New East Digital Archive

A British photographer captures the contrasts and contradictions of modern Poland

13 March 2018

British photographer Richard Morgan moved to Poland in the summer of 2016, as the blistering fallout of Brexit slowly settled over Europe.

He challenged himself to build his own photographic portrait of the country, capturing the region’s contrasts and contradictions in a year-long project called The Poles (Polacy).

“I didn’t set out to represent Poland and Polish people in a specific way,” Morgan told The Calvert Journal. “I committed to the idea of scrutinising a country that had come to symbolise the very idea of eastern Europe and immigration that Britain was in the process of distancing itself from.”

But while each image remains infused with Polish culture, Morgan believes that his photos also offer a wider commentary on humanity as a whole.

“Themes of ambivalence, social contrast, irony, and intensity permeate all of my work, from St. Petersburg to Barcelona, from Bangkok to New York City. And these same themes unite the photographs in The Poles (Polacy),” he said. “It’s as if I’ve been trying to find out how [these themes] play out in a Polish setting, what they look like in Poland.”

The Poles (Polacy) is showing at Waterstones on London’s Gower Street between 12 March and 13 April. For more information, click here.