Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Contesting urban revitalization in post-socialist Poland  
Jaro Stacul (Monash University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the proposed redevelopment of the Gdańsk shipyard that was the cradle of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s, and the ways former shipyard workers contest the legitimacy of this and other urban renewal projects advocated by the Polish neoliberal state.

Paper long abstract:

Several studies in Anthropology and cognate disciplines have illustrated the ways in which urban renewal results in forms of social exclusion. Yet the issue of how interventions in the socio-spatial and economic dimensions of people's lives may be an integral part of the process of national history rewriting requires further exploration. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk, this paper analyzes the redevelopment of the shipyard that was the cradle of Solidarity, the mass social movement that played a key role in contesting the legitimacy of the Socialist regime in the 1980s. In official and popular discourses, the shipyard represents a monument to Polish freedom, and is the symbolic terrain where Poles articulate their relationship to the Polish nation and national history. The paper shows that the proposed transformation of the shipyard site into a new neighborhood entails removing the marks of the Socialist legacy at a time when Poland boasts its being the 'tiger economy' of central and eastern Europe. In illustrating how former shipyard workers who have become the victims of the economic reforms introduced by the neoliberal state contest the legitimacy of these projects, the paper highlights the contradictions with which the redevelopment of the shipyard site is rife: it argues that while this project is designed to create a sense of participation in national history, it also has the effect of creating a new 'landscape of power' from which a politics that is class-based is removed.

Panel P079
Postfordist ethnoscapes: deindustrialization, work and unemployment in urban context
  Session 1