Polska i kolonialna przeszłość dzisiaj
Poland and the Colonial Past Today
Languages of publication
This article presents the problems related to the discussion about the colonial heritage in Polish cultural and political tradition and the current research. Poland shares its colonial experience with other Eastern and Central European countries. This experience is characterised by a successive change in the colonisation situation (invasion of foreign troops) and the periods of independence. The dynamics of these alternate situations in the 19th and 20th centuries determine the specific attitude of regional communities towards history and historic superpowers. The colonial experience of the Polish nation pertains mainly to the period of communism. The dysfunctionalisation of the internal life of the Polish society is intensified in this period. The result is a distrust of democracy, anarchization of political life, an inclination to use mythical interpretations of contemporary reality and an acquisition of culturally foreign models of behavior within social and political life, language, custom, or even art. The article describes colonial remnants in language and contemporary political attitudes: legal and literary aspects endemic to colonialisation, mimicry, camouflage, mockery, hetero-determination. The second part of the article is devoted to a discussion of the phenomenon called “Poland-the coloniser” in postcolonial studies. The author analyses chosen studies and opinions and discusses them in a postcolonial perspective. He undermines the view of some Polish researchers who see Poland as a highly colonising being. He demands that the historic facts be taken into consideration and the exaggerated accusatory mythology that is rooted in complexes which date back to the 19th century be discarded. On the other hand, he presents research views with an inherent colonial message that makes other succumb to the Polish historic and political arguments. The last part of the article is a reflection on the colonising force of the very postcolonial theory that prevails in the contemporary Polish intellectual and political conditions.
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