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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.138
Memory, places, (not)belonging: the experiences of Ukrainian migrants from Poland do Canada
The subject of my attention is a group of people of Ukrainian descent who came from Poland to Canada in the 1980s. The empirical basis derives from ethnographic field studies conducted in 2014-2016 in Edmonton and Toronto in Canada. In total the research lasted 12 months. The role of memory in migratory, resettlement, or dispersion circumstances and in diaspora conditions is extremely important, but also poorly recognized and usually underestimated by researchers. What makes such recognition even more difficult is the domination of European concepts of memory (J. Assmann, M. Halbwachs, P. Nora) in memory studies, under which memory is examined as a derivative of the category of nation and citizenship immersed in a relationship with the nation state. Therefore, contemporary theories of memory, placing it in a stable, unchanging environment, are inadequate to study the memory of immigrants. The memory of Ukrainians from Poland is closely related to their migration and examining it provides knowledge about their identity ambiguity, modification and manipulation of belonging to particular communities within the Ukrainian and Polish diasporas, and with their relationship with Poland. I will try to show the phenomenon of migratory memory and the impact of local history of Ukrainians in Poland, especially the displacement of 1947, on their biographical trajectories, choices and identities. I consider the burden of 1947 as an important factor that shaped their decisions and influenced their migratory biographies.