Performing memory - workers' strikes in post-war Poland
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Andrzej Leder, Polish psychoanalyst and philosopher, states that between 1939 and 1956, a revolution took place in Poland. A revolution he calls an 'overslept revolution' (LEDER 2014). To him, it is the time when Polish society entered modernity and changed its model from a feudal to a bourgeois society. He utilizes Jacques Lacan's term trans-passive to underscore the character of Polish revolution: it is perceived as someone else's act, as a nightmare and a sweet phantasy at the same time. This article explores the consequences the workers' protests in Poland between 1945 and 1948, and their performative, or theatrical character. I question how this influences our understanding of common memory and history. Another important philosophical context is Hannah Arendt's On Revolution (1963), and her statement that in any revolutionary act there is a deep division between the mass population and how their goals are formulated. Performative perspective is a way to overcome this division – at least in historical thinking.
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