HERITO

An international quarterly published in Polish and English, it is the only forum of its kind for debate on heritage, culture, the present and the future. The magazine focuses on such issues as the idea of a place and related reflection, space and its meanings, the avant-garde of memory, the geography of imagination, or the memory of modernity. The pretext for these considerations is provided by Central Europe, a region whose experience and cultural dilemmas are both unique and relevant to contemporary debate.

Central Europe is a conscious choice, a question of our world view, though also of our community of experience – our own and that of our neighbours. Herito is a further chapter in our fascination with this very special region of the Old Continent, where political borders have always changed faster than cultural borders. Central Europe is not a territorial region with clearly demarcated borders; it is our fortune. The Central European identity is founded on contradictions that have combined repeatedly to produce creative tension. The material and non‑material fruit of this tension today is our common heritage, the product of cultures, ideas and values accumulated and fused over centuries. No less a part of this heritage is our own memory and identity – for heritage is nothing other than the use of the past to serve contemporary purposes. – Prof. Dr. Jacek Purchla, chief editor.

HERITO, No. 39: Green

The issue of the HERITO quarterly devoted to the relationship between man and nature. Developed in exceptional conditions, between an epidemic, a fire in the   Biebrza National Park , and the forecasts of a summer drought, it made us even more aware of the need for contact not only with other people, but also with pure nature.

HERITO, No. 37-38: Magical socialist realism?

Socialist in content and national in form – these were required features of art and architecture made under the doctrine of socialist realism. Today, in Central Europe, the relics of socialist realism evoke unambiguously negative connotations. Fifty years on, are we able to look at them without these emotions? Which works have stood the test of time? Magical socialist realism – a joke or a hypothesis?

HERITO, No 36: Carpathians

They span over nearly fifteen hundred kilometres across the territories of eight countries and cover the space five times the size of Switzerland. For centuries they have offered the ground for the development of cultures and small centres of the world of the Boykos, Lemkos, Hutsuls, Wallachians, Székelys, and the Transylvanian Saxons. Persistently still, they rarely minded the ideas conceived by flawed cartographers – they rather connected than divided, while today they offer a perfect reference point for the discussion about Central European heritage. The Carpathian Mountains, for they are discussed here, are the leading theme of the recent issue of “Herito” quarterly.

HERITO, No 35: Europe and the East. Decade of the Eastern Partnership

Has the East ceased to interest the West and how has the “new East” been defined after the political transition of 1989? What was the role of the Dnieper in the formation of the Ukrainian national identity and why is the future of this country dependent on this river? Who has won the unofficial competition for the contemporary national hero of Moldova? What can we learn from the Crimean Tatars? Has Europe begun in Georgia and what did the Eastern Partnership offer to the countries of South Caucasus?

HERITO, No 34: Women of Central Europe

It is only recently that the role of women in history has been more fully recognised. In the early 1970s, the term “herstory” was coined to refer to history told from a woman’s point of view. Although “Herito” always seeks to offer as much space to women authors and their topics as possible, we decided to dedicate the new issue entirely to women that were significant to Central European history, culture, politics, and arts – women often forgotten, underappreciated, or intentionally erased.

HERITO, No. 32-33: European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

What will remain after the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018? How to talk about history and memory to build bridges rather than consolidate existing divisions? Where lies the key to formulating an inclusive European narrative that would express the experience of new Central European member states? Why does heritage mean people and what is the direction in which contemporary heritology will develop?

HERITO, No. 31: Danube – the River of Memory

The Danube is not only the longest European river, flowing through ten countries, but above all a monumental medium of historical, collective, and cultural memory. Its waters reflect the history of Europe, from the antiquity, when it marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, through the dramatic period of the Second World War, until today.

HERITO, No. 30: The Balkans Transformed

Do the Balkans still have, as Churchill suggested, “more history than they can stomach”? Are they still the “European Orient”, or a noble buffer zone? What is the condition of literatures of Balkan “smaller languages” and wherein lie their hopes? Or perhaps the old Balkans are no longer there, while its nations are merely stronger or weaker narratives? These are among the leading questions posed in the 30th issue of “Herito” quarterly.

HERITO, No. 29: Dissonant Heritage of Central Europe

Should the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw be preserved or demolished? How to address the dissonant heritage of death camps and monuments to the Red Army? What is the secret to the phenomenon of some “large plate” tower blocks and Socialist Realist architecture? Are we willing to take responsibility for the entirety of material inheritance passed to us by older generations regardless of their national or ideological connotations? Authors featured in the 29. issue of “Herito” quarterly seek answers to these difficult questions.

HERITO, No. 28: Memory of the Reformation

On 31 October 1517, an Augustinian friar and professor of theology, Martin Luther, attached to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg his 95 theses that addressed the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. Was this event crucial for the development of our concepts of individual freedom and human rights? Would capitalism ever be conceived without the protestant ethos? What was the role of Reformation in the shaping of modern Central European nations? These questions are tackled by authors featured in the 28. issue of “Herito” quarterly.

HERITO, No 27: Krakow and the World

Could Kraków be a creative city and what could that mean? What differentiates it from other Central European cities? What songs were its flower sellers humming on the Market Square in April 1990? The latest issue of the magazine Herito brings together historians, diplomats, literature critics, translators, political commentators, economists, managers in culture, and architects, who attempt to define the unique character of Kraków – a palimpsest city. 

HERITO, No 26: Hungary

Who are contemporary Hungarians and what is their self-image in Central Europe?What were the reasons for Budapest’s great development at the turn of the 19th and 20th century? What is Hungarians’ idea of Poles? What does the Danube mean to them? What links Széll Kálmán Square in Budapest with Elvis Presley, Mao Zedong, and the Kremlin? 

HERITO, No. 25: Silesia

Why is Silesia so different? Why are its inhabitants by nature predestined for dialogue? How is this region of Central Europe narrated or erased by Polish, German, and Czech literature? Why was its capital – the postwar Wrocław – defined as the New York of the People’s Republic of Poland? These questions will be tackled by authors featured in “Herito” magazine, in its new issue dedicated to Silesia.

HERITO, No. 24: Pattering. Design in Central Europe

Is design today merely an illusion? What is the link between responsible design and current political, economic, and social situation? If for many years Scandinavia has been the byword for simplicity and functionality, what could have been Poland’s – or East-Central Europe’s – contribution to design at large?

HERITO, No. 22-23: The City as a Work of Art

To celebrate its anniversary, the International Cultural Centre has prepared a special, double issue of “Herito” quarterly.  In the 19th century, the idea of the city as a work of art was reborn, becoming permanently linked with the eventful history of modernity. The new issue of “Herito” seeks to approach this phenomenon from a Central European angle. It traces the history of the modern city as a work of art in the context of political and artistic history of Central Europe; it searches for markers of its originality; and it asks  what makes the city happy. 

HERITO, No 21: Galicia after Galicia

The artificial product of Austrian diplomacy – which stayed on the maps for 150 years and has not existed now for a century – leads a specific life after life: it is an important point of reference not only for citizens of contemporary Poland or Ukraine but also for many descendants of Central Europe who now live in the United States or Western Europe. For Galicia is rather not a place but a lens which focuses specific relations between time and space.

HERITO, No. 20: Balticum

Polish Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States provokes us to take a look at the countries situated around the Baltic Sea and their cultures, and to ask some questions.  The Balticum as a geo-cultural community? Arguments to support this claim would probably be as numerous as sceptical voices. But it is not a question of evidence. Another issue seems to be much more important: why is it advisable to think in terms of large geo-cultural regions and what possibilities are opened by such thinking?

HERITO, No. 19: Thinking the Landscape

“Landscape is more than painterly or visual effects,” Stanisław Vincenz wrote in 1943. “It is also the soil on which we walk and which we work, its undulation or flatness, its waters – seas, rivers or marshes – and even the air that we breathe.”...

