Saturday, 8 December 2007

Back to Zamienie again

There's something about the old vaccine factory at Zamienie that draws me there again and again. Buildings with a faintly sinister air, abandoned to the elements, yet still guarded. Since my last visit, the fence around the plant has been taken down, leaving only square holes in the ground where the posts once stood. This makes getting in and out much easier! Above: The view from the fields between Zgorzała and Zamienie. Below: Zamienie up close. As I wandered around taking photos, quite unmolested, I considered the consequences of being caught here 30 years ago in possession of a camera and British passport.

The housing estate (below) being built on the western edge of the old vaccine plant is growing apace. What is still lacking is a tarmac drive to the new houses, either from Zgorzała or Nowy Podolszyn. General Mud has not yet given way to General Winter. Vehicles trying to get here are in severe danger of ending up axle-deep in mud. As I was taking this picture, I was asked by a woman who was looking around the estate with her husband and son: "Sir makes pictures for newspaper?*" Brusquely I replied "No. For self.*" I'm fed up of people in Poland assuming that because I'm touting a decent camera I must therefore be a photojournalist out to catch a juicy story, an estate agent looking for business, a tax inspector or secret service man prying on the nouveaux riches etc. - rather than the simple explanation - an artistic soul snapping spirit of place.

I would guess that within 12 to 18 months this estate will be complete, gated, connected to the main roads and populated by 120 or so people with their 180 or so cars, all adding to the morning jams on ul. Karczunkowska and Pulawska.

UPDATE late September 2008: The buildings in the top two photos have since been demolished.

* Literal translation to emphasise the question's impolite intrusion upon my privacy.

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