Niederschlesien, Niederschläsing, Dolní Slezsko, Dolny Ślůnsk, Silesia Inferior, aka Dolny Śląsk. The quintessential Europe. The region which has as many names as identities. Or go back – its identity is something fluent, overlapping, ever changing, and emergent. It doesn’t conform to the framework of national identities, it does not conform to the scheme of borderlines.
Every single square meter of this region changed hands countless number of times.Last time it happened in 1945, after the WWII, when it became a part of Poland.
Or go back again – last time it happened in 1989, right after the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. The region was abandoned by the state, became a subject of the bold experiment of liberal capitalism – and it is not entirely clear whether it will recover anytime soon.
It was my first visit there – going back in summer.
Technology equals empowerment. And empowered by the camera (a new Sony, A6300) that I acquired especially for shooting in difficult conditions in Singapore (more soon) I experimented with some semi-astro photography.
And that was a blast – without any major effort one can expose successfully quite a chunk of a night sky, plus everything below, in detail. Understanding what you actually managed to frame out there, in the cosmos, is another thing, but pleasure was immense.
By the way – this is not a Super Moon, as one could suspect. Just a regular one.
It didn’t happened overnight, but it did. You might have noticed that I’ve become one of them – dirt bikers. Since my old Honda is not capable of any high speed, high power extravaganza, I tend to stay on the sluggish side – but can’t stop thinking of switching to something of a higher number of hp.
Yes, it’s like an addiction.
All pictures taken with the first iteration of Sony RX100, the best pocket photo camera ever (this blog is not supported by Sony).
Invisible cities. The metropolis of Damascus, intellectual hub of Aleppo, steamy waterfronts Latakia, winding streets of tiny Ma’loula – places that are now suspended in semi-being, the state of war-not-war, bombed and raided again and again, waiting for a good change that will never come. Syria, the country that several decades ago was cut out, as many other in the region, along pencil drawn lines that didn’t reflect historical divisions – now is being disassembled, erased, smudged out of the Middle East map, making millions of honest and hard working people refugees for life.
I took those pictures almost 20 years ago, during the first visit to the place where all the paths of our civilization used to cross, where three great religions were born and matured, before falling into doctrines, solidifying into blocks of religions. It was one of the constitutive experiences of my life.
I went to Syria again, couple years later, only to find the same open, hospitable people. I went again to meet friends. Are they still there? How many members of their families are still alive?
I took these pictures in 1995, during my first, mind blowing, visit to New York City and New Orleans. Then I spent countless hours in the darkroom at the University of Marie Curie-Sklodowska, playing with grain, tonal ranges, experimenting with over-magnification, fighting with old and heavy Soviet made enlargers.
Pure fun. Or no – a kind of meditation rather. And I miss this analogue, deeply physical routine.