HERITO, No. 17–18: Cold War Modern Architecture

Today, “Cold War Modernism” has become fashionable. The appraisal continues, although hardly ever does it reach beyond the borders of someone’s own country. In this double issue of Herito, we expand the horizon of the discussion, to take a broader look at the architectural landscape of former “Communist democracies” and break away from the stereotype of the “concrete jungle style”.

HERITO, No. 16: A Century On from the Great War

Is the memory of the First World War alive in Central Europe? How is it remembered and by who? Why is it displaced into oblivion? What can the significance of a war that took place 100 years ago for contemporary Central Europeans be? These are the questions considered by Andrzej Chwalba, Jacek Purchla, Robert Traba, Łukasz Galusek, Claudio Magris, Maciej Górny, Ivan Čolović, Maciej Czerwiński, Krisztián Ungváry, Pavel Kosatík, Lucian Boia, Małgorzata Radkiewicz and Beata K. Nykiel.

HERITO, No. 15: Nations and stereotypes

Stereotypical thinking is deeply rooted in culture, history and collective memory. It does not solely mirror real, old or recent conflicts, although it cannot be entirely separated from them. And yet the political situation can be the most effective method of changing the stereotype. We do not have to look far for examples. One can even say that we have some happening now in our own backyard. In this issue on nations and stereotypes the subject is discussed by Shlomo Avineri, Maciej Czerwiński, Tadeusz Lubelski, Piotr Majewski, Mykola Riabchuk, Ziemowit Szczerek and Łukasz Trzciński.

HERITO, No. 14: Turcja – Türkiye – Turkey

Antemurale Christianitas – the Bulwark of Christianity – is an important constituent of many national cultures in Central Europe. It is also the experience of Poland and Poles. Several centuries of the Polish Republic and the Ottoman Empire as neighbours are still alive in the Polish tradition and culture. And what is interesting is that our perception of Turkey is burdened with the load of national mythology which comes from the turn of the 20th century. Its foundations still lie in the works of the Polish Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz from over a hundred years ago.

HERITO, No. 13: Conflicts of Memory

Each community devises specific modes of remembering, but also of forgetting uncomfortable facts. Ars memoriae and ars oblivionis constitute an inseparable pair, as Robert Traba points out. And, he adds, forgetting is sometimes necessary in order to find some kind of balance after tragedy and turmoil, but – he also warns – excessively fixed forgetfulness may turn into the nightmare of fratricidal struggle. An ideal goal would be “polyphony of various types of memory” and “a conscious balance between remembering and forgetting”.

HERITO, No. 12: Rumunia – Romania – România

Issue 12 of the quarterly Herito can be thought of as an integral collection of history, heritage, identity and culture of contemporary Romania, as written about by Lucian Boia, Traian Ungureanu, Dan Lungu, Marius Stan, Octavian Logigan and Olga Bartosiewicz, who try to answer the question “Why is Romania different?” by taking a closer look at its history, complicated transformation and sometimes paradoxical modernity. Valentina Iancu, Jakub Kornhauser, Olga Bartosiewicz, Małgorzata Rejmer and Łukasz Galusek write about literature, cinema and the plastic arts, which make Romania famous all over the world.

HERITO, No. 11: Croatia in Europe

Democratic Croatia was created 23 years ago, but it is difficult to talk of this country as being young. Although it has its debut in the European Union, Croatia has been co-creating European culture for millennia. However, the success of European integration does not obliterate the significant questions. Who do the Croatians feel themselves to be? Do they believe they belong to Central Europe, or rather to the Mediterranean? What is national identity and does it make sense to talk about it? Where is the border between the “past” and the “present”? Should the Yugoslavian idea be thrown on the scrap heap of history?

HERITO, No. 10: The elusive centre (of Europe)

Grasping the centre is a troublesome, difficult or perhaps simply impossible task. Take, for example, the two Visegrads – places with identically sounding names, one in Hungary (Visegrád), the other in Bosnia (Višegrad). The first, which gave its name to the Visegrad Group, is a sign of building the foundations for mutual understanding between the countries of Central Europe. The other is a symbol of tragedy and an attempt at rejecting the past, building the future on forgetting. Thinking about one, it is impossible not to see the other, especially in the neighbourly context of Central European cooperation.

