Kresy /2019

photographic prints, series of 10

The Kresy (Borderlands in Polish) territories were the Eastern part of Poland before WWII. For almost 80 years now, these territories have constituted parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania but in contemporary Polish culture, there is still a strong nostalgic sentiment towards them.

This album was sold online as “a beautiful old photo album from Kresy, the kind you don't get nowadays. It comes from the 1930/40s. The twine is missing.” How accurate is this description? It's hard to tell, something seems off to me (except for the twine - it’s definitely missing, no doubt about that). There were no photos in the album - only their pencilled descriptions, probably the album owner figured out he would make more money selling photos separately.

An old album with all the photos removed becomes a space of imagination instead of a space of memory and remembrance - just like the Kresy territories themselves in the public imagination are perceived as a mythologized space rather than a real geographic territory.