"The world is threatened by three plagues, three diseas- es. The first being nationalism. The second being racism. The third - the plague of religious fundamentalism. These three plagues have a common thing which is aggressive, prevalent, absolute irrationality. It's impossible to find one's way to a mind paralysed by one of these plagues. Such a mind contains a burning sacred pile awaiting its victims. (...) The mind affected by such a disease is shut down, one-dimensional, flat revolving around one aspect only - its victim. The thought of a victim feeds us, keeps us alive. Therefore, the foe is always present, being around us all the time.(...)" Ryszard Kapuściński, "Empire" In order to scrutinise the XXI century, I decided to go back in time and retrieve the events that had found their place in a collective perception. The key com- ponent of my creativity process was the need for facing the collective memory, marked visibly by the sense of fear, threat and intense discussions or questioning. When it comes to selection of the events conveyed in a form of photographs, death toll statistics, terri- torial range of impact or media hype were not in fact the key determinants. This turned out to be the question about personal sensitivity which had to confront whatever the nowadays society had expe- rienced. Therefore, everything that has shaken our global village cannot be "internally migrated". Thus the events I took on visually were the 9/11 (World Trade Center (2011), Independence Day celebrations in Warsaw (2013-2020), the atrocity at the Promenade de Engles (2016), the clashes at the LGBTQ Pride Parade in Bialystok (2019), and the publication of the stickers "LGBT-free zone" in Gazeta Polska in 2019. The extent of the listed events varies, yet each of them evokes the proportional temperature of emo- tions. Each one triggers fear, uncertainty and inse- curity. Nevertheless, each event provokes to pose a number of fundamental questions on contemporary values and beliefs.
Szymon Kobusiński (born 1973 in Warsaw) - multimedia artist, photographer, lecturer, founder of Studio Bank, producer. He graduated from the Cinematography Department of the Film School in Łódź. Member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers. Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and international awards, including being nominated for the Lucie Awards.
Pedagogy and Psychology Faculty, University of Bialystok, 20 Świerkowa Street