The mining waters (on the left) enter Sztoła’s riverbed in December (Source: Daniel Sztork, 2021)
Place Loss and Re-Negotiating Local Water Heritage

The Case of Sztoła River, Bukowno, Poland





The history of the Sztoła River in Poland provides important insight into how the industrial use of a river can ultimately lead to the disappearance of the water source, the river itself, affecting culture and everyday practices in local communities. It is an example of negative heritage, where the preservation of surface water is neglected as it does not match official narratives of the local mining traditions and social values. Because the river is not considered an important component of local culture, decision makers expected that the local community would accept the ‘‘liquidation of a river.’’ However, the anthropogenic drying up of the Sztoła received much attention on social media as people lost the opportunity for nature-based leisure activities. The local community’s vivid responses on social media and activist interventions are examples of engagement with heritage “in the making” – standing up for the values that have not so far been recognized.

How to Cite

Tusznio, J., & Strzelecka, M. (2022). Place Loss and Re-Negotiating Local Water Heritage: The Case of Sztoła River, Bukowno, Poland. Blue Papers, 1(1), 129–137.





methodologies and case studies

Author Biographies

Joanna Tusznio, Jagiellonian University

Environmental sociologist, working in an interdisciplinary social science research team in the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She studies human-nature relations in the Anthropocene with special focus on the perspective of local societies, their reaction to environmental changes and loss, and participation in nature conservation. Her current research considers the role of anthropogenic landscapes and post-nature to human well-being, and the coexistence of human and wildlife in urban (wild boar) and rural (European bison) areas.

Marianna Strzelecka, Linnaeus University

Her work draws from the fields of political science, sociology, psychology and political ecology to shed light on sociocultural aspects of the relationships between communities of place and local ‘‘natures’’, and how tourism makes it possible to renegotiate these relationships. Marianna works with concepts of justice, empowerment and nature stewardship. While she holds an associate professor position at Linnaeus University in Sweden, she is also affiliated with the Environmental Social Science Research Team at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, where she is looking into the role of tourism and outdoors recreation in shaping human-nature relationships.


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