipped themselves to symbolically separate the European orbis interior (what is European, civilized, own, known, tamed) from the European orbis exterior (what non-European, foreign, dangerous, uncivilized, barbaric). The flow of content between these semantic figures takes place on the basis of the dual “inclusion vs exclusion” logic, behind which lurks the danger of restricting democracy and seeking to cleanse the Old Continent of those who are not hic et nunc regarded as Europeans. It is a short step from an imagined community organized around the fear of the Other to formulating policies that are directed against Him/Her. What can result from this? It may well be a drama of individuals or of entire social, ethnic and national groups that Europeans are inclined to disregard or ignore, just because this drama is not “ours.” It is “foreign.”
This volume draws its inspiration from various academic disciplines (ethnology and cultural anthropology, the sociology of culture, history, memory and heritage studies), but the border between cultural anthropology and history18 seems to be particularly fertile, since they both deal with otherness, albeit defining it differently. For classical anthropology, cultural and geographical distance was a sine qua non for the existence of this subject.19 The Other lived “somewhere outside”←13 | 14→ Europe and “somewhere far away” from its borders. Contemporary anthropology is not only concerned with reflections on the non-European world, because – first and foremost – the Other appeared in the heart of Europe and – secondly – Europeans themselves have become as exotic to anthropologists as any Other. This is why, and which is frequently to be heard in anthropological circles, the once clear division between the one who describes (the European) and the one who is described (the Other) has clearly weakened or even disappeared entirely.20 In turn, when one considers the second of these disciplines – history – it is clearly discernible that it focuses on Others which do not inhabit other lands, but rather other times. In terms of historical scholarship, the past is a foreign country.21 For historians, geographical distance matters far less than time.
When the anthropological and historical perspectives on the Other are interwoven and applied to the Polish and Swedish context, the general message of this volume clearly emerges: it centers around the question of how otherness, understood in the cultural, social, geographical, temporal, religious sense, etc., is constructed, represented and dealt with in Polish and Swedish heritage initiatives and memory cultures. In other words, the authors of the volume try to capture the processes of including and/or excluding the Other in/from the national or European community.
The seminal study by Benedict Anderson on imagined national communities22 may serve as an inspiration for research on the imagined Europe and its Others.←14 | 15→ It should be remembered, however, that the application of the simple processes described by Anderson on the national level to the European would be illusory, since the imagined and constructed Europe23 is a supranational, multicultural and multireligious community and its nature is more diverse than any particular national community. This means that the imagined and constructed European Other, and in consequence European otherness, has its own nature which is just as heterogenous as the anatomy of this supranational, imagined political entity.
In the history of Europe, it has constructed many of its own representations, ones which have changed over time and been subject to geographical adjustments. This means that the images of otherness and the Other itself have been, and still are, multifarious. Its representation continues to be negotiated, and this is taking place within various communities (including national communities) and at the European level. Otherness – just like identity – is a process, not an ossified, temporally immutable social fact.
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- Publication date
- 2019 (July)
- representation the Other construction Europeanization culture
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 320 pp., 9 fig. b/w