Unquestionably the most important event of our lifetime is the bankruptcy of the communist system in Europe. Seemingly solid institutions collapsed overnight, politicians were caught unaware, borders redrawn, ideas desecrated. Millions of people got the right to decide about their own lives. Their decisions added to the general turmoil.
Poland was a good example of this quiet revolution. Social, cultural and economic realities, after 50 years of freeze, started adapting to the new world around. The last remains of the old ways were vanishing quickly with the feeling of security they implied. As usual in these circumstances people paid the price.
To document this massive social change was a duty and a pleasure. The pictures present a very subjective approach to that moment in history. Some of its aspects are no longer there. After images can be seen only with closed eyes.
After Images of Poland
photos : Witold Krassowski
224 pages, 101 photographs,
ISBN 978-83-910577-1-1
publisher: ekpictures, 2009

1989 introduced a dramatic change not only in Polish history and political life but above all in Polish mentality and culture. The theatres dropped political and public mission. The actors obtained much larger earning possibilities, exploited at a cost. The artistic dimension of the profession suffered, the internal hierarchy of the group collapsed. The team spirit vanished together with professional ethics. An actor's face became a trade-mark.
The group of old-timers is still some seventy strong, but the number is going down very quickly. There are the ninety years old still on stage, eighty years old making movies, with the youngsters of merely seventy or sixty still being fully occupied. Many of them keep a very high status among theatre lovers, for their past achievements and have scores of their fans. Few became cultural icons.
Portraits are never staged and result from following the models in few moments in their lives. When practical I insisted on photographing inside theatres, off stage. The pictures are accompanied by anecdotes and bon mots gathered during my work with such strong personalities

Piesn na wyjscie
Ostatni mistrzowie sceny

photos : Witold Krassowski
328 pages, 175 photographs,
ISBN 978-83-910577-2-8
publisher: ekpictures, 2011