Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

All photos in this issue were taken in eastern Poland between 2005-2009, as part of the Karczeby project.

Karczeby, one of the dialects spoken in eastern Poland, is a mixture of Polish and Belorussian. People there strongly attached to the soil they cultivated for generations were called Karczebs . With their bare hands, Karczebs cleared forests in order to grow crops. The word Karczeb was also used to describe what remains after a tree is cut down ‒ a trunk with roots, which remains stuck in the ground. This also applied to people ‒ it was not easy for the authorities to root them out from their land, even in Stalinist times. The price they paid for their attachment to their soil was often their freedom or life.

After death, buried near his farmland, a Karczeb himself became the soil, later cultivated by his descendants.


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