What does Poland feel like? This lovely video by Maggie Olkuska should give you a flavour of Poland.
Watched over 130,000 times, this video was shot by Maggie in 2012, when she decided to visit Poland with her camera. She backpacked all across the country to capture the essence of the place and its people.
Poland is a country with a very brutal past, really.. the World Wars, Holocaust… but I believe that all these experiences only made the nation stronger! As I experienced through my journey – Polish people are so hardworking, very hospitable, very ambitious; there are so many passionate artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers there… ! Moreover, when a Pole decides that he’s going to achieve something, a goal, a dream – I bet you – he will!!! (*and he is going to be passionate about it!*)
74 years ago today, just over 2 weeks after the start of the Second World War, Poland was invaded by the Soviet Russia.
A month or so earlier, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had been signed and as a result Poland’s territories were divided, this time between the Soviets and Nazi Germany. The European borders were redrawn again.
A few days ago I came across an interesting video animation (see below). The video shows how Europe’s political map has evolved over the past thousand or so years. And while I cannot guarantee the video is completely accurate (although I have no reason to believe it isn’t), it shows how turbulent our collective history has been.
If you keep your focus on Poland in the centre of the screen, you’ll see how the borders have moved throughout the centuries. They changed their shape numerous times, expanded east, then shrunk again, then the name Poland disappeared completely before re-emerging after WWII with the country’s current borders.
A great crash course in the history of the continent.
This first post after a long break is a rather impressive video produced by the Public and Diplomacy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland.
It features a whole host of Hollywood A-listers and other celebs – from Natalie Portman to Russell Crowe, from Robert Redford and Tom Hanks to Daniel Radcliffe and Linda Evangelista – talking about one subject. Poland.
Whether it’s their families, their impressions of Poland, architecture, co-workers or the “crazy” things those Poles do (yes, Russell Crowe, I’m looking at you) – everyone has a Polish story to share in this promotional video the Ministry posted on YouTube.
A lot of that is archive material, but you’ll be surprised how many people have some sort of family or other connection with Poland. Unless you already knew that, in which case this will only reinforce your suspicions
To mark the beginning of its “A year in images” photo exhibition in Katowice, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza has published this short time-lapse, tilt-shift video about Katowice.
I’ve mentioned the city many times on this blog, partly because I know it well, partly because it’s eventually, although very slowly, shedding its “dirty, industrial and boring” image.
Heavy industry has always been a crucial part of this city’s – and the region’s – history, but over the past 20 years Katowice and many neighbouring cities have had to reinvent themselves. The coal mines and steel factories might be gone, but they have been replaced by General Motors, Fiat and hundreds of others which helped the area reinvent itself.
Katowice itself is undergoing probably one of the most dramatic changes in its recent history. The lovely, partly neglected and partly confused city centre is being re-developed. Mariacka St, once a very dodgy, but architecurally lovely street, has been pedestrianised and the city’s biggest eyesore, the main railway station, is eventually (although not without controversy) going to be rebuilt and its sorrounding area transformed into a very modern transport and shopping hub.
All that is captured in the film. From Nikiszowiec, the old working class district of Katowice, where window frames and sills are still painted bright red, to Rynek, the curiously underused central square. From the recently modernised Rondo gyratory (with the famous flying saucer-shaped Spodek concert hall in the background), to the about-to-be-completely-rebuilt bus and train station in the heart of the city.
Those who know Katowice, will find many familiar sights here, those who don’t should probably give it a chance. After all, it’s been shortlisted as one of Poland’s candidates to become the European City of Culture in 2016.
Looks like many of you enjoyed the last video I posted, From Poland With Love, time for another video then. Although this one is very different.
Patryk Kizny, a Polish photographer and video-maker, has just posted this stunning video, called The Chapel.
It’s a tribute to an abandoned, dilapidated 18th century protestant temple in the village of Zeliszow. The four-minute video uses a technique called HDR, which allows photographers to show a wide range of light levels. I’ve seen many HDR photographs, but this is probably the first HDR video I’ve watched.