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Karolina Gembara

PhD Scholarship 2024

Karolina Gembara is a photographer and a researcher. She teaches photography, visual activism and artistic cooperation. She is a member of Sputnik Photos and the Archive of Public Protests. The Archive of Public Protests (APP) is a semi-open platform for distributing images connected with social and political tensions in Poland from 2015 until now.


Currently she is collaborating with Centrala Berlin on a PhD Erasmus Programm where she is researching on the resettlements of 1945 and their impact on the people on both sides of the Oder.


“My exploration delves into the memories of historical events, steering clear of the official narratives that, for decades, have propagated successful propaganda. What captivates me is the viewpoint of a young girl who left her garments behind, or a child who bid farewell to a beloved pet during the upheaval of relocation. The post-war reality, a semblance of a colonial project, and the colossal efforts of migrants on all sides serve as a canvas against which these smaller, yet no less significant, stories unfold. The recollections of past traumas lay bare the truth about some of our society’s deepest fears. In the context of the ongoing dynamic migration movements and the bloodshed in Ukraine, our historical vulnerabilities are often exploited for fear-mongering and wariness.”