Places, which are not there – Zakopane

They do not describe beautiful, attractive or unique places. They would rather present dark corners, forgotten spaces which have been wiped out from our memories. On 15th October at 4:00 PM Maciej Krupa, Piotr Mazik and Kuba Szpilka will talk about Zakopane, which you do not know.

The three authors of the Nieobecne miasto. Przewodnik po nieznanym Zakopanem book have been brought together by their love for the Tatra Mountains and foundation Zakopiańczycy. W poszukiwaniu tożsamości which they run together. The organisation focuses on the history and heritage as well as the current situation of Zakopane, Podtatrze and Tatra Mountains.

Nieobecne miasto is a unique guide book, whose aim is to present the forgotten and overlooked places. In this case, these are three groups of people who are connected with the history of the city. They are rarely mentioned, but their impact on the development of Zakopane. The first group are lowlanders who came to Zakopane in search of work. They often did jobs which the proud highlanders would never do. The second one are the TB patients who came to numerous sanatoriums. Thanks to them, new infrastructure was build, new job opportunities appeared and the city became richer. There were sometimes several thousands of patients in Zakopane at certain moments. The third group are Jews, who constituted around one sixth of the inhabitants before World War II. They had their synagogues and a cemetery, shops, tenements, organizations and sports clubs. They have disappeared from both the city and the tales or memories.

During our meeting at the Emigration Museum we will, among others, discuss how our knowledge about famous places is often mythologized, becomes one-sided and simplified. Therefore, it’s worth looking for non-obvious history and the places in which you can find them.

Places which are not there is a new cycle at the Emigration Museum in Gdynia devoted to places which belong to the past but cannot be forgotten. We think of them with nostalgia or just the opposite: we do our best to forget them. Authors of reportages on such places will be our guests. The cycle was opened with a meeting with Marcin Kącki, the author of this year’s NIKE nominee, Białystok. Biała siła, czarna pamięć. In the coming months, our guests will be Filip Springer, the author of the reportage Miasto Archipelag about ex capital cities of provinces (5th November) and Małgorzata Szejnert, the author of Usypać góry. Historie z Polesia (3rd December).


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