Event Title

Between History and Story: Visualizing Contemporary Polish Cultural Identity

Graduation Year

2015

Location

Room E103, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

18-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2015 11:00 AM

Description

Contemporary Polish cultural identity is derived from shared memories of Poland’s turbulent past. This project explores the role of media in the construction of “shared” national memory in Poland today. Cinematographic recollections of major traumatic experiences of the nation in 20th century history led to the creation of “prosthetic memory” (‘borrowed’ memories) by members of generations too young to recall events depicted. Three films, Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Agnieszka Holland’s To Kill a Priest (1988), and Andrzej Wajda’s Katyń (2007), represent an attempt to create such common experiences over the most divisive traumas in Polish history: WWII and the years of Soviet occupation. Fact and fiction, story and history are interwoven in these visual narratives. Wajda’s Katyń will be explored as an example which utilizes fictional characters to relay actual historical events, shaping present day cultural memory and helping to create a new intergenerational bond.

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Apr 18th, 10:00 AM Apr 18th, 11:00 AM

Between History and Story: Visualizing Contemporary Polish Cultural Identity

Room E103, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Contemporary Polish cultural identity is derived from shared memories of Poland’s turbulent past. This project explores the role of media in the construction of “shared” national memory in Poland today. Cinematographic recollections of major traumatic experiences of the nation in 20th century history led to the creation of “prosthetic memory” (‘borrowed’ memories) by members of generations too young to recall events depicted. Three films, Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Agnieszka Holland’s To Kill a Priest (1988), and Andrzej Wajda’s Katyń (2007), represent an attempt to create such common experiences over the most divisive traumas in Polish history: WWII and the years of Soviet occupation. Fact and fiction, story and history are interwoven in these visual narratives. Wajda’s Katyń will be explored as an example which utilizes fictional characters to relay actual historical events, shaping present day cultural memory and helping to create a new intergenerational bond.