Accepted Paper:

Sensible memories, embodied borders: an ethnographic research on family resemblances in Warsaw  

Author:

Nicoletta Diasio (Université de Strasbourg)

Paper short abstract:

Questioning the ways to tell and to make family resemblances within a small number of families in Warsaw, I will point out the role of women in transmitting a changing ideal of “polishness”, and the embodiement of memories, family narratives and positional identities.

Paper long abstract:

The question of a central Europe which would be situated between "East and West" often dominated the debate on the status and the identity of a country as Poland (Bondyra-Lisiecki, Konwicki, Kostrzewa, Krall, Maslowski, Milosz, Tomaszewski). This "quartering" was sometimes considered as controversial and more popular in the West than in the same country, sometimes as the heart of the Polish myth and of the spiritual and physical geography of the borders. The ambiguity and the polysemous character of these notions correspond to a deeper problem which demands a further reflection. An ongoing research on family narratives on memory and transmission in Warsaw, allows an analysis of these positional identities as they are made in social bodily practices. Questioning the ways to tell and to make the family resemblances within a small number of Polish families, I will point out the idea of "Polishness" at the time this country joined to European Union, the role of women in transmitting this ideal, the embodiement of memories and belongings in everyday life, and, by the way, the refusal of my interlocutors to be entrapped in a system of binding and univocal identifications.

Panel W012
'West' and 'East'. Dreaming, writing, imagining, and practicing Europe