post communism in Poland


During the communist and post-communist times, the town like many others looked bare, skinned, dull and sad. As in Żeromski’s novels, where the reader can smell the mud, feel the cold with dampness and experience relentless poverty. There were two cinemas in Września; Pionier and Tonsil, sponsored by local production factories. After the re-privatization period, they turned out to be unprofitable and then therefor liquidated. So it went with everything across the whole country of Poland.

Carpet beater in Wrześni. Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka
Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka
Sacristy, Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka

What can communism and the new ideology, or rather the lack of it, do with the town and its citizens? It strips the place and the people of their ambitions and motivations. But even without them, it is possible to live with. Hidden deeply, there was hope for change. Change is always better, they say. Change is more attractive than stagnation.

Września, Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka
Września, Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka

Comparing the present with that period of time in the past, it turns out that it also had its advantages. We had very good food although our dishes were simple and traditional. Nobody had a career. People had jobs and that’s what they called them. There were no frustrations related to the lack of fulfilment in professional life. The women gave birth to children, worked and ran a house. They wrote no books about it. It did not occur to them that they were more oppressed or more liberated because of it. Children and teenagers got to know each other and the world in the open-air while learning how to be independent. Time seemed to flow slower in silence …

We dreamed of a better life, and it turned out to be neither better nor worse.

Wrześnica river bridges, Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka
Altar, Fot. Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka

All images are linked to their sources.

Author: Aleksandra Walkowska