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Streets of Crocodiles
Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland
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Price £32.5, $43
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ISBN 9781841503653
Paperback 144 pages
230x230mm
Published December 2010
Imprint: Intellect
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

The book fulfils its aim in both documenting and theorizing the post-socialist transition. It will appeal to those interested in questions concerning the ‘new Europe', post-socialist media and photography. It adds to the research that problematizes post-socialism, sometimes even by asking whether we still need post-socialism as a term (Stenning and Hörschelmann, 2008). The book fulfils its aim in both documenting and theorizing the post-socialist transition. It will appeal to those interested in questions concerning the ‘new Europe', post-socialist media and photography. It adds to the research that problematizes post-socialism, sometimes even by asking whether we still need post-socialism as a term (Stenning and Hörschelmann, 2008). Streets of Crocodiles proves that we definitely do need to critically examine the post-socialist condition outside of dominant perspectives and representations in order to capture the complexity of a landscape that is full of clashes, ambivalences, challenges and contradictions. This volume encourages the further investigation of existing social walls, some fallen or eroded, and some still raised in people's minds. 

This powerful presentation of photographs of Poland from the late 1980s to the present depicts the hybridized landscape of this pivotal Eastern European nation following its entry into the European Union. A visual record of the country's transition from socialism to capitalism, it focuses on the industrial blue-collar city of Łódź - located in the heart of New Europe and home to nearly one million people. Photographer Kamil Turowski's pictures are captivating - seeming to conceal a looming threat - while Katarzyna Marciniak's accompanying text expands on the photos and the 'crocodilian' texture of contemporary Eastern Europe. A walk on the wild side, Streets of Crocodiles captures viscerally the changing landscape of postsocialist Poland.

 

Chapter titles
Acknowledgments
Katarzyna Marciniak
“Hunting for Crocodiles”, Introductory Essay
J. Hoberman
Preface
Kamil Turowski
Title List of the Photographs
Kamil Turowski
Photographs
Kamil Turowski
“New Europe: Eyes Wide Shut”
Katarzyna Marciniak
“Postsocialist Hybrids”
Katarzyna Marciniak
“An Act Against the Wall”
Katarzyna Marciniak
Reviews
'Streets of Crocodiles is a walk on the wild side, an expedition down a melancholy boulevard of dreams.' – J. Hoberman, film critic, Village Voice, author of The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism

'A beautiful book that demands that we direct our gaze and our thoughts toward the ugly landscapes of hate and its disavowal ... 'Streets of Crocodiles' channels the affective power of seeing and refusing to see into an eye-opening intellectual engagement in which we should all participate.' – Cynthia Weber, Society and Space

'A thoughtful counter-song to the numerous pro-European Union propaganda campaigns, Streets of Crocodiles offers a highly original and much-needed intervention in the ongoing debate on what it means to be European.' – Aga Skrodzka, Third Text

'The book fulfils its aim in both documenting and theorizing the post-socialist transition. It will appeal to those interested in questions concerning the ‘new Europe', post-socialist media and photography. It adds to the research that problematizes post-socialism, sometimes even by asking whether we still need post-socialism as a term (Stenning and Hörschelmann, 2008). Streets of Crocodiles proves that we definitely do need to critically examine the post-socialist condition outside of dominant perspectives and representations in order to capture the complexity of a landscape that is full of clashes, ambivalences, challenges and contradictions. This volume encourages the further investigation of existing social walls, some fallen or eroded, and some still raised in people's minds.' – Magdalena Kania Lundholm, www.postcolonial-europe.eu

'Streets of Crocodiles is a beautiful and critically significant book, which mixes photography and critical essays to explore postsocialism in Europe. Focused on Poland and on the city of Łódź (from where both the photographer and essayist originate), this is a unique and powerful document of the transformations of Eastern Europe post-Berlin Wall, and perhaps most importantly and shockingly an exposure of the much older hatreds which remain intact. This book is in many ways a confrontation with European anti-Semitism and other old and newer racisms. The photographs by Kamil Turowski are stunning and at points shocking and deeply moving; he captures so well the 'postsocialist landscape.' Marciniak is leading the field in cultural studies work on Eastern Europe; as well as producing outstanding academic scholarship she is a beautiful writer and manages to convey the affective charge of the visual imagery in her writing. A reminder that 'new Europe' is also old Europe, Streets of Crocodiles is a striking accomplishment.' – Dr Imogen Tyler, Lancaster University

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