Perception of the architectural heritage elements of Wrocław by the students of Wrocław high schools

Paweł Czajkowski, Barbara Pabjan



Wrocław is a very interesting case of functioning of a collective memory and references to history. Due to its complicated history resulting from multi-cultural character, a collective memory cannot be attributed to one specific social community that lives in a given city at the particular time. Wrocław as a significant space and a crucial element of the cultural memory can become and indeed it is a point of a reference for the collective identity (and for history too) of various nations. Multidimensionality of the cultural and collective memory is complemented by a sociological assumption of the researchers – the works of which we shall refer to – that the collective memory of the present residents of Wrocław does not have and cannot have homogenous character either.     The most important observation I would like to draw attention to refers to a significant discrepancy in functioning of the collective memory between intellectual and political elites of the city and average citizens. Another significant assumption is the statement that Wrocław’s material substrate and material heritage contained in urban arrangements, architecture, buildings and public facility structures constitute a very important reference point for many collective memories of Wrocław.     Referring to some of these issues, we would like to discuss the results of specific empirical research that was carried out in secondary schools in Wrocław in September 2011. The research was conducted on a representative group of Wrocław youth within the framework of the international research project “The Memory of Vanished Population Groups in Today’s East and Central European Urban Environment. Memory Treatment and Urban Planning in Lviv, Černivci, Chişinău and Wrocław”.

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