Zenfolio | Irena Hauck

Sometimes when we move from one place to another it is not a continuation of the same life – but a trading of one life for another. Looking back at the 30 years since I left Poland I can honestly say that I am more Canadian than Polish. Part of me feels bad when I think that – I feel I have left my homeland and yet it is true none the less. When I look back at the photos taken of common people in small towns and villages so many years ago, of the strikes and protests, where people put their lives on the line, I do not look back with a sense of guilt, but of admiration.

And as each year passes I feel the burden to share and retell these stories captured a generation ago. With each trip back to Poland I see and feel these places and people fading into memory. Not only am I driven by a sense of urgency to bring the shadows of the past into the light – I want so much to find a link between then and now – to know in my heart that not everything has changed – that somehow I can go back to a time where although people suffered – there was also a purity and simplicity to life as well.