An acronym for Report, Advocacy, Transmedia, and Storytelling, @ratsagency is an international press agency set up in 2019 “to tell in-depth stories of people and their environments in Poland and abroad”, explains co-founder and curator Ewa Mielczarek.
Their most recent series, ClientEarth, profiles five Polish citizens who took their government to court over climate inaction. Among them is a couple who sued the authorities for failing to protect their local environment, after a drought in their village ruined the crops and caused low river levels, preventing local ferries from running.
Other projects include a series spotlighting the country’s LGBTQ+ community, called People, referencing Polish President Andrzej Duda’s claim in 2020 that “there are attempts at convincing us that they [queers] are people, and it is just an ideology.”
Since November 2020, RATS have also been closely documenting the protests against Poland’s near-total ban on abortion that sparked the biggest wave of demonstrations since the fall of communism. RATS stands out for its in-depth reports, that weave in Poland’s social and historical context — in one post showing a photo taken during the Women’s Strike on December 13, we learn that on the same day, 39 years before, the authoritarian government of the Polish People’s Republic introduced martial law to crush political opposition.