Photographer Imagines Polish Łódź Taken Over by Pro-Russian Separatist Militants

Ukrainian photographer showed how the right angle of shooting and a convincing description help create the 'custom-made' picture of reality.

Ukrainian photographer Dima Gavrysh presented his project, People’s Republic of Łódź, at the photo festival in Łódź, which ended on June 19. His series studies the issue of hybrid war and consists of photographs taken in Łódź with news-ike captions aimed to create a distorted reality for the viewers.

“My friend once told me that Łódź was the Polish Donetsk. This phrase struck me so much that when I came to Łódź, I started looking for evidence that could prove it: aggression, depression, drab — all the negative things that I associate with Donetsk — in a city that I’ve never been to before, — photographer said in a comment to Bird In Flight. — At some point I channeled this feeling into creating a dystopian photo project: what would happen if Łódź went down the road of separatism, as Donetsk did?

Gavrysh said he was looking for visual images in the Polish city and suburbs that would help him paint a believable image of Łódź, the separatist enclave that declared its independence.

When writing captions to his photographs, the photographer used the style of news pieces to make the photos look more real. The descriptions were only partially fictional: he used real life news-making events such as the migration crisis in Europe or the rise of the conservatives in Poland.

“I realized my project was a success when I saw the first visitors of the exhibition, who were foreigners, reacted to my works: they sincerely believed that the described events really took place.”

All photos: Дима Гавриш

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