Abstract

The article discusses historical memory in a municipal community on the example of Lublin with the aid of Pierre Nora’s concept of lieu de mémoire augmented by David Carr’s phenomenological philosophy of history. More specifically, the city’s past is explored as a constitutive element of the present at different levels: from a phenomenological one, through symbolic and self-reflective levels. The phenomenological and symbolic levels of the past with their relevant “sites of memory” in the city aid in creating a sense of continuity and attachment to place. What compliments them is a reflective level that assists in elevating the past to a constitutive part of a community’s identity. Certain circumstances or events can heighten a community’s self-awareness and provoke a higher degree of reflection. The last part of the article will primarily explore how Lublin’s participation in the competition for the Polish edition of the European Capital of Culture of 2016 drew upon a number of seminal currents of cultural and historical memory to help define the city’s identity.

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