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by Claude le Gall
All these pictures were taken in Poland in the second half of the 1990s and the early 2000s. Poland was just emerging from decades of communism. Religion, which in those years had been a bulwark against the régime, still played an important part in 1995 when I first went to Poland.For a few years I photographed street life in many big cities like Warsaw, Poznan or Krakow and religious festivals such as Kalwaria Paclwaska or Grabarka which, in a predominantly Catholic country was the place where members of the Orthodox church would meet and pray all night on August 18th. Pilgrims from the whole neighbourhood and even from nearby Belarus would walk to the monastery, wash their feet in a brook before going round the church on their knees. Some would even plant a wooden cross as a penance amid the forest of already existing ones.