Daniel Rosenthal August 10, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Poland.
Migrant workers, Plaszkowa Poland 2008
Daniel Rosenthal (b. 1973 Germany), took up photography during his engagement in the antifascist movement in his hometown Heidelberg and quickly realized that it was the perfect means to address ignored existing problems in a very powerful and satisfying way. Since then his interest for reporting on social and political topics has taken him around the world: US sanctions on Iraq, Chechen refugees, street children in Berlin, forced child labor in the Ivory Coast, occupational accidents in China etc. His work appeared in GEO, Stern, de Volkskrant, Chrismon, Greenpeace Mag., Sunday Times Mag., Independent Saturday Mag., Vrij Nederland and received the Hansel-Mieth Award 2008 and Lead Award-Picture of the Year 2008 amongst others. He has a diploma in photo and design from Lette-School-Berlin and later studied photojournalism at London College of Communication.
About the Photograph:
“This is a photograph I shot last year during an assignment for GEO Magazine on demographic changes in Europe due to migrant workers. Poland was the first part of the story. I arrived in the tiny Polish village of Plaszkowa on Easter Monday (the most important Polish feast day) during heavy snowfall to meet Marian Tarasek for the first time (49 years, on the right). It was the day before he had to travel back to Ireland where he found a job as a construction worker, one of the many thousand Polish migrant workers there. Marian was very shy and thoughtful and it was obvious that having to leave his loved ones for another month made him sad. We sat down in silence underneath the religious icons on the wall. Suddenly his sons Damian and Mateusz came along and Marians wife served the traditional Polish beetroot soup, that’s when everything fell into place and the situation transformed into a biblical scene, embodying believe, humility and tradition mixed with everyday life. For me it was exactly one of those rare moments that make photography magical and loveable.“