LIFE
FORCE
The magazine of the photo-essay
July 2017 issue
Clear of People
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Michal Iwanowski
My grandfather Tolek, and his brother Wiktor, escaped from soviet captivity and crossed over 2000 kilometres on their fugitive journey home in 1945.   This is not an unusual story. There are no heroes in it, and there is nothing glorious about the events. You have seen it happen before. And you will see it happen again.    I followed his footsteps for personal reasons. Hoping that if I walked long enough I might find him. Tell him it mattered. Hoping that the landscape might connect me to a time and people long gone.   But what had started as a quiet tribute soon turned into a meditation on the strength of the human spirit. How do you carry on when your body gives up? What hope drives you blindly forward when your life is so obviously disposable?   I have no interest in judging history, nor am I interested in glorifying my relatives. But
just what happens to all those people who one day wake up to a war? Who mourns the lost ones? Our landscape is crowded with ghosts on their way home. East. West. North. South. There is no room in history books to fit all those people.  This book is theirs. 
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