POLISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPERS 'NOWINY' AND 'CHATA RODZINNA' IN KOWNO. TWO NARRATIVES ON POLISH-LITHUANIAN RELATIONS
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Contemporary relations between Lithuanians and local Poles in Lithuania seem to be a mixture of emotions, distrust, aggression and lack of understanding. At the base of the conflicts between them lies a pattern of mutual interactions shaped in the times of establishing independent Lithuanian state after WW I. At the same time Vilnius region was incorporated into Polish state, and this event is being perceived by Lithuanians as Polish occupation. The process of construction of such a pattern can be traced in the press narratives from 1920s to 1930s. The author analyzed two weekly newspapers published in Polish for rural population. 'Nowiny' expressed the Lithuanian and state point of view, while 'Chata Rodzinna' was a voice of Polish minority. The article focuses on the main features of two narratives - underlining characteristics of this type of press narrative, including imposing the sense through a thematic order. Data from the press shows the main points of discourse, themes, persuasive devices and explanation reflecting the changes in political and social context between 1922 and 1930. Specific context of the time was imprinted on the content and the form of publications. Main themes considered by author are: defining Polish minority, the debate between peasant and noble class intelligentsia, struggle over public area, etc. Press articles prove that political changes in 1926 led to the deeper transformations of the social and cultural landscapes in Lithuania. The initial conflict reflecting a state of Polish-Lithuanian relations in the beginning of the 1920s, was replaced by the asymmetry in these relations. Lithuanian state put a lot of effort to homogenize its citizens, standardize them and make loyal by ignoring all kinds of pluralism, dialogue and ethnic minorities. As a conclusion three patterns of mutual interaction were presented: negation of the Other, superiority of particular group and rule of animosity. They were all often presented in the rituals of elimination the other from a public sphere. In this particular period and in the context of building a homogenous state and nation, the landowners could not play a significant role in the society for they represented the whole Polish community in Lithuania and were perceived as elements dangerous to the political, social and cultural cohesion of the country. In this particular moment of history they found themselves in a position close to over-national Christian universalism. The Lithuanian social mobilization gave no chance to any forces carrying universal values for they were recognized mainly in a multicultural society, which opposed the ideology of the state.
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