This webpage is part of the international project “Visualisations of 20th-century Forced Migrations”, a joint initiative of the ENRS and Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V.

Project financial support

joanna.kowalska.j1@gmail.com

Project partners

Project financial support

joanna.kowalska.j1@gmail.com

Project partners

This collection of photographs of contemporary Pstrążna consists of places and objects highlighted by my guides during meetings. I use quotes from interviews as their description.

Walks

 

Memory hidden in the landscape is a project for which the inhabitants of Pstrążna and I go on walks around the village. Forest and field paths, trees growing on former farms, and the remains of foundations surrounding home gardens mark our way and the stories told.

 

In this village, now located on the Polish-Czech border, in the so-called former Czech corner, many different migration trajectories intersected after the end of the Second World War. In Pstrążna, stories converge of families who came here in 1945 and on from the Kresy region or southern Poland with previous residents, who were forced to flee to the Czechoslovakia side because of new state reality. Alongside these coexist stories of people who, while remaining in their hometown, witnessed the sudden change in their neighbourhood, dictated by the end of the war and the shifting of borders. 

 

I listened to these family stories during my walks with residents — this method, in addition to the narrative, enabled us to map together places and paths of significance. While the recorded walks do not constitute a complete story, they allow for the visualisation of subjective family stories, a fuller consideration of motivations, decisions, events and places relevant to my interviewees.

 

Starting the project, I hoped to gather diverse perspectives. In the first stage of the project, my guides were people currently living in or around the Polish side of Pstrążna. In the future, I hope to broaden the stories to include the perspectives of former Pstrążna residents and their descendants living permanently in the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as other countries to which their families' migration trajectories took them. In stories of forced migration, the non-obvious interweaving of political, economic and social threads which affect each family’s decisions and migration trajectories, deserve to be heard separately. 

 

The following page consists of two sections. The first is dedicated to recorded walks with residents, while the second is a collection of photographs of contemporary Pstrążna.

 

The heroes and heroines of the films are current and former residents of Pstrążna, those whose family history contains stories of migration.

 

 

See More

See More

Pstrążna today

Memory hidden in the landscape

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