Brigitte Grignet

Photographer
 
Poland
Location: Liege, Belgium
Nationality: Belgian/American
Biography: Brigitte Grignet is a Belgian photographer focusing in a more personal type of documentary photography. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York, where she lived for 15 years. She worked with Mary Ellen Mark... read on
Public Story
Poland
Credits: brigitte grignet
Date of Work: 05/01/12 - Ongoing
Updated: 05/10/19
Archived as:  ,
In 2016 I set off to explore Poland, after a conversation I had with a Polish friend, who was wondering about the future of her country. “I’d better go and see my country now, she said, before it disappears.” I had been to Krakow and its countryside several times but that summer, we traveled to rural places, further east. 
In Poland, since the ultra conservative Law and Justice party swept into power in 2015, the climate has been tense and the nation is increasingly divided politically.
The government antidemocratic drift causes concern: purge of public media, army, and public function, limitation of civic rights, reform of the education system and rewriting of history books, measures intended to exert more control of the judiciary, anti migrant and anti European policies. 
The country sees a deep and widening political divide between rural areas and small towns, who largely support the governing Law and Justice party, and larger cities and intellectual elites, who mostly oppose the government.
Much of the support to the governing party has been built on populist and patriotic themes, placing as much importance on shaping memories of the past as building for the future. Poland’s tragic history, along with the need to overcome centuries of occupation and stand up to outsiders, remains an important part of the PiS appeal. 
In the countryside people live on farms, work the fields, go to church every Sunday. It is not an easy life. 
Law and Justice established a $148 monthly stipend for families with children, has provided new housing subsidies, and reversed a decision to raise the age of retirement. Unemployment is low.  The economic factor is more important to those who struggle to make ends meet.
On the other hand, in big cities, thousands of demonstrators have regularly filled the streets to protest. 
Poland was wiped off the map for more than a century. It owes its independence to the Poles resilience and their relentless efforts. The country now has to worry about its democratic future and face its transformation into an authoritarian regime, in a climate where official speeches incite violence and dehumanization.
2012-ongoing
2,362

By Brigitte Grignet —

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Mexico

By Brigitte Grignet — After the years spent with Mary Ellen Mark, Mexico only existed in black and white in my world. It was inhabited by little girls with big dresses,..
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Colombia-El Corazón del Mundo

By Brigitte Grignet — In the Sierra Nevada, in the northern mountains of Colombia, the guerilla is hiding. The paramilitary is looking for them. 18-year-old soldiers..
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The Children of the Sea

By Brigitte Grignet — IBIS was created in 1906 by King Albert in Ostend (Belgium) to offer a home and a maritime school to orphan boys whose father had perished at sea...
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The Damned and the Beautiful

By Brigitte Grignet — Aysén, Chile, a region of some 92.000 souls, sits in one of the most remote and undisturbed areas of the world. Its ecosystem is among the most..
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New York-This is not America

By Brigitte Grignet — I said: “New York is not America”. He laughed sarcastically. I hung up. No point. Great timing for breaking up, I thought, today I just..
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ISOLA

By Brigitte Grignet — There is always a persistent noise, somewhere, despite the neverending quest for being fully in the present. Today I am escaping my to-do lists and..
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Palestine

By Brigitte Grignet — The sound of the muezzin at four am. Some sheep grazing in the meager fields at the outskirts of the city. The smell of coffee with cardamom. In..
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Here & Now

By Brigitte Grignet — Within me, I have childhood memories and frozen moments. From evenings spent looking at family albums, these fragments of life remain. I know the..
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Troubled Life-Northern Ireland

By Brigitte Grignet — « Going to Derry is like traveling to an exotic country, » Anne says. Anne lives in Letterkenny, in the Republic of Ireland, 35 kms from Derry,..
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Welcome 2016

By Brigitte Grignet — WELCOME Since the dawn of time people have migrated. There are now more displaced people and refugees than at any other time in recorded history...
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Chiloé-La Cruz del Sur

By Brigitte Grignet — In 1974, I was six. I was in Belgium and I had never heard words such as “exile” or “dictatorship.” My mother had a pupil,..
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