Postbellum. What Do Winners Leave Unsaid?
The National Museum in Szczecin - The Szczecin History Museum | Księcia Mściwoja II 8, 70-533 Szczecin, Polska

VERNISSAGE: Septrember 11th 2018 |Tuesday | 5.00 P.M. [Vernissage is taking place within European Heritage Days]

After over 120 years of captivity, Russification and Germanization, on November 11th, 1918, free Poland reappeared on the map of the world. Certainly it would not have been possible without the First World War that led to the fall of three European powers. Today, we celebrate this anniversary primarily as a national holiday, most often seeing only the "Great War's" final moment, or victory, fulfilling the dream of independent Poland.

The politicized slogan of the anniversary of regaining independence blurs the more existential, human dimension of this conflict. We do not see the enormity of destruction and death accompanying the first "total war" in history.

About 10 million people were killed then, and nearly 20 million were mutilated. State romantic propaganda about "war that will put an end to wars", with time became brutally verified by the reality and personal experiences of its participants.

The First World War changed not only the earlier political, social or economic systems, but also "disturbed the way of thinking and behavior of the entire generation". The experience of both the winners and the losers, marking the rest of their lives, did not spare the new generation, twenty years later re-witnessing a huge conflict.

At the exhibition "Postbellum. What Do Winners Leave Unsaid?" works on the conflicts of the first half of the twentieth century are presented. They confront, first of all, the looks of two historically hostile societies. They are a document revealing the dark face of the front, a monument of grief after the fallen, the landscape of a destroyed city, a provocation showing the degradation of civilization burdened with the stigma of war. However, in the eyes of the artists, the picture of the war is independent of nationality, and its effects are seen in a completely different way by individuals than by political decision-makers who cast the dice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a program of events prepared in cooperation with the Szczecin branch of the Polish Historical Society, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (organizer of the festival "WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film") and thanks to the authors and producers of the presented documentaries and to the involvement of Szczecin scientists as well as young independent artists. .

Curators: Anna Lew-Machniak, Aleksandra Wilgocka

Cocurators: Małgorzata Machałek, Ewa Kimak 

Organizer: National Museum in Szczecin, Polish Historical Society, Department in Szczecin

Partners: Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, organizer of International Film Festival WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film


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Accompanying Events Schedule (held in Polish)

September 12th, 2018 (Wednesday), 5.00 P.M.
Bleeding border – about former Polish-German border
Dr. Anna Lew-Machniak (lecture accompanying European Heritage Days)


September 20th, 2018 (Thursday), 6.00 P.M.
"Aleppo. Notes taken in the darkness" film release (Poland 2014, directed by Wojciech Szumowski, Michał Przedlacki, produced by Studio Szumowski)
Commentary: Dr. Faud Jomma 

September 25th, 2018 (Tuesday), 5.00 P.M.
Monument for a warrior or pacifistic symbol of death? European monuments of the Great War
Dr. Szymon Kubiak

October 4th, 2018 (Thursday), 5.00 P.M.
Atomic soldiers of freedom. What has been left of the Soviet nuclear head repositories in Poland?
Dr. Grzegorz Kiarszys
"The Source" film release (Poland 2014, directed by Marcin Sauter, produced by Fundacja Bydgoska Kronika Filmowa)

October 16th, 2018 (Tuesday), 5.00 P.M.
Cemeteries of the victims of communism. Results of exhumation examinations from the detention centre in Bialystok
Dr. Iwona Teul
"The Wave" film release (Belgium, France 2012, directed by Katrien Vermeire and Sarah Vanagt, produced by Balthasar)

October 26th, 2018 (Friday), 12.00 at noon and 2.00 P.M.
The faces of war – workshop for secondary schools students (apply at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Dr. Małgorzata Machałek (Polish Historical Society, The University of Szczecin)

November 13th, 2018 (Tuesday), 6.00 P.M.
"Chechnya: War without trace" film release (France 2015, directed by Manon Loizeau, produced by Magneto Press) 
Commentary: Dr. Barbara Patlewicz  

November 20th, 2018 (Tuesday), 5.00 P.M.
From seasonal work to forced labour West Pomerania during two world wars
Dr. Tomasz Ślepowroński 

November 29th, 2018 (Thursday), 5.00 P.M.
Wielkopolska Uprising – an unusual insurrection
Dr. Małgorzata Machałek

November 30th, 2018 (Friday), 6.00
Postbellum Elvin Mazur – audiovisual projection
Invented Landscape Dąbrowski/Mańko - concert


The entrance to all the events is free of charge

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