An Interrupted Childhood is a photographic tribute to Polish WWII Survivors in Minnesota. It represents the conclusion of phase two of this multi-year project that has been planned for five phases. Phase One of the project focused on Polish Solidarity era refugees.
WWII shaped the course of Polish history in the 20th century and redefined its borders. It started in September 1939, when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union jointly invaded Poland. Poland suffered immense losses; nearly six million Polish citizens.
During this phase of the Kalejdoskop Polski MN project, we collected the oral histories and photographs of Polish Minnesotans who have been through the horrors of the war: a slave laborer in the Third Reich, deportees to Siberia, a Polish Army Cadet, a Volhynia Massacre survivor, and a Holocaust survivor. These stories represent different fates of Poles during WWII.
An Interrupted Childhood is a part of the Kalejdoskop Polski MN project. Seven portraits of Polish-Minnesotans will be on display at the Minnesota State Capitol North Corridor from September 1- 15, 2022. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 3, 2022, 12-2 PM at the Minnesota State Capitol Vault (B15). Kowalski's Market sponsors the opening reception.
"In the Kalejdoskop project, we attempt to connect historical facts and events with narratives to document how the events played on the human scale to describe the frame of reference to a particular place and time.
The stories of WWII survivors need to be preserved as some of these individuals have rarely spoken publicly about their experiences. The narratives of Polish WWII survivors teach us lessons of survival, growth, and resilience that are truly humbling and inspiring." - Dr. Katarzyna Litak, President of MPMS.
The Kalejdoskop project combines oral history interviews with documentary photography. Grzegorz Litynski www.litynski.com is the Lead Artist of the project. Grzegorz focuses his research and works on visual history and has conducted numerous research and collection projects in Europe, North America, and Asia. He is the Head of the Department of Travel, Documentary Photography, and Photojournalism at the Technical University in Katowice, Poland.
Dr. Katarzyna Litak is the exhibitions curator, project manager, and graphic designer. She conducted oral history interviews for the project.
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The project has received grant support from the Minnesota Historical Society and the Metro Regional Arts Council.