The album contains over 140 photos from 1960–1990, chosen mainly from the collection of the FORUM Polish Agency of Photographers.
Photo reportage from a female juvenile detention centre, visit of the healer Clive Harris, Easter tradition of Burning of Judas, hippie convention near Jasna Góra, music festival in Jarocin, construction of Bogdanka Coal Mine, closer look at the life of the Roma, and many other topics. Three decades of the life of Poles in the Polish People’s Republic recorded in documentary photography.
Itd was dedicated to culture and social topics and published by the Polish Students’ Association. The period between October 1960 and May 1990 saw the publication of as many as 1513 issues of a magazine originally entitled itd. Ilustrowany magazyn studencki, later renamed to itd. Magazyn and ultimately known as itd. Tygodnik studencki. Layout played an important role and photography was crucial with each issue featuring a new photo reportage.
Among the authors of photographs are the names that had the greatest impact on Polish post-war press photography. These include: Krzysztof Barański, Andrzej Baturo, Sławek Biegański, Dorota Bilska, Stanisław Ciok, Adam Hayder, Andrzej Kiełbowicz, Witold Kuliński, Jan Michlewski, Maciej Musiał, Anna Musiałówna, Sławomir Olzacki, Maciej Osiecki, Krzysztof Pawela, Włodzimierz Pniewski, Andrzej Polec, Janusz Sobolewski, Jacek Wcisło, Krzysztof Wojciewski, and Krzysztof Wójcik.
“They took excellent photographs, understood the context of an event, the significance of a subject, saw the absurdities of life in the Polish People’s Republic and knew how to depict them. When travelling to smaller towns, they were armed with an official letter confirming their collaboration with the magazine. This alone often allowed them to access factories and private homes. After breaking the ice, they were able to freely examine and photograph the truth about the life of the then Poland, often sad and grey, yet still authentic” – says Krzysztof Wójcik, the curator of the exhibition, who also worked in itd in the past.
“After 1990, photojournalism never again played such an important role in Poland as it did in the grey and dreary times of the Polish People’s Republic. Contrary to the intentions of the authorities and all the challenges faced, the photojournalists of itd succeeded in creating brilliant photographic documentation of those times” – he adds.
Concept and selection of photographs: Krzysztof Wójcik and Katarzyna Madoń-Mitzner
Languages: Polish and English