- January 31, 2013
Vilnius Region: objects – stories – reflections – a scientific publication
Yesterday (January 30th) a presentation of the book Vilnius Region: objects – stories – reflections took place in a relaxed and familiar atmosphere at the Vilnius House of Polish Culture. The meeting was organised by the Polish Students Club in Lithuania.
“We wanted to see how people receive history. On the basis of what they remember, we would like to show the twists and turns in Polish-Lithuanian relations throughout history and to determine which events are more likely to be remembered”, said Jarosław Vabalis, one of the researchers and the host of the meeting. One of the objectives of his work was to see how history influences international relations.
The book was written on the basis of ethnological research conducted last autumn among the local society of Trakai and its surroundings. The research was realised within the framework of an international project called “SMALL PIECES, BIG HISTORIES” with participation of Ethnology and cultural anthropology students from University of Wroclaw.
As the host of the meeting explained, the research was conducted with the use of objects. “Objects are connected with people and you can learn a lot about a person from what he or she owns”, emphasised Vabalis.
By using this method the students came across some amusing situations. “In one village we asked an elder if he had any valuable objects. The man got really frightened and said he didn’t. So basically you need to know whom to ask and how to ask” – said Vabalis.
Generally, all the students enjoyed the ethnological expedition. They were all welcomed wholeheartedly by the dwellers. “I was actually surprised that in this day and age people opened their doors to strangers”, admitted one of the students.
The book consists of 9 chapters and each article is co-written by two authors. Only one article was co-written by as many as four people. The whole book is 187 pages long. Six of its authors are members of the Polish Students Club in Lithuania.
Tłumaczenie Aleksandra Christ w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Christ the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.