“Gazes intersect. They are myriad and varied: from above, from the side, from behind, extended and persistent, fleeting, impassive, dictated by fear, duty, a sense of strength and curiosity. This range is a feature not only of the sociopolitical spectacle unfolding on city streets but is inherent to photography itself. Photography as an interpenetration of gazes.” So writes Karolina Gembara, for Rafał Milach’s book Strike (Strajk).
On October 22, the politicized Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortion due to severe defects of the fetus was incompatible with the Polish Constitution. On the same day, women came to the courthouse to express their indignation. In the following days, protests spread across the country. People protested in the tiniest towns: Sejny, Wetlina, Ząbkowice Śląskie and abroad (in 577 places in total in the world). In Warsaw, the largest demonstration gathered over 100,000 people. Blockades, assemblies, solidarity actions and demonstrations have been taking place in various places in Poland for several months. In addition to pro-abortion slogans, people demand the secular state and the resignation of the government. "Strike" is a visual record of these protests.
Photographs, editing, sequencing: Rafał Milach / Cover graphics: Ola Jasionowska / Book design: Ania Nałęcka-Milach & Rafał Milach / Texts: Aleksandra Boćkowska, Karolina Gembara, Iwona Kurz / Managing editor: Joanna Osiewicz-Lorenzutti / Translations: Stefan Lorenzutti, Joanna Osiewicz-Lorenzutti, Samuel Tchorek-Bentall / Editing of texts: Małgorzata Poździk (PL), Stefan Lorenzutti (EN) / Proofreading of Polish texts: Małgorzata Kuśnierz, Izabela Poręba / Publisher: JEDNOSTKA Gallery 2021
Authors' Book Award winner at the Rencontres Photographiques d'Arles 2022 / Arles, France
Photography book of the year at the Grand Press Photo 2022 / Warsaw, Poland