Strengthening Urban Community Resilience against Extremism: Culture and Heritage as a Tool


  • Prof. PhDr. Alexandra Bitušíková, PhD. Faculty of Arts, Charles University


Słowa kluczowe:

resilience, heritage, grassroots activism, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia


The paper focuses on the concept of resilience in an urban environment in a broad perspective. In times of growing extremism and radicalisation – both in virtual and real worlds – it becomes crucial to build resilient communities through strategies and practices that lead to strengthening social cohesion and social bridging between various groups including minorities. The paper examines a case of the middle-size Slovak city of Banská Bystrica, which was the first (and so far the only) regional capital in Slovakia where a neo-Nazi
representative became a governor in legimate regional elections in 2013. It focuses on activities of local activists and volunteers and the grassroots movement Not in Our Town aimed at preventing and countering the growth of radicalisation and extremism in local and regional communities. Part of the movement’s activities (such as Schools for Democracy or a multicultural festival Embargo) are based on cultural and heritage-based actions that tend to address and connect various groups living in the city and make them resilient to extremism, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia.


Download data is not yet available.


Adams T. E., Holman Jones S. and Ellis C. 2015. Autoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research. New York: Oxford University Press.

Béné C., Wood R. G., Newsham, A. and Davies M. 2012. Resilience: New Utopia or New Tyranny? Reflection about the Potentials and Limits of the Concept of Resilience in Relation to Vulnerability Reduction Programmes. IDS Working Paper 405. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI:

Berkowitz M. 2016. What is resilience and why does it matter now more than ever? 100 Resilient Cities. Internet archive,, 29.02.2020.

Borseková K. and Nijkamp P. 2019. Blessing in disguise: long-term run benefits of urban disasters. [In:] K. Borseková and P. Nijkamp (eds.), Resilience and Urban Disasters. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2-29. DOI:

Cacioppo J. T., Reis, H. T. and Zautra A. J. 2011. Social Resilience. The Value of Social Fitness with an Application to the Military. American Psychologist 66 (1), 43-51. DOI:

Ćirić, S. and Sekulic, A. (eds.). 2014/15. Studije konteksta - Diverzitet diverziteta/Context Studies - Diversity of the Diversity. Beograd: Centar za kulturnu dekontaminaciju.

Civallero E. 2017. The archive of the community´s voices. Libraries and oral tradition in the digital era. DH. Opportunities andn Risks. Connecting Libraries and Research. Berlin, Germany: DARIAH.

Council of Europe. 2005. Framework Convention on the value of cultural heritage for society (Faro Convention). Faro: Portugal.

Derrett R. 2009. How festivals nurture resilience in regional communities. [In:] J. Ali-Knight, A. Fyall, M. Robertson and A. Ladkin (eds.), Interntional Perspectives of Festivals and Events:Paradigms of Analysis (Advances in Tourim Research). Elsevier Ltd., 108-124. DOI:

Ellis, C. 2004. The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.

Ellis, B. H. and Abdi, S. 2017. Building community resilience to violent extremism through genuine partnerships. American Psychologist 72 (3), 289-300. DOI:

Fabbricatti, K., Boissenion, L. and Citoni, M. 2020. Heritage Community Resilience: towards new approaches for urban resilience and sustainability. City, Territory and Architecture 7 (17), 1-20, https:/, 17.012022. DOI:

Fajčíková, K. and Cuprik, R. 2015. Kotleba ordinuje miss namiesto kulúry. SME, 2 November 2015,, 28.11.2021

Folke C., Carpenter S. R., Walker B., Scheffer M., Chaplin T. and Rockström, J. 2010. Resilience thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability. DOI:

Ecology and Society 15 (4): 20. [online] URL:

Gingrich A. and Banks M. 2006. Neo-Nationalism in Europe and Beyond: Perspectives from Social Anthropology. New York: Berghahn Books.

