INVISIBLE DESTINY? BORDERLANDS AND BORDERLANDERS AS THE TOPIC OF MUSEUM DISPLAYS AFTER 1989
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The question of presenting the heritage of the Borderlands and the life of its inhabitants in Polish museums after 1989 is tackled. The main focus of interest are displays perceived as: 1) visual and public form of knowledge transfer; 2) the way of overcoming the trauma of losing one’s native land; 3) tools for creating collective identity and 4) effects of the participation of Borderland circles in creating the display. The goal of the study is an overview of contemporary exhibitions dedicated to the Eastern Borderlands, and the experience of their loss as the result of WW II. Since the residents of the Borderlands were relocated to the ‘former German’ territories, the overview centres on the displays from the Western and Northern Territories. Apart from the local and national aspects, what matters is also the international dimension related to museum presentations of the ‘lost land’ and the fate of migrants. Therefore, the activity of Polish institutions is initially shown in the European context, through recalling the legal framework and working conditions of so called East German museums commemorating the ‘German East’ lost by Germany. The question of the reasons for the disproportion in the presentation of the topic between Poland and Germany is posed, while the to-date achievements of Polish museologists are presented.
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