Are we still interested in “poniemieckie” in Poland? The debate “Objects as time machines” at the Sopot Literary Festival

Do objects carry intrinsic meanings or are immanently connected with human memories? It was one of the questions the participants of the debate entitled “Objects as time machines” at the Sopot Literary Festival in Sopot (formerly German Zopott) pondered. Beata Maciejewska, journalist of “Gazeta Wyborcza” from Wrocław (formerly German Breslau) prepared a couple of intriguing and thought provoking questions for other participants: Stefan Chwin, literary scholar and writer from Gdańsk (formerly German Danzig), whose novel “Hanemann” was a milestone in Polish literature on the postwar migrations, Dariusz Brzostek, culturology professor from Toruń who is dealing with cultural capacities of objects, and the PI of our Spectral Recycling project, Karolina. 

Together, they were discussing how we are today dealing with formerly German objects. Do we put on the walls the photos of the imagined grandparents we found in flea markets, as Beata said, or are we witnesses of the dropping number of people who are interested in these objects, as Stefan proclaimed? Unexpectedly, the conversation also delved into the enigmatic tales concealed within tapestries. What can be found when we get rid of the first, obvious layer and look behind it?