04 Jun, 2009
Poland today (at midday)
Today’s anniversary (read more about it here and leave your comments too!) prompted one of the largest Polish portals, Gazeta.pl to launch a couple of unique services.
The first one is called ‘A postcard from Poland’ and is a massive collection of photographs depicting what Poles were doing today at midday, twenty day after the collapse of Communism. Gazeta wants to create a gigantic archive which it wants to share online, but also with museums and archives across Poland.
As a photographer I love this idea. Images can be much more powerful than words and no doubt today will bring a few fantastic, emotional, funny or simply stunning shots. I’m looking forward to browsing the archive – and I guess if you’ve never been in Poland, the ‘postcard’ might be a good place to start exploring the country and its people.
The other project launched by Gazeta.pl is Gazetopedia.pl – which is a cross between and online archive spanning twenty years and a social networking or user-generated site (by the way, the word ‘gazeta’ itself means ‘newspaper’; Gazeta Wyborcza, nowadays often perceived as a left-leaning, liberal paper, was the first independent daily paper in Poland launched roughly a month before the June elections). Users can browse every single front page of Gazeta Wyborcza (the precursor of Gazeta.pl), have a look at a timeline of Polish and world events from the past two decades and modify the pages to give them a unique look and feel.
Browsing though the front pages I came across one article from 20th June 1989, which describes how Poland was left without sugar and flour as factories didn’t manage (allegedly) to produce enough of them to satisfy the demand… Those were the times.