Have You Ever Travelled on a Polish Passport…?!” – Reflections in Women’s Writing on the Experience of Transnational Movement Post 1989

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Sabina Fiebig, University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, mobility within Eastern Europe was strongly restricted and required either political authorisation or considerable risk, hence mobility itself and studies on mobility were limited. The post 1989 transition of East-Central Europe has however provided new opportunities for legal transnational movement. Contemporary mobility growth, in the region has significantly changed migration patterns in comparison to those of the past. Currently, a feminization of migration is being mapped. This paper focuses on Eastern European women’s reflections on the experience of transnational movement post 1989, combining selected examples of women’s writing, such as novels, memoirs and autobiographies, in which the notion of migration (movement, trip and/or displacement) is present (texts by i.e. Izabela Filipiak, Manuela Gretkowska, Olga Tokarczuk, Kapka Kassabova, Vesna Maric, Maryna Lewicka, Dubravka Ugresic). The paper recognizes post-colonial theory and neo-colonial discourse as useful tools in analysing post-communist cultures and challenging national, cultural and gendered bias. This paper therefore investigates to what extent the cultural and ideological legacy of the Soviet imperialism on the one hand, and the relationship to the West as the alternative dominant power during, and after, the Cold War on the other, have shaped Eastern European women’s identities and how these interdependencies colour the experience of transnational movement. I wish to explore how the experience of transnational movement in terms of crossing of geographical, cultural, as well as emotional, boundaries affects the concept of identity and subjectivity. Identity and subjectivity, and its development, will be understood as a fusion of different multi-layered interrelations, following the feminist precept of ‘intersubjectivity’. Further, I am interested in motives of belonging, home, language and memory(including the notion of Nostalgia and boundaries of memory).