Ethnologia Polona 2021-12-15T11:25:27+01:00 Agnieszka Halemba Open Journal Systems <p>The journal Ethnologia Polona publishes academic articles in the disciplines of social anthropology, cultural anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, ethnology, ethnography, methodology, qualitative research, as well as interdisciplinary research.</p> Introduction to the Special Issue 2021-12-15T11:25:27+01:00 Elena Soler 2021-11-30T08:27:52+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona The Fall of Marshall Konev 2021-12-15T11:21:45+01:00 Petr Gibas Karolína Pauknerová <p>This article traces the developments that led to the 2020 removal of a memorial to Marshal Ivan Stepanovich Konev from a square in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. In the article, inspired by an archaeological<br>sensitivity to context, we explore the ways in which the monument has become de-contextualised and re-contextualised by means of various material interventions and performances. This investigation allows us to detail the transformations of the monument within a changing context, and show how selective de-contextualization and re-contextualization allow for the amplification and silencing of different voices. In so doing, we interrogate what role(s) socialism, or rather its image – the spectre of socialism – plays in these dynamics of de- and re-contextualization. Through the case of the monument, we assert that, while the spectre of socialism and its invocation are locally specific, they also go beyond the local context because the socialist spectre is present and contingent both locally <em>and</em> globally. Consequently, we suggest that by a careful linking of local and global mechanisms of how the notion of socialism is employed in order to legitimize and delegitimize competing views, it is possible to open up a novel and productive re-conceptualisation of “post-socialism” in relation to the (geo)politics of memory, remembering, forgetting and silencing, which goes beyond the confines of post-socialism as a descriptive marker and an already worn out concept.</p> 2021-11-30T08:32:40+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Silent Traces and Deserted Places 2021-12-14T19:40:30+01:00 Aimée Joyce <p>This article explores how silence is held and transmitted through the materiality of deserted and abandoned places along the Polish frontier; and the generative role that silencing plays in local practices of tolerance. The article discusses two specific sites of silence in a town on Poland’s eastern border. Both sites were abandoned or destroyed at the same time, and are part of a larger landscape of religious and ethnic conflict in the area. This history of conflict is managed through small everyday acts of forgetting, minimising and silencing. Yet, the two sites at the centre of this article demonstrate that silencing is an incomplete process. The fragmented materiality of the two places undercuts local silences, actively invoking experiences and memories of the Holocaust. The objects missing and present in these haunted places are too inconsequential to be considered ruins – one site is notable only because it is an empty field. Yet these sites and objects act as powerful silent traces. Traces, as Napolitano (2015) has observed, are knots of history with an ambiguous auratic presence, located between memory and forgetting, repression and amplification. Traces conjure that which we can and that which we cannot say. The deserted places of the town draw attention to the silences that conviviality is built upon. This article considers how paying close attention to the specific silences concerning ‘unthinkable’ histories can reveal the power relations embedded in the process of history making and community building not just nationally, but also at the local level (Trouillot 1995).&nbsp;</p> 2021-11-30T08:30:45+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Self-Silencing Strategies in Casual Conversations about Politics in Rural Poland 2021-12-14T19:39:37+01:00 Anna Malewska-Szałygin <p>Self-silencing can be a discursive strategy for presenting personal opinions in casual conversations about politics, especially when these take place in an unpredictable or hostile socio-political environment. In such situations, political identities may be performed through the use of inferred forms, such as allusion, irony or implicit suggestion. In this article, forms of muting one’s voice by using indirect speech are tracked in interviews conducted among villagers in the mountainous Nowy Targ county in southern Poland at the beginning of the 21st century. The aim in presenting these examples is to show that sometimes selfsilencing can serve to make an adversary’s voice more audible, to help avoid definitive judgement and to create space for an exchange of opinions.</p> 2021-11-30T08:34:15+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Undercommunicated Stories in Boundary Building Processes 2021-12-14T19:39:50+01:00 Zdenek Uherek <p>This text focuses on the narrations of Romani in the Czech Republic with regard to conversational topics which are usually not communicated in either conversations across group borders or in the media. The topics covered in these conversations range from everyday life issues and stories about success in employment to stories about experiences during powerful moments in the state’s history that resonate for all its inhabitants. The narratives analysed in this text include the experience of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the adventures of a group of boys who tried to illegally cross the state border during socialism. The interviews were filmed with a camera. From a methodological perspective, an interesting feature throughout the project was that during the conversations the narrators did not stress their Romani identity. The dominant tone was rather that of plain interpersonal communication. Thus, these narratives can be characterised as acts of everyday communication – a mode of interaction which is not common in the communication of Roma with non-Roma – which emphasize the shared overall context in which all inhabitants of the Czech Republic find themselves.