The city of Bialystok is one of the largest cultural centers in northeastern Poland. Being traditionally known as a leading hub in the academics, culture, and arts, the city evolved with modernization along with these cultural aspects. It's known for its rich art scene, architecture, parks, and green spaces, making it a picturesque city. Lomographer Antonio Di Vilio, a.k.a. antoniodivilio has been staying in the city for four months, unable to go back home to Italy, but things aren't so bad with the forgiving cityscape. Learn more about the city through Antonio's black and white film, expired color negatives, and his own words.
It’s been a long-troubled period. In January I moved for a working period from Italy with my girlfriend Diana to Bialystok (Poland), a city in north-eastern Poland, near the Belarus border. It was great before after a month I found myself cooped up in a small apartment, scared and doubtful about the imminent future but at the same moment I tried to enjoy the time there and the cultural diversity as far as possible. After 4 months with no possibility to get back home, now I am writing from my house in Italy where I currently observe another period of quarantine.
Bialystok is a city with a small historical center where once there was the second biggest Jewish ghetto of Poland and as anywhere you can hear the breath of the epoch. A city full of nature, street art, and cultural pride. Of course, before the pandemic lockdown, the city was alive despite the winter freezing. The restaurants and cafè were full just like the library and the university where I was supposed to pass most of my time. But then I saw a city of a ghost, a windy and cold city where the time seemed to be absent.
I loved the feeling with nature, you can immerse yourself in the greenery. The greenery’s just the daily life of the city. I was lucky to live right in the city center where the buildings are small and you can see the sky from each point of the street. I also enjoyed the peaceful general mood: walking, take pictures, feed ducks in the parks, a pretty silent atmosphere, and respectful people. And then, of course, amazing food!
I would suggest people visit Bialystok because it’s not a mere touristic place and it reflects a lot the eastern European culture and tradition. Eastern architecture (orthodox church and cathedrals for example) art, food and drink culture and the great forests around the city are very peculiar and attractive.
The city needs a good depth of field to be captured. At first view, it can seem really bidimensional but the space is also so large and huge that the sunlight often covers everything. My aim was to try to capture the city during the lockdown of course (but I don’t know if I succeded in it) and most of all the way in which nature and artificial can combine together. I am the one who follows people and the shape that the light gives to them but the shape of things, the immaculate and spotless feeling that they arouse can be really interested as well.
I live in Italy that is one of the countries that most suffered from this pandemic situation so I would like to do my part in the restart of Italian tourism but apart from that I really would like to go to Sicily, the island of Southern Italy, and discover it on a deeper level, yes, as soon as possible.
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