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)