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This is the story of displacement and absurdity and senselessness of imaginary lines that borders are, and hostile and violent politics through memories and photographic experience. Back and forth...from the playground of woodlands to darkness of a deathtrap of Polish-Belarusian border to the playground of photographic darkroom.
The woods were always a place of leisure and fun. The place of learning and exploring, finding new paths and ways or getting lost. And a place of peacefulness… But there are other woods. The woods where people are stranded and trapped. Where people are worse off than animals. Left forgotten, helpless and without any hope. Left slowly dying of cold, tiredness, lack of medical care or even food. Left on no one’s land in the woods between Polish-Belarusian border. Hiding or being pushed back over the border line by either side. Their only crime is searching for better life without poverty, violence or any forms of oppression or discrimination. The woods are evil...and crisis continues to deepen.(*)
My photographic practice is like walking through the woods. Sometimes choosing well known paths, sometimes blindly searching for new ones, experimenting, getting lost...but always having fun. The darkroom is my playground where no one is illegal...and everyone is welcome.
Pictures taken with 3d printed 35mm pinhole camera between october 2021 and march 2022 in the woodlands near my hometown. Lith printed in my home darkroom. C-type prints available on request (money shared with organizations providing humanitarian aid on Polish-Belarusian border (Grupa Granica, Fundacja Ocalenie) and others supporting refugees across any/all borders.
Exhibited as an installation at TSS Gallery as part of a group show [this-place-meant] (last 2 pictures)
*The crisis on Polish-Belarusian border is being widely reported by Grupa Granica, Fundacja Ocalenie, No Borders Team and few other organizations working and providing aid at the border (but also shortly by The Guardian (Nov’22))