Accepted paper:

Socialis art, socialist lifestyle - alleviating memories of socialist past in Poland

Authors:

Ewa Klekot (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

The exhibition in Kozlowka includes both art pieces in "social-realistic" style of 1950s and everyday items. Familiar objects of material culture reconcile visitors with their socialist past, while the monumental propaganda art gives them feeling of being "victims of the system."

Paper long abstract:

Kozlowka is the only existing museum of socialist art in Poland, and one of the favourite one-day trip destinations in the Lublin region. However, apart from art pieces in "socialist realistic" style of 1950s, the exhibition includes several arrangments of everyday life sceneries, with original items of material culture form the period, staging grey and homespun "lifestyle" of the time. In the paper (based on observations and interviews with visitors) I will argue that the elements of everyday material culture reconcile visitors with their "socialist" memories suggesting them the "average" part they played in it, while the monumental propaganda art gives them feeling of being "victims of the system." All together it creates a museum experience that alleviates memories of socialist past in Poland.

panel W096
Memory and material culture in post-conflict societies