/14 Portraits

Adam Panczuk


In one of the dialects spoken in the east of Poland, which is a mixture of Polish and Belorussian, people strongly attached to the soil they had been cultivating for generetations were called “Karczebs”. With their bare hands Karczebs cleared forests in order to grow crops. The word Karczeb was also used to describe what remains after a tree is cut down – a trunk with roots, which remains stuck in the ground. This also applied to people – it was not easy for the authorities to root them out from their land, even in the Stalinism times. The price they paid for their attachment to their soil was often their freedom or life. After death, hurried nearby their farmland, a Karczeb himself became the soil, later cultivated by his descendants.

The book from this project is avaliable here: adampanczuk.pl/gallery4/books