Podlasie Photographers of the 1930s and 1940s. Growing out of the Province
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archival photography
social archives
vernacular photographs
archaeology of photography
rural photographers
Bolesław Augustis

How to Cite

Dąbrowska, U. (2023). Podlasie Photographers of the 1930s and 1940s. Growing out of the Province. Bibliotekarz Podlaski Ogólnopolskie Naukowe Pismo Bibliotekoznawcze I Bibliologiczne, 57(4), 353–371. https://doi.org/10.36770/bp.758


The article focuses on the works of three photographers active in Podlasie in the 1930s and 1940s. For over a decade, the discovered and rescued negatives by Bolesław Augustis from Białystok, Jerzy Kostko from Kleszczel, and Jan Siwicki from Jaczno have been compiled and published by the Cultural Educational Association ‘Widok’. They document provincial life just before and after World War II. They are part of contemporary photographic archaeology, which looks at popular (vernacular) photographs through the lens of avant-garde art theories, focusing not so much on their aesthetic qualities as on their context and interpretations. The heterotopias preserved in the photographs, due to the passage of time, restoring them to the public and drawing the attention of critics to their vernacular, have gained a new dimension and universality. Photographers from Podlasie grew out of the provinces and, as a result of the restoration of their works to cultural circulation, moved from the periphery of art to the central mainstream–Augustis as the creator of Poland’s largest collection of street photography; Kostko as a portraitist of the small hermetic community that he photographed for more than half a century; and Siwicki as a documentarian of the Catholic-Orthodox rituals of the village of Jaczno. The article is an attempt to answer the question of whether and to what extent the significance of the provincial background of those photographers is the result of a transformation made by time, and to what extent contemporary reading endows it with new meanings.

PDF (Język Polski)


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Copyright (c) 2023 Urszula Dąbrowska


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