HERITO, No. 9: Słowacja – Slovensko – Slovakia

Our main focus is both the past and the present of the Slovaks which is reflected in their culture and identity. On clear days we can see from our office windows the massif of Babia Góra on the horizon; working on this issue we wished to make Slovakia and its culture not only equally visible to but also better understood by its closest and more remote neighbours.

HERITO, No. 8: Nations – history and memory

The new, eighth issue of the Herito quarterly devoted to nations in the context of history and memory brings text by Miroslav Hroch, Alexandr Lipatov, Zdzisław Najder, Robert Traba and Wojciech Wilczyk. In addition, Joanna Sanetra-Szeliga talks to Krzysztof Czyżewski, the artistic director of the Wrocław European Capital of Culture 2016 project; Agnieszka Zabłocka Kos reviews the idea and competition of the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar; Katarzyna Jagodzińska writes about the failed Museum of Contemporary Art in Warsaw, and Piotr Piotrowski and Jarosław Suchan comment on the fiasco of the project.

HERITO, No. 7: Stories form countries which are no more

In 1989 Poland bordered three countries. Just a few years later none of them existed. During this memorable autumn Milan Kundera’s dream was being fulfilled: that the countries from our part of Europe return from the East, where they wrongly found themselves, to where they should be – if not in the West then at least in the Centre. Countries liberated from unwanted (?) relationships appeared on the map. We know how different these separations were, in what circumstances Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the GDR or the USSR became a history. Common sense suggested that it had to be so, for these countries had been wrongly structured but still…we spent quite a chunk of our lives with them and in them!

HERITO, No. 6: Culture and politics

In the current issue of the Polish-English “Herito” quarterly various facets of the marriage of culture and politics are investigated by Anda Rottenberg, Ekaterina Andreeva, Ivan Čolović, Janusz Sepioł, and Bożena Gierat-Bieroń. In two articles, the current state of affairs in Hungary and Ukraine is shrewdly addressed by Katarzyna Jagodzińska’s and Żanna Komar’s discussions of the so-called “museum crises”.

HERITO, No. 5: Cities for thought

A city half existing and half abandoned, a city lost and half recovered – this is what Adam Zagajewski wrote of present-day Lviv. It is also the pars pro toto of the syndrome of the Central European city – not belonging fully to anyone, either to those who live there or those who lost it. And how many other names could we insert in place of Lviv? Of cities still as tangled as the mythical Gordian knot? Yet there will be no Alexander along, adds Peter Krečič, and we must start untangling it patiently ourselves.

HERITO, No. 4: Art is changing (a) place

Art changed its location – it left the studio, but it also escaped somewhere beyond the galleries, beyond museum rooms. What does it mean for the institutions and to what extent the thinking about the infrastructure for art should be changed? And does the new venue for art also change? What is happening in the cities, the landscape, the public and private space subjected to the influence of art?

HERITO, No. 3: The city and the museum

The story of the city often provides us with an opportunity to free ourselves from narratives of the “one truth” ilk, to reconcile antagonisms, to uncover the genuine, albeit complex – because many-layered – identity of places. And museums have an important role to play in this process.

HERITO, No. 2: Imagined identities

In today’s fluid times a human being is looking for a place and a place is looking for a human being; people want to feel at home in a space but spaces influence entire communities. This creates the need to imagine certain possible multilayered identities – for a place, for people, for a collective.

HERITO, No. 1: Symbols and clichés

Herito – a bilingual English-Polish quarterly – is a new initiative by the International Cultural Centre. It is our hope that it will come to be a unique forum for discussions on heritage, culture, our times, and the future. As a periodical it will focus on issues of locus and related reflections, on space and its various meanings, and on the geography of the imagination and of memory. The pretext for the topics it undertakes to examine is Central Europe, which has a heritage of experience and cultural dilemmas that are at once unique and highly relevant to contemporary debate.
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