photography and multimedia journalism association

Craftsmen of Oliwa

Oliwa is a district in the city of Gdańsk in northern Poland. The district used to be a wealthy and powerful suburban town built around the Oliwa Cathedral that was a settlement for Catholic Cistercian Abbots. It was a political and economic powerhouse in its heyday. Now, it is integrated into Gdańsk but still carries some of the old atmosphere and its unique character is appreciated by its citizens. This project focuses on owners or employees of small craft workshops scattered in the district. Some of these people inherited their crafts as family traditions. Usually, their professions are defunct or headed for extinction due to economic and lifestyle changes in the society or the non-supportive policies of local authorities.

Despite the challenges there is a new, energetic generation of craftsmen entering the market who choose Oliwa as a good settlement for their business.

This project was conceived by Tomasz Gos. It was organized and sponsored by Gdańsk Commonwealth Foundation supported by Sopot Schools Photography WFH. It was photographed with large format 4x5" camera shot on Kodak Tri-X 320 BW film.

Photographs by Maciej Moskwa and Paweł Wyszomirski