“OUT: LGBTQ Poland’— The Polish Community

Nabrdalik, Maciek. “Out: LGBTQ Poland”, The New Press, 2017.

The Polish Community

Amos Lassen

“Out: LGBTQ Poland” is another volume in the New Press’s “OUT” series and is the first book of its kind to portray the LGBTQ community in contemporary Poland. No one expected, especially the Poles, that the country would change so tremendously in this

deeply conservative and Catholic country once Poland joined the European Union. Back in 2004, gay rights marches were banned in Warsaw and homosexuality was a taboo subject. Since then, as the country’s economy has grown, the LGBTQ community has become more widely accepted.

Award-winning Warsaw-based photographer Maciek Nabrdalik, whose work has been published in “Smithsonian”, “L’Espresso”, “Stern”, “Newsweek”, and the “New York Times”, takes us into this community and explores issues of identity and citizenship. We see dozens of formal color portraits of writers, artists, and people working in a variety of occupations from across Poland. We also see blank pages where several members of the community refused to be photograph, probably out of fear. Each photo is accompanied by a short interview and is shaded to indicate how comfortable that person is with revealing their own sexuality publicly. The articles are intimate and profoundly humane allowing us to feel the great strides that can be made in the struggle for LGBTQ rights in a short space of time. This is a document that will be inspiring to other nations where the queer community does not enjoy the same freedoms.

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