Danuta Glondys

is the director of Villa Decius Association as well as consultant and lecturer in cultural management and civil society development. Formerly director of USAID local government partnership programme and head of the Culture Department of Krakow Municipality. She is chair of the National Committee of European Cultural Foundation and member of the international jury of EC for selecting and monitoring European Capitals of Culture (2006-2011).


Breaking the bonds of national mythology

Memory and European citizenship

In many European countries, post-war nationhood has been built on myths of general resistance against fascism, often combined with a nationally framed approach to history that clashes with those of neighbouring states. Politics of memory play a role in conflicts between fellow EU states and former enemies such as Poland and Germany, but also countries like Sweden and Switzerland have yet to come to terms with their recent past. What is the role of intellectuals in disputes over contested history and can cross-border journalism build an element of real universality into the European project? Shouldn’t a European citizenship worthy of its name include the right and duty of everyone, regardless of nationality and background, to treat issues of historical guilt and suffering on a transnational basis? Swedish journalist Arne Ruth met Polish cultural theorist Danuta Glondys in Warsaw to discuss Memory and European citizenship. Moderated by Wojciech Przybylski, editor of Res Publica Nowa.

Devotion to “historical truth” can become an easy target for political manipulation. Deconstruction of national myths does not equate to destruction, but rather the rethinking and rearranging of the symbolic meaning of history.