This essay explores a body of 340 poems created by political prisoners who were accused of and imprisoned for anti-state activity in late 1940s and 1950s Stalinist Poland. Evaluating prison poetry as a historical source, I understand the process of composing a poem as the result of a prisoner’s need to document the world around her/himself, as a psychological activity that contained diffi cult prison experiences, as a negotiation of emotional and often conflicting states, and as a social practice through which prison poets affected themselves and the people around them. Situated somewhere at the intersection of the personal and political, poetry became one of the most powerful sites of resistance. In addition to evaluating prison poetry as a historical source, this essay also explores gender differences and similarities in the body of 340 poems discussed here and in the social function of the prison poems.
The Poetry of Male and Female Political Prisoners in Postwar Poland
.95 (paperback). ISBN 978-1-941830-38-3 This small book of 78 pages including short essays and a few poems could easily escape attention if one did not recognize the authors’ powerful message. In short form, they present the essence of what unites indigenous
The Social Evolution of Alterman's “Don't You Give Them Guns”
Nathan Alterman's poem “Don't You Give Them Guns” echoed European post–World War I anti-war literature. Curiously, the poem turned into a key text in a ritual instituted by members of the elite Jewish underground fighting force, the Palmach, which was established during World War II. This article is an attempt to understand how a pacifist poem came to be used by Jewish-Israeli soldiers at the heart of the 1948 War of Independence. In terms of theory, the analysis dwells on the relations between text and social context, arguing that alternative social ideas conceal themselves in poetry and other literary forms. These texts can be likened to undercurrents that preserve hidden social concerns. To follow the changing role of such texts, the article considers the fate of “Don't You Give Them Guns” from its birth in 1934 to its later manifestations in the early twenty-first century.
After our Winter 2013 special issue, which contained 17 articles focusing intently on all (or almost all) aspects of the family in Israel, we have changed lenses and are presenting quite a bit of variety in this issue. We start off with Efrat Ben-Ze’ev’s provocative article “Hidden Scripts: The Social Evolution of Alterman’s ‘Don’t You Give Them Guns,’” which investigates the transformation in meaning of that single phrase in Israeli society as a whole, but particularly the poem’s significance in the annual commemoration ceremony held by a specific Palmach unit. It is a fascinating exploration of meaning using the tools of an anthropologist.
For centuries poetry was the most important arts genre in Central Asia. In order to be recognised as a member of the educated classes, it was obligatory to learn hundreds of poems. Even the Soviet regime (1922-1991) exploited the Uzbek people's love of poetry for its own political ends - the propagation of communist ideology. However, linked to the processes of globalisation, interest in poetry has diminished considerably in Uzbekistan over the past several years. People have become less attracted to the romance of poetry than to actual business, benefits and material values. To modern Uzbek society, poems come only in the form of lyrics for popular music. Globalisation has made poetry a minor genre among the Uzbek arts. To be a poet had been a respected profession for centuries. Now it has lost its prestige, as former poets turn to other occupations.
Markku Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui in Siberia and the Circumpolar World
Starting with instructional films about Finnish forestry in the 1970s, Markku Lehmuskallio has taken his cinematic vision progressively northward. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Leh mus kallio started intensive work among the Nenets, ultimately collaborating with Anastasia Lapsui to make remarkable “film poems“ among northern peoples at the edges of the world. Perhaps most impressive of their extensive Giron Film productions are the awardwinning Seven Songs of the Tundra (2000) and Earth Evocation (2009). This review essay focuses on their methods of representation of northern, native peoples over the course of their filmmaking career.
Muslim Women and Public Writing in Habsburg Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918)
This article focuses on the public writings of Muslim women in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Habsburg period. From the beginning of the twentieth century, several Muslim women, mainly schoolgirls and teachers at Sarajevo's Muslim Female School, started for the first time to write for Bosnian literary journals, using the Serbo-Croatian language written in Latin or Cyrillic scripts. Before the beginning of World War I, a dozen Muslim women explored different literary genres—the poem, novel, and social commentary essay. In the context of the expectations of a growing Muslim intelligentsia educated in Habsburg schools and of the anxieties of the vast majority of the Muslim population, Muslim women contested late Ottoman gender norms and explored, albeit timidly, new forms of sisterhood, thus making an original contribution to the construction of a Bosnian, post-Ottoman public sphere.
The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986
as the Spanish war myth was disseminated in the West, local Communists in Palestine/Israel also used poems as a way to convey aspects of the war. The Poets of the War Myth The Spanish Civil War penetrated into the lives of Communists in Palestine
How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture
Adrienne M. Harris
depictions appeared within months: Margarita Aliger’s narrative poem “Zoia: Poema” (Zoia: A poem), written between July and September 1942, 3 E. I. Chichaeva’s Ne zabyt’ nam veki-poveki: Svetloi pamiati Geroia Sovetskogo Soiuza Z. A. Kosmodem’ianskoi (Don
), 1931. Poems that appeared only on the pages of Bulgarian periodicals are also included, as well as works from the author's archive, unpublished during her life. Belcheva's poetic heritage is presented against its current cultural and historical context