The photographer has been documenting the area of the Gdansk Shipyard for thirteen years.
Michał Szlaga started taking photographs of the shipyard in 2000. He had a workshop in the building of the former head office, and later even bought a flat with a view on the Monument to the fallen Shipyard Workers, which commemorates the events of December 1970.
The photographer initially intended to show how the area of the former shipyard turn into a supermarket, but later decided that the book should be a call to save this place, or rather what had not yet been sold or razed to the ground.
The artist described the Shipyard Szlaga album published in 2013 as a book about architecture. The image of the deteriorating symbol of Solidarity is a story about the cost of the transformation, and a good pretext for a discussion about concepts of urban development.
In his interview for Fotoblogia.pl, Szlaga listed the possible reasons why one of the symbols of the struggle for democracy has been so easily destroyed.
Because people from outside didn’t have an chance to learn about this establishment from the inside, they treated it as a wasteland, maybe with an exception of the historical BHP hall and the cranes visible from the city trains and the entrance gate. It made it easy to start 'clearing' this place for new investments. But I got to know that place and fell in love with it.
After the publication of the book, in which Szlaga documented the falling apart buildings and fragments of industrial infrastructure, he confessed that he is now planning to comit himself to photographing people connected to this place. 'They also need to be heard'– he added.