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Commemoration in contemporary Polish plays

Commemoration in contemporary Polish plays

Oxley, Natasha ORCID: 0000-0003-0011-7113 (2020) Commemoration in contemporary Polish plays. In: Memory Studies Association Conference 2021, 5-9 July 2021, Online / University of Warsaw. (Unpublished)

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This presentation focuses on commemoration in contemporary Polish plays in translation. Examples are referenced from selected plays by three dominant contemporary playwrights. Słobodzianek’s Wojtek the Bear and Our Class are discussed as acts of commemoration. Sikorska-Miszczuk’s The Suitcase and The Mayor are shown to address questions around whether we should commemorate World War Two at all, and if so, how. The playwright highlights issues around the absence of important facts from personal and national narratives, and she foregrounds the impact on post-war generations of historical narratives. In Demirski’s Long Live the War!, collective commemoration is strongly criticised. A one-minute silence takes place in real time, leading to protests from younger generations who argue that they should protest against the authorities who gave orders to fight. The performers confront the elder members of the audience, challenging them to engage with their grandchildren without discussing the war. Commonalities between the playwrights are highlighted, including the use of objects as lieux de memoire; the body as a site of memory; intergenerational tensions, and non-naturalistic approaches.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: commemoration, memory, contemporary playwriting, theatre, Poland, cultural memory
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Drama, Theatre & Performance (DTP)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 15:08

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