Czesław Siegieda

Polska Britannica

32 Pages  /  18cm x 13cm

17 B&W Photographs

Catalog No. 008

8.00

About the Project

Czesław Siegieda, born the son of Polish immigrants to England in Leicestershire in 1954, showed an interest in photography from an early age. From his teens he photographed the Polish community he grew up in, moving through fêtes and funerals with an ease only available to an insider.

His photographs show the staunchly Catholic traditions and national
customs so faithfully maintained by the community as they rebuilt their lives following the trauma suffered during and after the Second World War. Many of Siegieda’s images display a sharp eye for the absurd and all are marked by a visible affection for his subjects.

For many years the archive remained private, initially out of respect for the sensitivities of his parents’ generation: nervous of their position as ‘guests’ in a foreign land, they were determined not to draw attention to themselves. This initial impulse of discretion soon gave way to the more prosaic demands of life and work. For decades the negatives sat unheeded in a drawer until, in 2018, two years after his mother’s death, Siegieda decided that it was time to bring them out into the world.

The photographs attracted the attention of many notable photographers, including Martin Parr and Mark Power, who encouraged Siegieda to
publicise the work more widely.