Michal Iwanowski’s photobook Clear of People documents a 2,200km solitary journey that echoes his grandfather’s daring escape from soviet captivity in 1945.
This visual journey comes from the photographer’s personal archive as the project re‑enacts the map drawn by and inherited from his uncle. It begins in Russia, where Michal’s grandfather was kept as a prisoner‑of‑war together with his brother. Their daring escape from the camp was followed by a three‑month trek with constant hunger and exhaustion. The two men stayed clear of people, trying to avoid any possibly risky contact. What kept them alive was their longing to return to their family back in Poland.
“It seems that the subject of geographical displacements within landscape photography has been recently focusing more on personal rather than global stories, bringing individual experiences and narratives to our attention, which otherwise would be lost. I find this very refreshing,” says the photographer.
All images ©Michal Iwanowski