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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 19, 2007
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Preserving the Past
December 19, 2007 By M.H.    
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The Preserve the Past exhibition at Cracow's International Cultural Center includes more than 100 photographs by Polish, Canadian, French and Australian artists who entered a Polish photographic competition of the same name.

The photographs reflect the artists' vision of contemporary Cracow that combines the traditional with the modern. They depict various parts of the city such as derelict former industrial areas, old factories, neglected synagogues, and dying crafts, but also pretty alleyways.

Of particular interest is a group of photographs recording the life of Camaldolese monks in the Bielany district. A fine example is a hair-clipping scene. Many photos show a sense of irony.

Some show nuns, children in their First Communion garb, or monks and the faithful taking part in religious processions. Young people on the city streets particularly fascinated foreign photographers.

The exhibition has 13 themes including "Arrivals and Departures," "Shadows and Half-Shadows," "I'm from the City," "The Last Mohican," "Enlargement," and "Sense and Sensibility."

In addition to the contemporary work are previously exhibited photos of Cracow from the 1970s and '80s. The latter depict a city that is no more or has changed beyond recognition. There is an exhibition catalogue available in Polish and English.

The Association of Lovers of Cracow's History and Antiquities organized the first competition in 1977. This year's competition comes after a two-year break and is the result of cooperation between the association, the International Cultural Center and photography magazine Biuletyn Fotograficzny. This year, for the first time, the competition was open to foreign entrants.

The competition attracted almost 300 entries. Joanna Gorlach won the top prize, Joanna Radłowska claimed second prize, and Norbert Roztocki walked away with third prize.

Cracow, International Cultural Center Gallery, 25 Rynek Główny (main market square). The exhibition runs until March 2.
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