Project

Here we start the new interdisciplinary network based at GHI in Warsaw with partners in Central European countries. During the next two years we will meet each other at four workshops to discuss the results of our research. This scientific blog should accompany our research. We want to facilitate discussions, share some research data during discovery stages, share ideas and encourage scientists to collaborate.
To study various aspects of the post-war history, we may use personal photos from archives from our own research as a source. Hereby we try to connect Eastern European history and visual history. The first idea is to publish meaningful pictures with a historical commentary.

The aim of the project is a gender-oriented; image saturated everyday history of East Central Europe in the first postwar decades, with a particular focus on the Baltic region, based on individual image sources. This is based on a combination of relevant theoretical approaches from three areas: 1 visual history, 2 transnational history and 3 Eastern European history.

We should take into account the political consequences of World War II in Eastern Europe, for which there was no comparison in the West. As a result, there were many political refugees in Western Europe, although also deportees, who were sent to the remote areas of the Soviet Union. Many families have been separated for decades. Numerous contacts broke down for political reasons. Other families had long lasting contacts via correspondence. In this however, private photos also played a key role. I think it is important to include the other territories (both Western Europe and the distant areas of the Soviet Union) considering the Eastern European post-war history.
As for the photos there is a particular problem here. Probably the images were created specifically for relatives abroad and have conveyed specific messages. Such aspects must also be taken into account.

We want to write a collective monograph, which addresses various questions about gender, family, modernization and Stalinism for the first post-war decade. We plan that the chapter will be written jointly by authors from different countries. We expect to obtain a more general analysis of various aspects and do not restrict ourselves to the case studies.