Groyecka-Bernard A., Witkowska M., Wróbel M., Klamut O. and Skrodska M. 2019. Challenge your stereotypes! Human Library and its impacts on prejudice in Poland. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 29 (4), 311-322. DOI:

Holling C. S. 1973. Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4, 1-23. DOI:

Holtorf C. 2018. Embracing change: how cultural resilience is increased through cultutral heritage. World Archeology 50 (4), 639-650. DOI:

ICOMOS. 2017. Delhi Declaration on Heritage and Democracy. New Delhi: India;

Kalb D. 2009. Conversations with a Polish Populist: Tracing Hidden Histories of Globalization, Class, and Dispossession in Postsocialism (and Beyond). American Ethnologist 36 (2), 207–223. DOI:

Kallius, A., Monterescu, D. and Kumar Rajaram, P. 2016. Immobilizing Mobility: Border Ethnography, Illiberal Democracy, and the Politics of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Hungary. American Ethnologist 43 (1), 25–37. DOI:

Koehler D. 2015. Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in Europe. Current Developments and Issues for the Future. PRISM 6 (2), 85-104.

Kürti, L. 1998. Racism, the extreme right and anti-Gypsy sentiments in East-Central Europe. [In:] C. Westin (ed.), Racism, ideology and political organization. Stockholm: CEIFO, 217-254.

Kürti, L. 2003. The uncivility of a civil society: skinhead youth in Hungary. [In:] P. Kopecky and C. Mudde (eds.). Uncivil Society? Contentious politics in post communist Europe. London: Routledge, 37-54.

Maréchal G. 2010. Autoethnography. [In:] A. J. Mills, G. Durepos and E. Wiebe (eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research, Vol. 2, 43-45). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Masten A. S., Best, K. M. and Garmezy, N. 1990. Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology 2 (4), 425-444. DOI:

Mortimer, I. 2016. Storytelling as Intangible Heritage. In: Global Heritage. Critical Thoughts on Heritage Issues from Heriot-Watt University's Students, 16.03.2022,

Muro D. 2017. Resilient Cities. Countering Violent Extremism at Local Level. Barcelona: CIDOB. DOI:

Norris F. H., Stevens S. P., Pfefferbaum B., Wyche K. F. and Pfefferbaum R. L. 2008. Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. American Journal of Community Psychology 41, 127-150. DOI:

Okely, J. and Callaway, H. 1992. Anthropology and autobiography. London; New York: Routledge. DOI:

Podvršič A. and Veselinovič, J. 2020. The Struggle against Authoritarian Liberalism Is More Urgent than Ever. Epidemic and the Far Right on the European Periphery. CADTM, 13.07.2020, urgent-than-ever-Epidemic.

Školy za demokraciu. 2020. Hodnotenie vzdelávacieho programu Školy za demokraciu. Školský rok 2019/2020. Banská Bystrica: CKO a Pedagogická fakulta UMB.

Till K. E. 2012. Wounded Cities. Memory-work and a place-based ethics of care. Political Geography 31, 3-14. DOI:

Timothy D. J. and Boyd S. W. 2006. Heritage Tourism in the 21st Century: Valued Traditions and New Perspectives. Journal of Heritage Tourism 1 (1), 1-16. DOI:

UNESCO. 2019. Living heritage and education. Paris, France: UNESCO,, 12.11.2021.

United Nations. 2015. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;, 12 March 2021.

Other data published online

Official website of Council of Europe. Living Libraries, htps://; accessed on 23.03.2020. Official website of Global Resilient Cities Network,, 16.04.2021.

Official website of EMBARGO FESTIVAL,, 08.10.2021

Official website of IRSE,; 10.09.2021

Official website of Legebitra,, 30.03.2020.

Official website of the Resilient Cities Network,, 25.10.2021.

Official website of 100 Resilient Cities,, 16.04. 2021.

Official website of Nie v našom meste,, 02.04.2020.

Official website of Nie v našom meste. Živá knižnica,; 31.03.2020.

Official website of The Centre for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade,, 16. 04. 2021.

Official website of Cultures Interactive,, 18.05. 2021.

Official website of UNESCO, Intangible Cultural Heritage,; 20. 05. 2021.

Official website of Záhrada – Centrum nezávislej kultúry,, 18.03.2022.

Pliki dodatkowe



Jak cytować

Bitušíková, A. (2022). Strengthening Urban Community Resilience against Extremism: Culture and Heritage as a Tool. Journal of Urban Ethnology, 20, 195–213.