Friday, March 15, 2019

Poland is Nowhere

Where is Poland? is a fantastic exploration of Poland under partition as seen by the Danish writer Georges Brandes in the late Nineteenth Century. The site uses the observations of Brandes to explore one of Poland's most turbulent periods of history.

When Georges Brandes arrived in Poland in 1885 the country was divided between the three imperial empires of Austria, Prussia and Russia. Where is Poland uses a number of vintage maps to show how the name of Poland is missing from the maps of Europe during this period. Poland in this era is very much an occupied country. This can be seen clearly in the 19th century map of Warsaw. When Brandes visited Warsaw the signs of Russian occupation could be seen everywhere, from Orthodox churches to Russian street names.

One result of the occupation of Poland and its accompanying suppression of Polish culture was the emigration of many Poles. Where is Poland includes a map showing the influence of emigre Polish writers, artists and musicians throughout Europe at the end of the Nineteenth Century. Other Poles didn't leave Poland by choice but were deported from the country. Another interactive map shows some of the Siberian locations where Polish people were sent by Russia.

I've obviously concentrated on the many interactive maps in Where is Poland? These maps play only a small part in what is a beautifully designed in-depth examination of Poland during occupation by the three imperial powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia.

No comments: