Lodz’s charm does not stem from a romantic history of a medieval city, there is no river where its residents could hang out on the riverbanks, there is no old town where they could walk about, there are no legends of dragons or billygoats. Instead the city boasts huge edifices of cast iron structures and brick walls. Unusual monuments. Factories. Some of them gain another life, acquire new functions. Although powerful machines are no longer inside, a spirit of industrial life is still present there. It is a spirit of women and men whose lives are an inherent part of history of those places.
Factories of Lodz – this is where local males and females were working daily striving for a better tomorrow. Their work space did not only serve to fulfil their professional duties, but was also a social meeting place – to make friends. It was a place to discuss, experience and share joys and sorrows. For long years. Time of hard work.
1989 brought an end to intense industrial life in Lodz. One after another companies declared bankruptcy. Production collapse, time crash, decay of social ties. Walls could not hold out, people dispersed. Years of silence and oblivion followed.
Until the time when we – contemporary inhabitants, entrepreneurs, clerks – noticed that walls still stand here and still have potential. And they are not so old. Doing fine they are waiting for a better tomorrow. Now is the time to take a good look at their mysteries and remarkable history.
The history of people who met there and sometimes were working there all their lives, who still walk around local streets and see brick remains of their past. These ordinary-extraordinary male and female workers are heroes and heroines of Lodz story. This dusty and smoky city is slowly awakening and poses questions: who are we? Where are we from?
Thus through hard work our grandmas and grandpas built the foundations of contemporary Lodz. We need to remember them. Let’s look at them. Let’s thank them. Certainly, there were times when they were pressed and subjected to backbreaking work. It is still time to think: where would we stand now, were it not for their work and patience? How would non-industrial Lodz look like? What did our closest, relatives, neighbours feel when they left the factory and had nowhere to come back to? What do they feel now as they look at post-industrial facilities waiting for a new life?
Inside Out Project Lodz is aimed at workers of non-existing industrial companies. We seek all those whose work contributed to building the history of Lodz.
Will workers please stand up? We would like to honour and thank you. We remember about your toil, we wish to get to know your history so we can get to know ourselves better – young inhabitants of Lodz. It is a question of identity, common history, which needs to go on.
Stand up! Your history is our history. We are all workers!