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Poland is a country with a very brutal past, even so recent at just 70 years ago. The holocaust is something I have thought about often as a child, especially as a 3-year-old with a vivid imagination and my father sitting me in front of the television to watch Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ film. I have always wanted to visit the German Nazi concentration camps and let the seriousness and power of it envelop me, humble me, and change me. It was one of the most chilling moments of my life, also because of how peaceful and beautiful the camps were. Spring flowers blooming bright and birds playfully jumping over the brick rubble. The calm breeze definitely added to its eeriness.
Poland has this tension that is slowly healing itself as time goes by and newer generations emerge, but you cannot look in any direction without the constant reminder of the past whether it is the remnants of the ghetto wall, or the cautious faces of the elderly. This piece was supposed to be about Auschwitz, but in making the video the surprise was how vibrant, tough, and full of life the Polish people are. I was as emotionally impacted with these new wonderful friends and sensory overload of the gorgeous present-day country as I was with sympathy and sadness at the camps. Even though they are very tough souls, I started to admire them and their country.
I chose to not only observe present-day Auschwitz, but also present-day Poland, document both, and show them as I felt them…knowing the strength of these people who looked forward and fought tooth and nail so the new generations could live these beautiful lives today inspires me so much. This is my tribute to Poland, its people, and the ones who perished in World War II.
****The title ‘Bipoland’ is meant to describe the two feelings of the past and present while I was there. On one hand, there is a heaviness that still lingers from WWII, but on the other hand things are as bright and exciting as any other flourishing country.
Captured and Editing by Matty Brown
Shot on the handheld Canon 7D
Edited with Sony Vegas
Music by Philip Glass “Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: Movement II” Performed by Dennis Russel Davies