History of a Disappearance is the fascinating true story of Miedzianka, a small mining town in the southwest of Poland that, after seven centuries of history, disappeared in the decades after World War II. In this collection of unsparing and insightful reportage, Filip Springer rediscovers this tiny town’s history. Digging beyond the village’s mythic foundations and the great wars and world leaders that shaped it, Springer catalogs the lost human elements: the long-departed tailor and deceased shopkeeper; the parties, now silenced, that used to fill the streets with shouts and laughter; and the once-beautiful cemetery, with gravestones upended by tractors and human bones scattered by dogs. In Miedzianka, Springer sees a microcosm of European history, and a powerful narrative of how the ghosts of the past continue to haunt us in the present day.
Filip Springer is a photojournalist and writer based in Warsaw. He studied archaeology and ethnology at university and has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006. He is a contributor to the leading Polityka journal and a member of the Visavis.pl Photographers’ Collective. He has published four collections of reportage on socialist-era architecture and the Polish landscape.