Exhibition and album – Sławny’s Renown. 1950s Warsaw, Poland and Europe in Władysław Sławny’s photographs

Warszawa, 08.1955. V Swiatowy Festiwal Mlodziezy i Studentow (31.07 - 15.08.1955).  N/z miedzynarodowa parada cyrkowa. Fot. Wladyslaw Slawny/FORUM
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Władysław Sławny (1907-1991) was a remarkable albeit now largely forgotten press photographer who had a considerable influence on the Polish school of photo-reportage. During the period 1950-57, he was a co-founder of the weekly ‘Świat’ [The World], and director of its photographic department. Sławny was well acquainted with the western school of photo-reporting (famous for such journals as ‘Life’ and  ‘Paris Match’) and ‘Świat’ soon began to produce photographs on a par with western photo-reporting techniques.

The archives of ‘Świat’ and many of Sławny’s own photographs have been lost but some of his work has survived in family collections in Paris.  Thanks to the help of Sławny’s sons – whom we managed to locate in France – and to the FORUM Polish Photographers Agency, we have managed to digitalise the preserved photographs.

The exhibition presents selected photographs from the 1950s. Amongst the exhibits are press photos documenting the specific nature of the epoch: images of the Nowa Huta steelworks new town and a PGR Farming Cooperative ball, as well as documentation of momentuous events of the decade such as the funeral of Bolesław Bierut, and the political turmoil of October 1956.

Photo: Warsaw, August 1955. V International Youth and Students Festival.

Organisers: Agencja FORUM, DSH