</p> 2021-11-30T08:33:32+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Strictly Confidential Anthropology 2021-12-14T19:39:23+01:00 László Kürti <p>Anthropological interest in secrecy and silence – and related aspects such as lying, knowledge, memory, and forgetting – has been long and precarious. Through what may be called personal anthropology, in this article, I describe both private and professional anthropological experiences including family memories, fieldwork sites, and academic practices. By recalling state socialist ideology, censorship, and family secrets, I illustrate how citizens have relied on each other in order to counter state hegemony. I highlight how surveillance in Romania expressly encouraged my informants as well as the secret police to engage in mutual intelligence and observation tactics as evasive tactics. Building on these strategies, I argue that academic life is not immune to secrecy, silence and covert action. I introduce an anthropologist who worked for the Hungarian secret police, and consider how academic life continues to rely on covert programs and an institutionalized hierarchy to promote and maintain its structures and interests.</p> 2021-11-30T08:34:54+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Silences and Secrets of Family, Community and the State 2021-12-14T19:40:17+01:00 Haldis Haukanes Frances Pine <p>In this article, we suggest that silence is often more about remembering than forgetting. We consider ways in which silences can occupy and dominate state discourse, community knowledge, family stories and individual narratives. Drawing on research material from Poland and the Czech Republic in the late socialist and post-socialist periods, we look at ways similar patterns of narrative fusion take place in various contexts in which both the public and the private domains are often shadowed by things veiled in secrecy and hidden from the general gaze. We argue that personal family and kin accounts of private things which for some reason cannot be spoken become entangled with, and to some extent communicated through, broader and more public historical narratives, and vice versa, and show how partial accounts are thus transmitted from generation to generation even while remaining largely unspoken.&nbsp;In developing our argument, we focus on the idea of <em>walls of silence</em> and on the process of drawingboundaries between people and the state, between generations (grandparents, parents and children) and between insiders and outsiders of communities. Suggesting that silence may be loud or quiet, we look at registers of silence and the ways in which they operate at the different levels of state, community and household. We ask what it means to hold certain kinds of knowledge, or to be excluded from these. At times, and for some people, knowledge may be a source of power or social or economic capital; for others, or in other contexts, being excluded from or rejecting knowledge, and thus not being privy to the subtexts of silence, may be a source or freedom and potential or possibility.&nbsp;</p> 2021-11-30T08:31:53+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona Long-Term “Ethnicized Silences”, Family Secrets and Nation-Building 2021-12-15T11:22:55+01:00 Elena Soler <p>This article demonstrates the dynamic relationship between long-term ethnicized silences, family secrets and nation-building in Central and Eastern Europe. How have modern nation-states been imagined and formed on the basis of these long-term silences? In order to illustrate what we believe could be the contribution to anthropology (principally to nationalism studies) enabled by introducing this analytical category of silences, in this research we will focus on a close analysis of the life story and identity journey of a self-identified “Slovak woman with Hungarian-Roma roots” who settled in the Czech Republic in 2009. Through this ethnographic example, and in an attempt to go beyond particularities, some of the themes covered are: what meanings, uses and processes of silences can we find in Slovakia, and what is their relationship to the construction of minorities and to an ethno-cultural model of nation-building (an imagined community)? In which domains and under which power relationships have long-term silences and hidden family secrets prevailed in everyday life? To what extent have those silence frameworks been negotiated and used as intergenerational strategies of family unity and protection? And finally, within the context of migration and the complex processes of Europeanization and globalization, how have those long-term, in this case “shamed”, ethnicized Roma silences been contested and broken, and what is the meaning of this development (at micro and macro levels)? In other words, for nation-states that have long been imagined on the principle of ethno-cultural homogeneity, I ask what can long-term ethnicized silences tell us about the process of nation-building (from the bottom up) and the quality of our EU democracies? Where do we come from, where are we now and, at least in terms of a warning (due to the rise of xenophobic forms of populism and radical nationalism), where are we going?</p> 2021-11-30T08:18:58+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ethnologia Polona