Coming to terms with communist propaganda: post-communism, memory and generation

2016-09-21T12:53:00Z (GMT) by Sylwia Szostak Sabina Mihelj
This article has two main aims. First, it seeks to contribute to existing research on the mediation of post-communist memory by considering the Polish case and specifically by focusing on audience memories of an iconic television series produced in communist Poland, Four Tankmen and a Dog (TVP, 1966-1970), set during World War Two. Second, the article pays particular attention to the generational stratification of audience memories, and thereby makes a contribution to recent literature that examines the links between generation and mediated remembering. The analysis draws on life-course interviews with viewers of two different generations, conducted in Poland in 2014. The results indicate that the ways in which Polish audiences remember communist-era programming, and specifically the extent to which they perceive such programming as propaganda, vary significantly with generation. We argue that these differences stem from generationally-specific experiences in the past, which gave rise to distinct modes of engaging with the communist era and its heritage.