Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper

Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper, Ph. D hab. is a sociologist and social anthropologist.

She works as an associate professor at the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Warsaw. Head of the Department of Social Anthropology and Ethnic and Migration Studies. Her main research interests include the issues of contemporary national and ethnic identity, social memory, especially memory activism, and research on the relationship between the local and national dimensions of memory. She has published over a dozen articles and books on ethnic and national minorities in Poland and Russia, social memory in post-communist countries and the memory of post-war resettlement. Her last books are: Transmisja pamięci. Działacze “sfery pamięci” i przekaz o Kresach Wschodnich we współczesnej Polsce (Transmission of memory. Activists of „memory sphere” and transmission of the memory of former Eastern Borderlands in contemporary Poland), 2016, Milieux de mémoire in Late Modernity. Local Communities, Religion and Historical Politics, 2019 (with Zuzanna Bogumił), The Burden of the Past. History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine, 2020, (edited with Anna Wylegała). Currently, she works on the project on postcolonial perspective on heritage in Poland. 

The territories lost after the World War II in the national and local memory in Poland

As a result of World War II, millions of people were forced to leave their local homelands. Among them were also people from territories of the former Polish eastern borderlands (called Kresy) and currently about 5 million of their descendants live in Poland. During the period of communism, the memory of the Kresy was successfully pushed back into the margins of social life, but after democratic changes in Poland we have been able to witness an “explosion” of this memory. Nowadays, more than 70 years after the war, the memory of Kresy functions mainly in the context of other European resettlements. In addition, it was linked to the geopolitical issues with the countries which gained independence after dissolution of the Soviet Union. The communities of people displaced from Kresy formed a “diaspora of memory” which narratives about the past, although socially recognized, are on the margins of collective memory.