Miasta podzielone; integracja; kontakty transgraniczne
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
G. Kubica, H. Rusek (red.), "Granice i pogranicza : państw, grup, dyskursów... : perspektywa antropologiczna i socjologiczna" (S. 195-215). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Giving the rivers like Olza, Odra or Nysa Łużycka, that flow through Cieszyn, Frankfurt
and Guben, the functions of the state borders, just after the First or the Second World
War, led to coming into being of independent cities (Czech Cieszyn, Slubice, Gubin)
that have become part of the neighboring countries. Over the next few decades the
pairs of cities separated by borders have developed independently of each other. It was
not until the 1990s that a new chapter in their history and in their mutual relations
has been opened.
The aim of the article is to show the changes currently taking place in the border
areas of the selected twin cities. Rivers that are passing through those cities, according
to the current pro-European integration trends, have become their symbolic places. They
support creating twin cities spaces of the new quality and organizing common plays and
celebrations. Taking part in those events in the ethnically mixed groups encourages renewing
contacts and establishing new ones between people on both sides of the border.
The paper is illustrated by some examples of the activities that took place at border
bridges and twin town river quays before and after their accession to the EU structures.
Contemporary events and projects that weaken the role of the state border as a barrier
will be also discussed. Nowadays, border bridges facilitate contacts between the foreign
neighbors. I will describe actions and initiatives that cause border areas to periodically
function as the city centre and to become a special area of intercultural relations.