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  • 21

    The Evolution of Antigypsyism in Poland: From Ritual Scapegoat to Surrogate Victims to Racial Hate Speech and Structural Stigmatization?

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speaker: Slawomir Kapralski, the Pedagogical University of Kraków (Poland).

    Chair: Kimmo Granqvist, Södertörn University.

    Discussant: David Gaunt, Södertörn University

    Building my argument on the analysis of two cases of anti-Roma violence (Oświęcim 1981 and Mława 1991), I would like to search for a pattern of evolution of antigypsyism in Poland. In the 1980s, the ambiguous stereotype of Roma, has been giving way to the picture of Roma as a convenient scapegoat to be blamed
    for the insecurity and economic hardships. This shift in the stereotypical image of Roma, together with the specific “management of discontent” performed by the communist authorities, prompted pogrom-like outbreaks of anti-Roma violence in the towns of Konin and Oświęcim. Similar attacks on Roma have taken
    place again in the beginning of the next decade, already in post-communist Poland. The mob aggression against Roma in the town of Mława in 1991, although retained many features of the earlier acts of violence, has already represented a new pattern in which Roma personified the fears associated with the
    transformation toward neoliberal capitalist economy. This new pattern of perception has provided fertile ground for the racialization of the anti-Roma discourse which I intend to trace down in the most contemporary instances of hate speech against Roma. This section of my talk will be based on the results of the EVZ-funded project The Fight Against Antisemitism and Antigypsyism in Poland: Monitoring, Intervention, Education that I am coordinating for the Association of Roma People in Poland. In addition to the analysis of the racialized antigypsyist discourse, I will also discuss hidden or “structural” antigypsyism that is often involved in
    various “integration” programs and contributes to further stigmatization of Roma.

    Slawomir Kapralski, Professor of Sociology at the Pedagogical University of Kraków and a recurrent
    visiting lecturer at the Centre for Social Studies operated by Lancaster University and Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow where he also received his Ph.D. in Sociology and started his academic career. Then he was for many years associated with the Central European University (Prague, Warsaw, Budapest). In 2013-2014 he was Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and in 2016-2017 he was Senior EURIAS Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala. His research focuses on nationalism, ethnicity and identity, collective memory, antisemitism and the Holocaust, and the Roma communities in Europe. He is a member of the Gypsy Lore Society, and the European Academic Network on Romani Studies. Among others, he is the author of a monograph A Nation from the Ashes. The Memory of Genocide and Roma Identity (2012, in Polish) and a number of articles and chapters that discuss the aftermath and commemoration of the Roma genocide.

    Tid och plats

    När: måndag 21 maj kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University

    Arrangeras av: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska