Reconciliation through Difficult Remembrance. Eastern Galicia

The main purpose of the project is to disseminate modern history with its good examples of bringing help despite the toughness of the 21st century - the century of wars, extermination, fascist movements and totalitarianism, which had a destructive impact on the life of societies throughout the whole Europe. In the current year there will be the 70th anniversary from the time when intensification of the OUN (The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) UPA (The Ukrainian Insurgent Army) nationalist movement took place in 1944 in Eastern Galicia, where Polish civilians experienced sufferings. The initiative focuses on finding more instances of positive humane attitude towards others at the tough time of war and harmful nationalism.

The project applies to spreading of social actions for the benefit of reinforcement of Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation by recording the testimonies of Polish-Ukrainian relations and coming to the aid of each other. This is the last moment to discover the conduct of noble and just people who rescued the Poles at the time of ethnical cleansing carried out by OUN UPA in 1943-1945 (which took place in Volyhnia and Eastern Galicia) as well as those who rescued Ukrainians at the time of reprisal actions and evictions (e.g., Operation „Vistula”).

Social project is the continuation of the research which the Polish-Ukrainian research group started in 2012. Pioneer expedition and unique project formula fill the gap in research from the time of the Second World War and modern history as to joint relations of two nations and touch upon the subject of settling up with their own history and political remembrance which is much needed to enter into an international democratic debate. This year the first Polish-Ukrainian expedition will be organized to continue the project in the region of former Eastern Galicia (including interviews with witnesses during the expedition, e.g., Lviv, Drohobych) and the expedition aims at creating a case study of historically unknown places and people, the analysis of which will be published in the electronic report (both English and Ukrainian versions will be available).

Since 2012 the project carried out by the Association „Panorama of Cultures” („Panorama Kultur”) has been taking place mainly in Ukraine. This year researchers apply the method of documenting information known as oral history (which is largely based on oral histories and seeking for the witnesses of past events). Collected resources and materials are then animated?/ are used as the basis for films and videos in public space as well as in the Internet (social media). As a result of the collected oral histories, this year there will be made an online iterdisciplinary report which will be published in the Internet under the open content licence Creative Commons 3.0 Poland.

The principal goal of the programme is to commemorate the victims of massacres in Volyhnia and Eastern Galicia as well as heroic conduct of Ukrainians who rescued Poles and Poles who rescued Ukrainians. The following many-sided/ polycontextual contexts facilitate the process: discovery of new facts and documents, e.g., histories of the period between the wars, post-war histories or histories of the occupational period; participation of Polish society in commemoration of history in a modern way which is devoid of hate speech; promotion of patriotism; popularization of knowledge about polyethnic traditions of the Second Polish Republic; spreading of historical narration out of concern for creative and skillful application of modern technologies.

Aleksandra Zinczuk

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The project is financed from the programme „Patriotism of Tomorrow 2014” carried out by the Museum of Polish History in Warsaw.


The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lutsk, the group „Oral History”, Institute of Ethnic Studies in Lviv, Foundation „Bruno Szulz Museum and Festival in Drohobych”, Polonistic scientific information centre of Ihor Meniok at Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University, artistic association „Alter”.