THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF ADAPTATION TO A DISASTER DEGRADED SPACE
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Using an anthropological perspective, the authoress analyses the process of adaptation to the immediate space by Polish people hit by the 1997 flood. Places of their residence have been branded with disaster and the feeling of being lost and harmed has been intensified by the awareness of the loss of everything they owned. In order to feel fulfilled in the new situation flood victims had to display an exceptional fortitude and perseverance. It turned out that most of the flood victims worked laboriously to recover their individual space from the time before the flood, to rebuild the feeling of cultural continuity, to reconstruct (or create from scratch) their 'sacred places of their private life'. The adaptation of the degraded space meant also adaptation of the social space, restoration of relations with other people. This condition triggered the natural need to talk, to tell others about the recent experiences, which greatly helped to overcome the trauma caused by the flood, 'slow down' the emotions and start the memory celebration process. She also analyses the situations of the flood victims, who were forced to change their place of residence, who had to settle new, strange spaces, who created a new spatial reality (most often on the periphery of the city) and cooperated in the establishment of a new, local community.
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