Poland's accession to the European Union in May 2004, coupled with unrestricted entry to EU Member States and the United Kingdom and Ireland, caused one of the biggest emigration movements in Poland's post-war history, and the country became one of the largest exporters of labour within the greater European Union.
According to the EU statistical agency Eurostat, 1.5 million Polish immigrants were living in other EU countries as of January 2009.
I am one of those millions of migrants and have resided to Norway for fourteen years. Images i present are part of project 'Exterior-Interior', and it´s about highlighting the daily struggles for polish immigrants families throughout Europe.
Tragedies of wives, children or partners left back in Poland, the emerging divorces, suicides, alcohol and old parents left behind without care. Lost men in a new country, trying to live on the edge of humanity, without friends or support that is normally taken for granted. Not knowing the language, with everything different with new fears that come with all that was familiar and safe left behind in Poland.
Born in Poland, Ilona Stanska spent all her childhood years during the period of communist occupation. This is where she developed her unique appreciation of the finer details of life. Now living in Oslo Norway she has become self-styled artist who is producing some outstanding images of her homeland and its peoples.
Stanska's photography comes in two distinctive styles. The type of traditional photography including landscapes and portraits, as well as her new artistic form where she is using a unique and self-developed technique of painting her images. The technique she calls “Prating” and has taken the artist more than three years to perfect to a point where Stanska was happy enough to display her works.
Basically “Prating” involves multiple layers of printing with photographic ink as well as hand painting of the final images, some processes Stanska is not prepared to share with us, still her work speaks for itself. This new form of art has become acclaimed by her peers around the world with exhibitions throughout Europe and now “down under”. What makes it even more interesting is that each image is 1 of 1 as there are no copies.
Stanska captures a different point of view in her images, many of which are inspired by her childhood in Poland.
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