To all those in between

photographed in Poland (2014 – 2018)





Have the Poles divided themselves in recent years, or perhaps they have never been a relatively homogeneous group, and the increasing temperature of political events only highlights these lines of division? Or maybe they were just different, but living in relative harmony in the same neighborhood fenced by state borders, with a common set of basic symbols? Whatever the case is, unity is a myth of the ‘good old days’ that never existed. As a reference point for assessing today’s events, this myth is completely useless.
The image of Poland broken in two parts with a front separating two parties fighting with each other for years is also untrue. This narrative, although attractive and seemingly explaining a lot, was invented by politicians for the current needs. Polarization looks elegant, but it will not help to understand contemporary social processes. Current changes are more entropic in nature. In fact, in reality there are much more internal cracks, lines of contention or indeed war fronts. They run in different directions and there are more and more of them.

Poland today is a reminiscent of an archipelago, and it is the politicians, the Catholic Church, publicists, as well as citizens themselves who draw the coastlines of islands and islets. For now, these small lands are moving away from each other and it is hard not to feel helpless when trying to answer the question, is the opposite movement still possible? At the same time, it is not diversity that is dangerous, but the depth of the divisions. After reaching an emotional limit, they can be (or already are?) impossible to be buried. A line, across which people have simply been different, are now hostile.

What connects Poles today but basic things like place of residence, citizenship, hymn and flag? What are the symbolic values ​​that will allow different groups to live side by side? What principals? Will it be possible to find a project that common citizens with less and less trust, agree to build? And finally – are we still a society or just a patchwork of different groups of bad emotions and personal interest?

Photographs of Adrian Wykrota do not answer any of these questions – leaving this hard work to the viewer. The author looks at Polishness as a witness, not a sage who serves ready solutions on a tray. He does not enter the romantic narration – he looks at Poland more with the eyes of Hrabal than Mickiewicz or Norwid. The photographs are like postcards from the islands of the Polish archipelago. These little lands can be arranged differently on their own map, the photographer gives a choice. The chapters that refer to the places (HERE) and the processes that result in the divisions (RIGHT) can be used as a guide in this puzzle. The whole is covered by the title ‘NOT’, which can express not only the author’s critical attitude to reality, which would be too simple, but also refers to such Polish national vices as stubbornness, denial of good solutions, lack of cooperation or lack of care for relationships.

Jerzy Piątek





title: NIE-NOT

photographs: Adrian Wykrota

design: Bękarty

text: Jerzy Piątek

wording: Anna Molter

photo retouching: IEVA AUSTINSKAITE

publisher: PIX.HOUSE / Adrian Wykrota

format: 25 × 18 cm, unfolded: 25×70 cm / 42 photographs

edition: 250 pieces basic version / 250 pieces author’s version

cover: hardcover

language: Polish / English



price: 30€ + 10€ shipping (EU)