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Excerpt from a letter sent by Zofia Rydet to Krystyna Łyczywek, Krosno, August 8, 1987

I’m with Kugler at the moment, on a ten-day photography trip. We’re staying in Krosno and leave early in the morning for the plein-air, walking about the villages. I take about six rolls of film daily. It is enormously emotional, I wish I knew how to describe it in words—I have seen and met so many interesting people. You could fill a whole book with their stories. It’s like I’m having a great adventure. I’m seeing new areas, always coming across something interesting, and I long to create something from it that will move people. Moreover, I can see that I am capturing and recording something that is irrevocably vanishing. The countryside is undergoing massive changes, becoming totally different. Soon no one will believe what I am now photographing was ever possible. An old house and a chicken coop, a floor made of clay, tiny windows, a sick grandmother lying on an enormous stove. The old husband, gasping for breath, sits on the doorstep like the personification of pain. Emil [Kugler] was unable to photograph, and my hands were shaking as well. Not far away are some new, beautiful homes, a girl standing on the threshold in a miniskirt. This is the new world. But I would like to show what once was—a world which is already gone. I also adore the roadside shrines, and the old cemeteries; I would like to use them to create a whole story about people, through the faces on the statues and shrines.


I forgot to describe Zalipie. We were there yesterday. The whole village painted in colorful flowers, patterns, animals. The huts, interiors, barns, wells, even the doghouses were painted. I took color pictures for the first time, but I don’t know how they will turn out.