From 1970 until the 80s, Czesław Siegieda photographed members of the Polish community based in the Midlands, portraying them as protagonists of a small 'theatrical world' in search of a lost spiritual homeland. Beginning with intimate views of his family members, he photographed the life and times of a community displaced by war and unable to return to their homeland. He has explored the ways that the Polish community has struggled to maintain its own culture and yet has contributed to our own. His subjects include daily life at home, religious festivals, Polish Saturday school, the Polish boarding schools, remembrance and commemoration.
Selected images from Czesław’s archive will be presented at the Blast! Festival.
Czesław Siegieda’s work displays a consistency of imagination and a profound understanding of photographic quality. Born in a Polish refugee camp in the UK, it is this dual perspective of both understanding the desires and pressures felt by a minority culture, and of his ability to give it a poetic photographic expression, which gives his work a distinct flavour and importance.