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Near East

Białowieża, Poland – 15-05-2013. Young Dutch scientist catching and studying moths on the grounds of Białowieża Geobotanical Station. Unique qualities of Białowieża Forest, an UNESCO site, attract scientists and researchers from all-over the world.

Near East, photo essay by Dawid Zieliński

Near East. Landscape changes in Eastern Poland.

Podlasie region in Eastern Poland has for long been considered very traditional part of the country, with small towns and villages dotting mostly rural landscape, where farming communities and small-scale industry provide jobs and stability.

Several years ago however, that image started to evolve following profound social and economical changes made possible by two developments.

First has been the technological revolution that swept through the world reaching even the most remote places, and allowing people constant internet access at their fingertips. Even though this revolution is very much ongoing, we can already see its effect on the way people, especially young people, communicate, learn, play, or just see the world around them.

Second development is Poland joining the European Union in 2004 and starting to receive unprecedented funding directed largely at infrastructure, environment, and agriculture.
These changes acted as a catalyst for what I believe is serious transformation of Polish landscape.

Young people emigrate to large cities and abroad, seeking better educational or employment opportunities, inevitably changing social structure of small towns and villages. Man’s relationship to Nature is beeing altered by growing environmental consciousness and strict EU policies introduced.

Information is reaching people faster than ever, allowing quick dispersion of models in various fields, such as arts, culture, fashion to name only a few.
We are yet to see what the new Polish landscape will become, but my aim is to follow this transformation as it is taking place.

(by Dawid Zieliński)

Brok, Poland – 29-08-2015. Record-low water levels in the Bug river exposed the remains of World War I steamboat, instantly becoming a brief tourist attraction.
Hajnówka, Poland – 28-07-2012. Punk rock concert in Hajnówka town. Various kinds of rock music are becoming more and more popular locally.
Białowieża, Poland – 12-09-2013. Signs of grazing on the outskirts of Bialowieza National Park.
Białowieża, Poland – 24-09-2013. International group of biodiversity workshop participants explore forestry techniques. Unique qualities of Białowieża Forest, an UNESCO site, attract scientists and researchers from all-over the world.
Pogorzelce, Poland – 07-06-2013. Rusty swing at an overgrown playground. Following young people’s emigration most of the villagers are middle-aged or elderly.
Puchły, Poland – 13-07-2013. Residents of Puchły village awaiting the arrival of Belarussian guests in front of an Orthodox church. Most of locals have family or friends accross the border.
Waśki, Poland – 12-05-2013. Newly opened village community center received blessing from both Catholic and Orthodox priests. the center had been finished with the help of EU funds shortly before the opening and paint on the walls was not entirely dry, so the rest of the celebrations were performed outside. Most locals are Orthodox Christians and consider themselves Belarussian minority.
Pasieki, Poland – 24-07-2015. Tomek and Kuba are preparing the setting for evening film screenings on the outskirst of Pasieki village. Podlasie region is now beeing rediscovered by urban dwellers, and often considered a perfect getaway.
Teremiski, Poland – 16-08-2013. Local residents and visitors attend a concert held in a barn. Since 2004 Katarzyna nad Paweł Winiarscy have been hosting concerts and theater performances offering a high-end community center in a rural setting.

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Dawid Zieliński

Born in 1978. Based in Kraków. Graduated from Jagiellonian University with a degree in Geography.

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