From 24 September to 1 October 2023, Natolin students of the Madeleine Albright Promotion departed for their first semester study trips, occurring under the theme "Borderlands: Peripheries have much to teach the center". The destinations and topics explored during the trips were the following:
- "Galicia – a laboratory of myths"
- "The many Silesias – identities, memories, transitions"
- "Podlasie-Suwalszczyzna, the Belarusian-Lithuanian-Polish borderlands – coexistence in a multicultural mosaic"
The study trips are an integral part of the academic programme of the Department of European Interdisciplinary Studies. To learn more about the different destinations and topics of the previous study trips organized for Natolin students, click here.
"Podlasie-Suwalszczyzna, the Belarusian-Lithuanian-Polish borderlands – Coexistence in a Multicultural Mosaic"
During the Study Trip to the borderlands Podlasie and Suwalszczyzna, the Natolin students explored the history and contemporary heritage of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the past one of the most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse regions on the continent, the exploration of these borderlands allowed for a fundamental critical reflexion on the commonly used notions of borders, nations, territories and ethnicities. Amongst main key sites, the trip visited Białystok (a city that historically attracted people from abroad and today a main centers of the life of Belarusian diaspora in Poland), as well as Jewish heritage in Sejny, the Białowieża National Park, Lipka Tatar cultural sites, and more.
"The Many Silesias – Identities, Memories, Transitions"
This study trip unraveled the depths of Silesia, along with its multiple identities, economic transitions, and non-obvious historical and contemporary trajectories, which make it a model example of a Borderland. Embarking on this trip meant plunging into the historical and contemporary intricacies of Wrocław, Opole, and Upper Silesia. The trip visited Katowice, the Guido Coal mine, the Lutheran Church of Divine Providence in Wrocław, and also met with interlocutors at both the University of Katowice, and the University of Wrocław.
"The Myth of Galicia"
Galicia, once a region with its particular identity and culture covering the contemporary south-east Poland and south-west Ukraine, is now a historical region condemned to oblivion but an invaluable example of the coexistence between Poles, Ukrainians, Austrians and the Jewish and Roma communities.
During the journey to Galicia, students explored the most important cities of the region. They were introduced to the importance of the Galician myth for Austrians, Poles, Ukrainians, as well as its meaning in Jewish and Roma culture. The study trip also covered the economic significance of the region which the students discovered in Bóbrka, visiting the Museum of Oil and Gas Industry. Later visits to Łańcut and Przemyśl exposed the importance of coexistence of minorities in historical Galicia and allowed the discovery of how this peaceful era ended with the two World Wars.
Check out images from the study trips on our Flickr: