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Opening exhibition: Discover the Borderline Project in Berlin

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Katha Kloss

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16 journalists, 8 border cities, 1 documentary and multiple languages. During the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Polish independence, Cafébabel publishes a new multimedia storytelling project exploring Poland and its borders. The BORDERLINE Project exhibits the best photos at Berlin's 'Club of Polish Losers' from 19th October 2018 on.

What’s going on in Poland? Many young Europeans are asking themselves this question. With its newest editorial baby The BORDERLINE Project, the European magazine Cafébabel presents a fresh take on Poland and its border regions, for the centenary of the Polish independence.

Poland has made many headlines over the past years and most of them weren’t positive. Whether it’s about banning abortions, controversial judicial and media reforms or the new 'Holocaust law', ecological sanctions or restrictive refugee policies, it’s clear that ever since Poland has been led by a right-wing, conservative government, the country is being eyed suspiciously by its European neighbours.

Cafébabel’s newest editorial project wants to break with this (recent) one-sided view of Poland. 100 years after Poland restored its independence, 16 Europeans headed to the country to report in slow formats on Polish youth, their visions of the future and their relationship to the country’s past. Through eight stunning multimedia features, the cross-border teams explored Poland’s border cities and their relationship to neighbouring regions. Because at the end of the day, stories don’t end at borders.

The multimedia and print stories from Białowieża, Suwałki, Słupsk, Szczecin, Słubice, Jelenia Góra, Katowice and Lublin put a polarised country into multi-layered perspectives: Why do women have to go abroad to have an abortion? Why do young Ukrainians emigrate to Poland, when the country hasn’t accepted the EU refugee quota system? Why do young Poles still want to work in coal mines when some of the Polish cities are the most polluted in Europe?

A selection of the best photographs will be shown at the BORDERLINE Photo Exhibition organised at Berlin’s emblematic ‘Club der polnischen Versager’ on 19th of October, 7pm. The journalists and photographers as well as experts will be present to comment on the work during the opening exhibition.

The BORDERLINE Project is the fourth big cross-border storytelling project of Babel Germany, following the successes of the previous and multi-awarded trilogy Beyond the Curtain (2015), Balkans & Beyond (2016) and Beyond91 (2017).

BORDERLINE is a project carried out by Babel International and Babel Germany, and is funded by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb).

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Translated from Vernissage: Borderline Project stellt in Berlin aus