<< Confessions

Poland, Katowice / Railway Station ground floor, city centre / a fine May but bad floods.

Impressions : extracts of correspondence.
 

A country without many vowels.
Met Marta, four women sitting around the table with the same name.

He complains against the sun because he is russian and prefers snow.
Mr. Polish ill at cease speaking. He touches his partner, resolutely I am French but even if  I know that this contact means as much as worlds. I feel ill at case to receive it and answer this silent speech.

Spent much time with spanish, surreal half way through reading “ Manuscript  found at Saragoza” of Jean Potocki.

I wake up in a worse condition than when I laid down. I don't look well and I cannot speak any language. A cold sweat seems down my back my transpiration gets soor and upsets. I would just wish to be away from this place , not knowing what to do with this betraying body.

Fore giving illusion on existential subject and answer do not matter.

This city unites scraps of childhood : the language, the smell of coal, the black walls, the book sellers smelling my grand father library.

Second hand clothes shops, I have a strange feeling, just as if I was buying my dustbin of yesterday. We sell our garbage to Poland who sells its dustbin to India who sells us new ones.

Ends 19th century : stereoscopic wedding pictures. Year 1950, one woman with ribbons and boxtree crowns kept in complicated frames which wear is sometimes concealed with chemical green paint.

Graveyard : Jungle of candles, plastic flowers unwovened grass.

Large rain puddles because mines are dug anywhere without consideration to the surface, pavements collapse. Potholes as large as ostrich eggs.

Mines. Motorways, Towers, Pipes, Chimneys, rails. Naïves paintings of minors, naked women, complete hair removed, black Saint Barbe, on multicolour background. Headache due to coal, the industry releases gas in the air but when the pressure changes these remain stuck to the ground. Next to the mines, there is no ground everything is black except Maylily which grows super well next to heavy trucks. This is not exactly the thermal Resort. To such extend that the river has been buried.

Since my arrival, torrential rainfalls. Internet connections are stopped for a few days, planes do not take off, Oswiecim is closed, two days at Wroclaw, it rained in two days as much as in two months, a disturbing and tangible tension in spite of the beginning of heat.

 

Election of a map:

 

Although I purchased a few maps printed during the communist period, I made up my mind for a black and white scan of a map of 1926 obtained from the city Record Office. To get acquointed with geography, I looked for maps at junk shops and visited the Slaska library which keeps all the records of the region. In this place, a couple of kind archivist undertook explaining me in english and in french language the local tribulations.

I realised how much their history in linked to ours. Still I did not knew perhaps the communist years have it exotic. I would not pretend having understood it all since this region has perhaps a more complex history above their national average.

I therefore limit myself to the election of the map. Beginning 18th century, Katowice was only a village compared to much all the cities as Bytom on the north. Towards the end of the century, it became a metallurgical and mining centre where working crowds are flooding. In 1918 the Republic of Poland headed by Pilsudski is instituted which Silesie remains german. In 1921 takes place a plebicit where the population decided for Germany or for Poland. Three quarter of the region remains german, but Katowice becomes polish. Therefore, a large part of the mining resources belongs to Poland. 1926 appears a prosperous and exciting period but sadly short lived.