Beyond the Lens – The Polish Community from South London

Since Poland’s accession to the European Union in May 2004, Poles have become the largest foreign-born population in the UK. But what does the British public know about them, apart from the pre-conception that they are good workers?

The crowd gathered in Trafalgar Square during the celebrations of 90th anniversary of Poland’s independence in London 2008

They are of course much more than that. They are doctors, engineers, artists, scientists and academics. Their relationship with this country is much bigger, and goes much deeper than most people think. 200,000 Poles moved here after World War II, they made their lives here, helped to rebuild the British economy and started families here.

Over the past three years Urszula Sołtys has been photographing members of the Polish Community Centre in South Norwood, some of these fought on the Allied side in the war. Their stories are an important part of both Poland’s and Britain’s history. The thriving Polish community in Oliver Grove has visibly expanded. New members are joining, and traditional cultures and values are being passed on to the next generations. The occasion to know more will be during the event “Beyond the Lens – The Polish Community from South London”.

Meet South London based photographer Urszula Sołtys who has been recording stories and taking portraits of her local polish community.

Join the online meeting organised by the Poles in South London Project to listen to Urszula’s tales and participate in the special virtual exhibition before the official launch of the Poles in South London Photography Album and exhibitions in 2022. It’s going to be a unique opportunity to discover personal stories, places of memory and cultural heritage from the long history of the Polish settlement in the UK.

This event is organised as a part of the Lambeth Heritage Festival 2021.

The online meeting will be held on 28 September 2021 at 20:00 CEST.


Registration link:


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