Lost In Transit?
Notes From Poland
‘Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism, but criticism can come out of love.’ - Robert Frank
'Lost in Transit?' is an ongoing project I started working on in Poland, my homeland, during the summer months of 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The body of work that emerged from my wanderings with a camera, documenting protests, political rallies, religious processions and daily life, does not have a pretence to tell a complete story or paint a conclusive portrait of my country of birth. It is, undoubtedly, very fragmentary in nature. Yet, it is my hope that these fragments, small observations I made, will offer a tiny glimpse of insight to a complex, multi-dimensional socio-political, historical and cultural landscape of the troubled country with its proud, resilient and infuriatingly divided nation. My work could also be seen as an attempt to elevate the story of the ‘underdog’, the alleged ‘strange, cold, grey forgotten land’ situated in the very heart of Europe, whose tragic, difficult past and perspective is often non-existent in the wider public consciousness, misunderstood or goes by unacknowledged in the dominant Western narratives.
Besides shining light on the land of those, whose voices frequently remain unheard, this project is my subjective and critical commentary on Poland’s here and now, in 2020, personal response and expression of concern over an increased polarisation of the Polish society, the rise of populism and fear-driven culture wars fuelled by the anti-LGBT, anti-refugee, anti-EU rhetoric by the state media, ruling right-wing, conservative Law and Justice party, its incumbent president Andrzej Duda and leaders of the Catholic Church. It is a bitter-sweet tale of a country that has undergone an extraordinary transformation over the last three decades since it shed the shackles of the Soviet communist regime and sailed into free-market democracy, yet it is frequently seen now as regressing and undermining these hard-won achievements. Is Poland a package that got LOST IN TRANSIT?