Kuba Dąbrowski’s photograph depicts everyday life during the transition period.
At the start of his artistic career, photographer and blogger Kuba Dąbrowski explored ways to describe everyday life, personal experiences, and places he had visited. He wished to acquaint himself with the landscapes, architecture and light of Poland, in order to:
During the 2014 exhibition A Drama Feature Film of Polish Production at Warsaw’s Zachęta gallery, the photographer presented pictures taken over twenty years. Pride of place was given to Białystok, his home town. In one interview, Dąbrowski admitted that he still introduces himself by saying: ‘I come from Białystok, but live in Warsaw’. It was where he was brought up, spent his childhood, and played football in the local neighbourhood.
This photograph from Dąbrowski’s archive shows an improvised local football pitch in a muddy patch between high-rise blocks, a permanent feature of the 1990s’ Polish landscape. The photographer documented the scenery of the transition period, of which almost no trace remains barely a decade later. Muddy waste ground was replaced by fenced football pitches, specially designed parks, and squares paved with concrete. Drab buildings received colourful plasterwork facelifts, and local shops were replaced by chain stores.
Dąbrowski recorded the atmosphere of that decade of colour magazines, video cassettes, TV and fast food; a period filled with ambitions and dreams, as well as apprehension about the future. His photographs reveal the old scenery of communist-era Poland, as well as young people infused with new energy.
Originally written in Polish, translated by AG, edited by MB, Dec 2018