Personal photographs of one the most important Polish publicists of the interwar
period. Reality of London emigration. Loneliness, nostalgia, and the search for
beauty in three languages: Polish, English and visual.
After the Soviet invasion on Poland on 18th September 1939, Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz crossed the border with Lithuania. He was the editor of a conservative journal “Słowo”, a supporter of Piłsudski, monarchist, one of the best – if not THE best – Polish publicists and political writers of 20th century. A year later he reached England, where he spent the next 17 years, sharing times of hope and bitterness with thousands of Polish soldiers and civilians.
Exhibition entitled “Now, I am here. Or rather, perhaps, nowhere.” consists of selected photos by Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz which were taken in England since spring of 1945 until his return to Poland in 1956. Mackiewcz proves to be a talented amateur photographer, picturing London’s street life. He looks at English landscape and takes many portraits of beutiful women.
Complete exhibition is a combination of two complementing narratives. Photographs are accompanied by literary fragments taken from a book “Mój sekretarz” [trans. My Journal] published in 1946. The collection of Polish-English conversations was aimed at postwar emigrants to help them with the initial period of living abroad. Dialogues prepared by the publisher are about wartime memories, landscapes, feelings, and romantic relationships. Apart from practical phrases there is a lot of nostalgia and biterness in it.
The exhibition shows the reality and drama of postwar emigration. It allows us to experience that time not from a history textbook, but through the eyes of an individual living there. All the photographs come from the archives of Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz’s family.
“Now, I am here. Or rather, perhaps, nowhere.” Emigration photographs of Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz
Curators: Maciej Zakrzewski and Tomasz Wiech
1 – 11 September 2016
46a Ruska Street, 3rd floor, Wrocław
Partner of the exhibition: IPNAbout exhibition (PDF)