When Pierre Nora claimed that there are no real milieux de mémoire in contemporary France, he encouraged researchers to analyze lieux de mémoire, which, according to him, are the sole remains of the past. But what if there are still some social groups for which the past is a living space – societies that guarantee the transmission and preservation of collectively remembered values? Basing on the findings of the project Milieux de mémoire in Central and Eastern Europe. A Polish Case, Zuzanna Bogumił argues that there are still some communities in Poland which find themselves in a memory situation radically different from that of the Western societies usually researched in memory studies. The memories of these groups function in a religious frame of memory, i.e. their memories need to adapt to the religious frameworks in order to be preserved throughout time. In her paper, Zuzanna Bogumił explains how milieux de mémoire survived in Poland, what are and how do religious frames of memory function, and, based on empirical material collected during field research in 2015 and 2016, she portrays the significance of the impact of milieux de mémoire for the memory situation in Poland.
Dr. Zuzanna Bogumił is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist at the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw. Her research has dealt with Gulag memory and the memory of the new Russian martyrs in Russia. She is currently coordinating the project Milieux de mémoire in Central and Eastern Europe. A Polish Case, sponsored by the Polish National Science Centre (2013-2018). She is author of the book Pamięć Gułagu (Gulag Memory, 2012), and main author of Enemy on Display: The Second World War in Eastern European Museums (2015). She has also published in Kultura i Społeczeństwo, Polish Sociological Review or Europe-Asia Studies.