Aleksandra Swiderska was born in 1993, in Sokolow Podlaski, Poland. Currently, she is studying photography at Cambridge School of Art.
“I am a young practitioner of social documentary photography. My photographic work is influenced by my childhood experience in Poland where I was growing up during the time after the country’s political shift. It became crucial for me to explore the impact of this change through my images. Intention is essential to my practice. With my photography I aim to take a critical view on social and political disfunction. I believe photography has the moral commitment to help raise awareness of social, political and economic issues. As a photographer, I feel that it is my duty to support the most vulnerable part of society. I aim to portray the uncertainty of people throughout the industrial photographic reportage. Within my implement projects, I am interested in human condition and the environment in which one lives. I am involved in exploring a sense of belonging that can exist alongside the feeling of loneliness and isolation amongst people who live next to each other.
This exhibition has been dedicated to shipyard ‘Stocznia Gdanska’, a place that became the cradle of trade union and social movement ‘Solidarity’. We are approaching the anniversary of Solidarity, and I felt that now would be the perfect time to commemorate the importance of that place with a photographic series that examines the shipyard as it is in the present day. Once a place of work for over 20,000 people, Stocznia Gdanska provides only 2,200 jobs today as a result of the economic climate and competition from Asia. It was my intention to capture the moving story of Gdansk and the workers who face an uncertain future. Although today, it is hard to see the symbol of freedom that Stocznia once was, the great spirit of Polish workers still endures and it was this, first and foremost that I wanted to portray.”