PHILO-SEMITIC VIOLENCE. NEW POLISH NARRATIVE ABOUT JEWS AFTER 2000

Traslated by Paulina Chojnowska, Katarzyna Kaszorek & Katrin Stoll

For Polish edition see: Przemoc filosemicka

Miejsce wydania: Warszawa
Rok wydania: 2016
Oprawa: miękka ze skrzydełkami
Liczba stron: 300
ISBN: 978-83-65573-09-4
Cena: 35,00

 

We were interested in phenomena discussed in the Polish and foreign public debate as a sign of change in social awareness and ”new openness in the Polish-Jewish relations” at the turn of the first and second decades of the 21st century. We asked whether we really face a new narrative about the past. We wanted to know whether and to what extent the conditions of the narrative have changed, together with the collective imaginarium contributing to the socio-cultural frame that organises subject knowledge and is derived from research on the Holocaust carried out in the last several years. We also asked whether and how the self-opinion of the dominant majority and its attitude to its own past and present have changed. Does the inclusion of all those who were formerly subjected to anti-Semitic violence happen? If yes, on what conditions?

We examined Jolanta Dylewska’s film Po-lin (2008), the re-enactment of the liquidation of the Będzin ghetto (2010), Rafał Betlejewski’s projects entitled I miss you, Jew (Tęsknię za tobą, Żydzie) and The Burning Barn (Płonie stodoła) (2010), commemorations of the ghetto footbridge over Chłodna Street in Warsaw (1996, 2007–2011) and Keret’s house in Warsaw (2012). The analysis of the above artistic initiatives and cultural events, backed by the best intentions, led us to the conclusion that the voice of the minority introduced into the mainstream of discourse is subject to restricting requirements, pressures and hierarchies, which very much resemble the old forms of discrimination. Furthermore, definitional oppression towards the minority, which transforms a subject into an object, is neither deconstructed nor subjugated. Quite the opposite: it is doing well. It consists in philo-Semitic violence.

Elżbieta Janicka, Tomasz Żukowski

 

dr Elżbieta Janicka, PhD, literary historian, photographer. She works at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. She studies cultural patterns, narratives and phantasms founding the socio-cultural validity of violence and exclusion. The editor of Wacław Antczak’s apocryphal work Antoś Rozpylacz. Polski Odyseusz. Najsławniejszy wojownik w walce z Niemcami hitlerowskimi. Epopeja partyzantów z czasów powstania w Warszawie [Antek the Machine Gun. Polish Odysseus. The most famous warrior in the fight against the Nazi Germany. Guerrillas’ epic dating back to the Warsaw Uprising] (2008). The author of the following books: Sztuka czy naród? Monografia pisarska Andrzeja Trzebińskiego [Art or nation? Literary monograph on Andrzej Trzebiński] (2006) and Festung Warschau (2011).

dr Tomasz Żukowski,PhD, literary historian. He works at the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences. He deals with the problems of public discourse in Poland and is interested in the functions of images of a Jew and their role in defining the Polish identity as well as narratives about the Polish People’s Republic and communism after 1989. The author of Obrazy Chrystusa w twórczości Aleksandra Wata i Tadeusza Różewicza [The images of Christ in the works of Aleksander Wat and Tadeusz Różewicz] (2014) and co-author and editor of the volume Zagłada w „Medalionach” Zofii Nałkowskiej. Tekst i konteksty [The Holocaust in Zofia Nałkowska’s ”Medallions”. Text and contexts] (2016).

 

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