Tomasz Laczny

ERNA HELENA ANJA art edition

The book will be available at the end  of April in a limited edition of 45 copies, numbered and signed.


P R E O R D E R   H E R E  to secure the copy.


The project is a winner of the BUP Book Award https://blowuppress.eu/pages/bup-book-award

The project is a winner of  Reminders Photography Stronghold Grant.

The art edition will be printed on hannemuller black paper using the gold riso printing technique alongside with inkjet prints printed on Japanese Kozo paper. It will have a sleave cover and one chemical print signed and stamped.

The book is on Colin Pantall's end of the year List of books he enjoyed in 2020

http://colinpantall.blogspot.com/2020/12/2020-my-end-of-year-list-of-books-i.html

Interview by Colin Pantall on his blog about the book:

http://colinpantall.blogspot.com/2020/10/erna-helena-ania-family-histories-from.html

The trade version of the book will be also published by the Blow Up Press


STORY:


Who are you when you lose your name, family, and country?

After years I spent abroad I wanted to explore my roots -- Poland. Poland for me is the memories of my childhood, happy days I spent mostly at my grandmother’s place. But it is also her story that blends into traumatic events of WWII and casts its dark shadow until today. It is also part of a legacy that was passed to the next generations.

My grandmother was German living on the border between Poland and Germany before WWII. She fell in love with a Polish guy. It was towards the end of WWII. It was forbidden. Both of them could be killed if that would be discovered. Moreover, she got pregnant and was hiding her pregnancy.

After the war, she was imprisoned in the camp for Germans. She gave birth to my mum but, because of her poor conditions, was not able to raise her and had to give her away. The European borders have been moved after WWII by the decision of a few key political figures and almost all Germans have been expelled (the largest forced migration in history). My grandmother hoping to be reunited with her daughter decided to stay but had to gain Polish nationality. For her as ex-German life in Poland was extremely difficult. She lived in the shadow of guilt and memories of what happened in Poland during WWII. All her family has been expelled. And it took many years for her to be with her daughter together again.

The story of my grandmother is a story about losing identity, family, and country in the face of traumatic historical events. It represents the situation of many people and nations finding themselves struggling with finding their own identity after the war in the shadow of nazism.

Ironically the story of my grandmother unfolds some similarities with my own. Living abroad for many years I experienced disconnection and isolation and struggled with finding my new identity. Also, there is the story of the absence of my daughter which I haven't seen for almost 3 years now. 

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