photos Jacenty Dędek
text Katarzyna Dędek
As usual, we set off too late.
Jacenty, lured by the light diffused in the early morning mist, or rather by what was beginning to emerge from that mist, decided to stop and prowl about the place a little.
Town hall; PKS bus-stop; and a shop: ‘Success’, proffering school textbooks, toys and shoes. Further on, a lame dog in front of the prosthodontist’s. A card in the window of the ‘Fantasy’ florist reads: ‘Please ring the bell. Thank you.’
At the bus-stop, three men with carrier bags. One of them, in a peak cap, is lighting a cigarette. Before he can finish it, they all disappear into the bus that arrives.
It’s empty again. Jackdaws land on the street.
Thirteen minutes after six. The sun is in Virgo. The day will last twelve hours and forty-six minutes.
This is how the journey began, one of the many on which we embarked in the space of six and a half years, from the beginning of 2011 to mid-2017, gathering material to tell the story of the Polish provinces. We wanted to discover it and record it.
This album is the final stage along the way, tangible evidence of what we saw, of what we encountered.
We had no particular criteria, save that there should be photographs from every province, from towns of no more than 30,000 inhabitants. In all, we visited 421 places and took over nine thousand pictures.
The portraits of people were to be accompanied by ‘portraits of places’, photographs expressing the space our heroes inhabited.
What were we looking for?
Perhaps what interested us most was a particular sundering between the old and the new. We had a strange feeling that something had already ended, or was ending right before our eyes, but the new had not yet quite begun.
That the provinces were strangely suspended.
What is the truth about the Polish provinces?
About these little towns, villages, hamlets?
Everyone will discover for themselves what they are able to perceive.
In this journey through Poland, we wanted our guides to be the people we met.