Ważne, bo własne. O rodzinnym obiegu dziedzictwa
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It’s important because it’s yours. Circulation of heritage within a familyFocusing on the institutional protection of heritage we frequently forget about the importance of experiencing it on a private, personal level. Perhaps we have become too used to connecting social practices in this area with the public, communal, visible space. However, what I want to say in regard to the results of the research project entitled „Family Heirloom” (carried out by the Ethnographic Museum in 2011–2012), is that heritage is only alive and authentic to the extent to which it is experienced individually.That is what the world of family heirlooms is like: here the testimony of the past is brought down to concrete biographies, images, spaces, objects and gestures. Its strength lies in personal commitment and attitude to traces of the past, often understood in opposition to official patterns and interpretations, through individual perceptions of the front page history (for instance, when a German wardrobe which once belonged to the previous residents of the house becomes part of the legacy of a Polish family displaced from the Kresy regions of eastern Poland, which are now in Ukraine or Belarus, to the so-called Recovered Territories, which used to be in Germany before WW2). Memories are spontaneously included in reflections about the lasting character of the community – and we easily find our place in them. Discovering private – and yet socially relevant – practices in the field of heritage is considered by the Museum as an important part of its mission and of upholding the conviction that reflections about cultural heritage remain suspended in a void if they are robbed of personal references. It is time to see the importance of the domestic space in the dialogue concerning the live circulation of cultural contents and meanings.
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