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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.138

Lower Silesian heritage. Wandering cultures and difficult past


  • Dr. Katarzyna MANIAK

Primary authors


  • Dr. Anna KURPIEL (Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies University of Wroclaw)


Lower Silesia is one of the regions that witnessed almost total population exchange as a result of the postwar border change. The former inhabitants, mostly Germans, were forced to leave and the new settlers came from Eastern Polish borderlands, France, Romania, Belgium and Bosnia. Lower Silesia became a melting pot not only of varied migrants’ groups (Poles, Ukrainians, Lemkos, Jews) but also of their material and intangible culture. The paper analyse the heritage Lower Silesia borderland from the perspective of difficult or contentious past incorporated into the material manifestations of culture. The authors posed the following questions: whether and how the heritage from the post-conflicted and post-migrant region can become familiar, ordinary, or even appreciated? What is the role of objects in wandering cultures: whether the wandering of people reflects and echoes in objects and narratives created around them? Which meanings of objects are affirmed and which ignored? The approaches towards contentious heritage will be considered by the example of the pottery produced in Boleslawiec. The city located in the Lower Silesia was for an extended period within the borders of Germany. Despite this, Boleslawiec pottery and ceramics are now widely recognized as a symbol of Polishness. The framework of interpretation will be indicated among others by the conceptions of “translocality” by Arjun Appadurai, the idea which we will transfer from the migration studies to the field of heritage studies.