Mykola Riabchuk, a Senior Research Fellow of the Ethnopolitical Department Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the NAS of Ukraine, took part in the 7th World Congress of Polish Studies in Wroclaw on October 20-23. At its opening session, he delivered a paper on „Rozliczenie się z „kresowoscią”, albo Czy istnieje polska literatura postkolonialna?” (“Farewell to ‘kresementalism’, or Is there any Polish postcolonial literature?”). In his talk, Dr. Riabchuk employed a classical Edward Said’s definition of Orientalism to outline the Polish writing on “kresy” – the idealized eastern borderlands of the historical Rzecz Pospolita. “Kresentymentalism”, in his view, is a way of dominance, restructuring and imaginary restoration of the lost power in the eastern lands by means of remembering and reification in the Polish collective memory.
Postcolonial approach, therefore, can be effectively applied in both the scholarly exploration of Polish-Ukrainian relations and the artistic works insofar as the deconstruction of ethnic myths and stereotypes serves both the cognition and psychotherapy.