IT IS ALL AMERICA

2016 multimedia installation

Natalia Dołgowska’s project is a photographic story about the migrations of the Podhale residents to the United States. These commercial expeditions across the ocean resulted in dozens of houses, which the Highlanders built in their homeland in the hope of living in them on their return from the United States. The homes built with American dollars were large – they were intended to accommodate extended families. However, they remained empty – America absorbed successive generations of Highlanders, who never returned to Poland. All This Is America is a visual collection of micro-histories, illustrating a very common contemporary phenomenon:
the rift between working conditions and an imaginary lifestyle. At a time when the search for work forces migration on a global scale, returning to one’s homeland often turns out to be impossible. This issue does not concern the Podhale, the Polish Highlands, exclusively. The problem of dwindling populations a ects villages throughout Poland. This is how emigrants themselves describe the situation: “They sent money home to Poland, and built houses. The goods were cheap, the dollars expensive. Whether it worked, or whether it didn’t, people still kept those houses. In the church, it was easy to see, who had not been to America – no nice clothes, no money. It wasn’t bad in America. The Podhale was left with empty houses.”

Curators: Tomasz Fudala / Szymon Maliborski

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw