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Excerpt from a letter sent by Zofia Rydet to Jerzy Busza, Gliwice, February 3, 1982

I only get my strength back in the darkroom, where I sit for eight hours now. At the same time, it is precisely because of the lack of ventilation and the horrible heat that causes the reagents to evaporate that [the work] is finishing off my strength and my heart.

Oh well, I have so little time before me, and so many plans and so much work. My work has grown all around me, I mean my Record.

For the first time I am convinced of the value of what I do, because I know that the value of this document is very great. Fifteen regions of Poland, not only interiors, but also various other series, which I lend another dimension through making the subject precise and showing it in various conditions; it becomes an analysis of sorts. It ceases to be reportage, and becomes a scientific study. And thus it seems to me that there’s a major dose of humanism, which moves me and fills me with passion. It gives me the strength to stand for eight hours in the stuffy darkroom, which is like a bathhouse with no ventilation. And all the while I’m only concerned that I won’t manage to finish. Because it will only have value if I do it.


I never stressed the typically utilitarian nature of the Record; on the contrary, I claim that this document goes beyond its framework and can be variously interpreted. And who knows if it won’t be the best thing I leave behind.