Rafał Milach: Straik / Strike
Strike is a visual record of the protests that began across Poland on October 22, 2020, and which persisted in various forms over the ensuing months. In a second text, Aleksandra Boćkowska chronicles the personal reflections of some of the participants of protests in Kartuzy, Lubaczów, Warsaw, and Kraków.
Since 2019, Milach, together with sixteen fellow photographers, has been a co-creator of the Archive of Public Protests (APP), a platform for gathering documentation of social actions and grassroots initiatives that have opposed political decisions executed in violation of principles of democracy and human rights. Strike is a piece of this archive.
Strike examines one of the most significant formation processes contemporary Polish society has experienced. As Iwona Kurz writes in the project’s third text: “As a result of the strikes, the process of political self-organization continues, its outcome unknown. However, photographic documentation of the protests is a clarion call to all of our imaginations. Here I am referring to the thinking of Georges Didi-Huberman, who proposes that a photograph be treated not as a performance, but as an event the viewer must reconstruct. Image as ‘act,’ he writes, after Jean-Paul Sartre. The point here is to go one step further: less to reconstruct an event that transpired than to construct a reality designed within it. After all, the photographs ‘seem utterly real.’”
Photo Book of the Year 2021 by Grand Press Photo.
Shortlisted for the Book Award of the Rencontres d'Arles Festival 2022.
Title: Straik / Strike
Publisher: JEDNOSTKA, 2021
Author: Texts by Aleksandra Boćkowska, Karolina Gembara, Iwona Kurz
Photographer: Rafał Milach
Graphic Design: Ania Nałęcka-Milach & Rafał Milach, cover graphics by Ola Jasionowska
Size: 16.5 x 20.7 cm, 256 pages
Edition: 2000 copies