This is our Poland

Stories of resilience, creativity and change from the heart of Europe

What is it like to be young, creative, and non-conformist in a country where nationalism and ultra-conservative values are on the rise? This is our Poland: stories of resilience, creativity and change from the heart of Europe is a new special report by The Calvert Journal. Elevating the voices of young creatives, it paints a portrait of Poland often overlooked by the mainstream, joining a generation of young artists, cultural figures, and activists as they ask: can we shape a better future for our country?

Across 23 stories, we explore the complexity of contemporary Polish culture: from digital media, film, and feminist history, to radical literature and futuristic queer art. This is our Poland is a multidimensional snapshot of a society where cultural beliefs are in flux and where the stakes for those who fight for freedom are higher than ever.

Culture

Poland’s politics may be in flux, but the country’s cultural sphere is rising to meet the challenge. We speak to the creatives using the arts to voice something new and important in Poland today

Poland is a divided country. We spent 3 years on the road trying to understand why

How TikTok is helping Poland’s pro-choice campaigners engage a new generation

Where art meets resistance: the galleries pushing back against Poland’s illiberal politics

How one high schooler’s Facebook beauty brand is saving survivors of domestic abuse

I am! human! Why Poland’s LGBTQ+ artists won’t be silenced

Meet Stop Bzdurom, the anarchic Warsaw collective fighting for Poland’s popular imagination

How TikTok is helping Poland’s pro-choice campaigners engage a new generation

How TikTok is helping Poland’s pro-choice campaigners engage a new generation

Where art meets resistance: the galleries pushing back against Poland’s illiberal politics

Where art meets resistance: the galleries pushing back against Poland’s illiberal politics

How one high schooler’s Facebook beauty brand is saving survivors of domestic abuse

How one high schooler’s Facebook beauty brand is saving survivors of domestic abuse

I am! human! Why Poland’s LGBTQ+ artists won’t be silenced

I am! human! Why Poland’s LGBTQ+ artists won’t be silenced

Meet Stop Bzdurom, the anarchic Warsaw collective fighting for Poland’s popular imagination

Meet Stop Bzdurom, the anarchic Warsaw collective fighting for Poland’s popular imagination

Meet Gen Z

Poland’s youngest generation are taking their place on the country’s cultural frontlines. Gather with activists and artists as they look to build a more inclusive society — with its gaze fixed solely on the future

Photography

See Poland through a different lens by joining our photographers as they travel across a diverse and changing nation
‘If we close everything in one go, it will be a disaster.’ Photographer Michal Luczak on the troubling fate of Poland’s coal industry

‘If we close everything in one go, it will be a disaster.’ Photographer Michal Luczak on the troubling fate of Poland’s coal industry

‘Society doesn’t allow me to feel Polish.’ Stories from Warsaw’s Vietnamese diaspora

‘Society doesn’t allow me to feel Polish.’ Stories from Warsaw’s Vietnamese diaspora

Afro-Poland: a revolutionary friendship, captured in rare photos from 1955-1989

Afro-Poland: a revolutionary friendship, captured in rare photos from 1955-1989

In Focus

Look beyond the headlines and gain a deeper perspective on Polish culture, from its trailblazing historical figures, to the best of the country’s cutting-edge film and literature

Poland's Gen Z in their own words

‘My heart stood still in a distant motel:’ 6 contemporary Polish poems

10 era-defining Polish films from the 50s to the present day

9 radical Polish books to add to your reading list

How the defacement of two statues could lead to Poland’s reckoning with its Black history

5 feminist collectives leading the charge for women’s rights in Poland

Poland's Gen Z in their own words

Poland's Gen Z in their own words

‘My heart stood still in a distant motel:’ 6 contemporary Polish poems

‘My heart stood still in a distant motel:’ 6 contemporary Polish poems

10 era-defining Polish films from the 50s to the present day

10 era-defining Polish films from the 50s to the present day

9 radical Polish books to add to your reading list

9 radical Polish books to add to your reading list

How the defacement of two statues could lead to Poland’s reckoning with its Black history

How the defacement of two statues could lead to Poland’s reckoning with its Black history

5 feminist collectives leading the charge for women’s rights in Poland

5 feminist collectives leading the charge for women’s rights in Poland

Tracing the trailblazing lives of Poland’s first feminist activists