Issue No. 4, Vol 106 (2019)

Editorial

Understanding Military Zones in Central and Eastern Europe: Exclusion, Transformation and Research

Studies

From the Intelligence Tower to the Tower of Joy: the Story of Havran in the Former Iron Curtain Buffer Zone
Abstract
The article is a case study of a former military intelligence tower Havran located in Western Bohemia borderland in former Iron Curtain buffer zone. It is focused especially on process of shifting from a military installation, through a ruin, towards a lookout tower and an Iron Curtain memorial. The study is focused on changes of physical structures of the tower and content of the exhibition. The goals are to present an analysis of forming of special type of heritage, to review and discuss processes of the negotiating of the meaning of the landscape, demonstrated on the site with a tower. As methods we used historical archive research, review of internet fora and media articles as a specific data source for the change of the tower, for the exhibition currently located at the lookout tower we did basic qualitative content analysis.
Contested Spaces, Contested Memories: Images of Post-Soviet Military Bases in Reunified Germany
Abstract
When it was decided in the late summer of 1990 that the Soviet troops would withdraw completely from the recently unified Federal Republic of Germany by the end of 1994, the modalities and logistical details of the withdrawal of people and material soon developed into a heated political issue. The ‘Russians’ and the spaces they had occupied since the end of the Second World War quickly became important topics in the newly unified German society, and their impact in this highly dynamic and confusing time cannot be underestimated. In particular, the German mass media played an immensely important role in the public and symbolic imagination of these perpetual ‘strangers’ and their spaces, which were portrayed as requiring an urgent transformation through various processes for them to become ‘German’ again. The article describes the contested public debates about German self-understanding in the 1990s, explains the background leading to this situation, and discusses the immediate and long-term consequences of attributions and categorizations of the ‘Russian’ past.
Tourism as Remembrance Activity: The International Gathering of Military Vehicles in a Post-Military Base in Poland
Abstract
This article intends to explore practices developed within the International Gathering of Military Vehicles ‘Caterpillars and Horseshoes’ in Borne Sulinowo – a former military base in Poland. Focusing on a specific event, I attempt to demonstrate how tourism provides remembrance activities. Because all the practices mentioned in the text below have been established as a result of and in relation to the post-military base, it is also significant to examine how tourist practices developed within the gathering are affected by the materiality of the site.
From Military Sites to Exhibitionary Arenas in Poland and Latvia, 2015–2019
Abstract
In the last years mass tourism has become, alongside with previous forms constituting ‘exhibitionary complex’ (Bennett 2004), an element affecting the formation of cultural institutions. My analysis derives from material foundations, namely specific and comparable post-military objects and territories in Poland and Latvia. The common denominator of the post-military territories presented in the text is the fact that all of them have become a peculiar ‘exhibitionary arena’. I attempt to demonstrate that post-military territories which bear resemblance with respect to former functions and infrastructure, i.e. size and passage of time since their establishment, condition and substantiality, are currently going through various processes of transformation. Within these processes they have been ascribed with different values which are created by practices (including, among others, ‘spatial stories’) transforming sites into ‘exhibitionary arenas’. I supplement institutional forms related to ‘exhibitionary complex’ – e.g. museums, galleries, panoptica, world exhibitions – with contemporary tourist practices which transform the forms established by more traditional exhibiting institutions. The present analysis is based on four examples of grand post-military objects (established in 19th and 20th century) transformed with the use of diverse techniques and now serving functions of non-military character. While comparing former post-military objects and territories ( three of them were used as bases of the Soviet Army during the Cold war period) I demonstrate how these sites became transformed into ‘exibitionary arenas’ of different types. Significantly, this process has been occurring during the ‘participatory turn’ period and increasing amounts of tourists (‘overtourism’), who tend to identify and even establish new tourist destinations and places ‘worth visiting’.

News

On the position of foreign Czechs in bilateral relations
Abstract
Zpráva o jednání u kulatého stolu na půdě Senátu PČR dne 7. září 2019 na téma Úloha a místo zahraničních Čechů v bilaterálních vztazích

Reviews

Michal Babiak – Jaroslav Blecha – Juraj Hamar, Slovenský loutkář 1928
Václav Lábus – Daniel Vrblík, Toponyma v krajině a možnosti jejich výzkumu
Ludvík Baran – Jitka Staňková, Poklady lidového umění