Meeting with Joanna Helander

2020-02-13, 6:00 p.m.
We invite you to the next meeting accompanying the exhibition Photoblock. Central Europe in photobooks. This time our guest will be Joanna Helander, an outstanding Polish photographer, documentary film director, writer and translator. In an interview with Łukasz Galusk, she will talk about her experiences in working on documenting everyday life in the People's Republic of Poland.

At the exhibition at the ICC Gallery, we present her book Kobieta. En bok om kvinnor i Polen [Woman. Book about women in Poland] (1978) - a unique documentary depicting the real life of women in the country of so called "real socialism", framed from the perspective of the ideal of the Swedish social democracy.

Helander, born in Ruda Śląska to a Polish-Silesian-Jewish family, emigrated from the country in 1971. Earlier, she participated in protests against the intervention of the Warsaw Pact forces in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for which she was repressed and imprisoned. After arriving in Sweden, she enrolled in photography studies in Gothenburg, and over time she entered the circle of young, committed photographers associated with the magazine "Aktuell Fotografi" ["Current Photography"]. One of the initiatives taken by this group was the publication of contemporary photographic books in the field of documentary, combining image narrative with text and focused on in-depth social observation. The album of Joanna Helander appeared as volume 11 in a series called Aktuell Fotolitteratur [Current Photographic Literature].

Together with Bo Persson she has made a series of documentary films, supported by the Swedish Film Institute, among them "Eighth day Theatre" and "Watching the Moon at Night". 

Joanna Helander - Polish photographer, documentary film director, writer and translator. In 1968, during Romanist studies at the Jagiellonian University, she was arrested for protesting against the invasion of Warsaw Pact forces in Czechoslovakia. In 1971 she emigrated to Sweden, where she graduated from photography in Gothenburg. She is the author of numerous photographic, film and literary portraits of Polish intellectuals and democratic opposition activists.

Łukasz Galusek - architect and publisher, from 2018 deputy program director at the International Cultural Center in Krakow. He deals with the culture and art of Central Europe, especially the relations between space, memory and identity.

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