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Checking in with Valo in Poland

valobrand valoinpoland

Checking in with Valo in Poland
Photos by Kuba Urbanczyk
Blading by Marcin Wasielewski
Write up Marcin, Kuba and Basza

Shadowed by history

Born in the 80s of the last century, in the country of Eastern block of Europe – Poland. Distant times for younger readers, yet for us the fact. As if that were not enough, born in a small town that strongly enrolled in history. Not necessarily skating wise … but let's start from the beginning.

In addition to plastic smell of clinkery and bands like Ace Of Base the second half of the 90s introduced us to something that totally changed the lives of many people from my generation. It’s worth to point out that being an involuntary member of Soviet union till 1989 drastically limited our access to many goods, not to mention the very fact of their existence. The times slowly began to change and over the next few years, it turned out that our childhood dreams are finally within our capabilities. Such “wonders” as skateboards, bmxes or rollerblades appeared and marked the beginning of new passion that strongly influenced us and in many cases survived to this day.

The city mentioned in the introduction Auschwitz - is known to the whole world through the prism of the events that took place here during the Second World War – but for us simply a hometown just like yours each own. Blading in Auschwitz started around 1994 with over 30 people skating regularly, it was a time when we constituted the largest group in the city, creating the community.

Today, more than 20 years later only three people left – Paweł Naras, Marcin Wasielewski (the hero of today`s photos) and Kuba Urbańczyk (photographer). Although so much in our lives have changed since then, the urge of “going out and shred” remained untouched. And to some extent I appreciated it even more now, celebrating every moment of rolling around - first of all you are active, secondly you spent a lot of time with your closest friends.

We had tried some of showed spots before as youngsters, but mostly these are places which usually went under out radar back in the day, we were totally unaware of their potential. Some have been created very recently. All pictures were taken in 2016. Originally we planned 2-3 sessions yet every time we went out our “appetite” grew constantly so eventually we spent whole season on intensive exploring. Marcin packed his car full of different aids like plywood etc and found bunch of fresh locations. Since everything is in our home town we could comfortably set a session whenever we felt like so – with perfect light or exact time of the day, fully relaxed but committed.

We know each other very well, I am familiar with Marcin `s tricks and his approach and we know the city – hope our work will reflect it and you will enjoy browsing it as much as we did shooting them. 



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  • Kasia on

    wspaniałe zdjęcia,świetne chłopaki z Oświęcimia.
    Ja bym tylko miała 1 zastrzeżenie – słowo Auschwitz nie może być tłumaczeniem nazwy naszego miasta.Auschwitz jest zarezerwowane dla nazwy byłego nazistowskiego obozu zagłady, znajdującego się w mieście Oświęcim.‘’Blading in Auschwitz’’ brzmi po prostu nie na miejscu…. Pozdrawiam serdecznie <3 Kasia

  • MietekOsw on

    Very nice photos Marcin!

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