"Kresy"

The word "Kresy" is a Germanism of the Polish language, from "kres" end, edge, limit.

This word indicates the territories that belonged to Poland until the Second World War: a vertical portion of land running from the Baltic Sea to Romania and now including parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania and major cities such as Lviv, Grodno and Vilnius.

The territory preserves traces of visible variations in the eastern border of Europe, from the divisions resulting from the Second World War, until the accession of Poland to the Schengen treaty in 2007 and the recent events in Kiev.

The collection of these traces responds to the desire to understand (by displaying it) the weight that the history of the borders has exerted and exerts on the present of places and peoples.

The hereby images and videos are an edit of the work as presented in the
PROJEKT METROPOLIS - Final Exhibition,
28.02-19.04.2015 CSWKronika Bytom, Poland.

"Kresy" has been realized within the Projekt Metropolis Residency Program
with the support of CSW Kronika, Bytom
and the Movin'up Program by MiBACT and GAI.

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Museum of War. Zyndranowa, Poland. A map of Poland during the 2nd Wolrd War. The red area would become part of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania as a result of the Yalta agreements.
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“Kresowian” Assocition, Bytom, Poland. After Russian annexation of Kresy, citizens were forced to move westward. Many families settled in the cities in the former German recoverd territories, just as the deportation trains were stopping.
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Polish-German Association, Bytom, Poland. Poland lost "Kresy" and was compensated with German territories including Bytom. The German population was expelled and replaced by "Kresowians". Some Bytomians still defend their German origins
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The football team of Polonia Bytom 1954. Several names are originating in the area of Lviv, a city of Poland before the war, now belonging to Ukraine. Upper Silesia Museum, Bytom, Poland
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Picture of Lviv Polytechnic and the Prut River, preserved by the Museum of Upper Silesia as evidence of the expulsion and migration westwards following the accession of Kresy to Soviet Union after the 2nd World War.
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Polish cross-border student, Medyca - Shehyni, Poland - Ukraine Shengen border. Polish students from border areas, not reaching sufficient credits to access the Polish faculties, attend the first year of studies in Lviv, Ukraine
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Bunker on the pre-WWII defensive line. A model of the bunker is preserved in the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, Poland.
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The same bunker in Chorzow, Poland. The bunker is still intact and can be visited thanks to the local association Pro-Fortalicium which took care of restoring it.
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Przemysl, Poland. A bunker of the 1940 Molotov Line managed and repainted by the local association “Project 8813” (from the classification number of the bunker), to ensure the access of visitors. The present Schengen border with Ukraine is 10km away.
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Cieszyn, Poland - Czech Republic border, now Schengen internal border. Krytyka Polyticzna, Eastern European network of cultural institutions and activists in the former Polish border police post.
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Cieszyn, Poland. Cafe? “Avion” in the former Czech border police post
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Oravska Polhora - Korbielow. Old abandoned customs facilities on the national border, now Schengen internal border, between Poland and the Slovak Republic
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Bezledy - Bagrationowsk Schengen gate. Border functional infrastructures and facilities between Poland and Russia (Kaliningrad). Traffic to the EU.
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Public Relations Department of the Polish Border Guard. Bezledy - Bagrationowsk Schengen gate, Poland - Russia (Kaliningrad).
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Kaliningrad is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea, surrounded by Polish and Lithuanian territories, and is the only Russian military port that never freezes during the year. Kaliningrad’s time zone is synchronized with work time in Moscow.
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Carnations at the Lenin monument pedestal Kaliningrad. Russia
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Lenin monument, Kaliningrad, Russia. It was previously located in Victory Square (ex Adolf Hitler Square, when the city was German). It was moved to the present location when the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was built in Victory Square
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Street merchant selling EU and Ukranian flags during EuroMaidan protests in Lviv, Ukraine.
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Monument to EURO2012 Football Championship, Europa Square, Kiev, Ukraine. Over the years was named Adolf Hitler Square (1941) and Stalin Square (1944). The building on the right is Casa Ukraina, former Lenin Museum, built in the late 70s.
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Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine. Barricades at EuroMaidan protest (December 2013)
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Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine. Barricades at EuroMaidan protest (December 2013)
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Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine. Barricades at EuroMaidan protest (December 2013)
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EuroMaidan, Independence square, Kiev, Ukraine (December 2013). Previous names of the square were Soviet Square (1919), Kalinin Square (1941), Square of the October Revolution (1977)
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Triangle of the Three Emperors, Sosnowiec, Silesia. From 1846 until WWI, the site was the point of junction between Prussian, Austrian and Russian empires. The inscription goes: “Obelisk in memory of the former division of Europe and its unification”